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Old 03-03-2015, 09:08 PM   #41
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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It has an internal transfer switch. It also automatically handles neutral/ground bonding. I still need an external transfer switch for the genset (upstream of the Outback), but stock GWV had two transfer switches--the Outback eliminates one of them.
Are you able to shut off (or maybe it does it for you) the inverter section when you are on shore power?
Yes, if there is shore power, the transfer switch automatically engages and the inverter shuts down. You can also disable the inverter so that it never comes on (and thus save standby current draw). You can do this two ways: (1) using the menu system on the display; and (2) there is a dry-contact input so that an external switch or relay can override the menu system. I have this input connected to a physical switch on my control panel so that I can easily enable or disable the inverter. This is very nice. It also has an auto-detect feature so that the inverter only comes on when there is AC demand. We do not use this feature, though.
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If so, do the batteries still charge?
Yes. You can enable/disable the battery charger using the menu independently of anything else. I always leave it enabled and it always does the right thing whenever shore power is available.
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These questions relate to things we have heard from folks with various systems, like noisy inverter fans that run all the time, or having to have the inverter on to charge the batteries when on shore power. Someone on here, I don't remember who, had mentioned that the system they had ran off the inverter all the time, no transfer switch in the inverter/charger, so it had to have the inverter on to have AC power when on shore power, and that seemed a bit odd.
I had problems like that with the Xantrex inverter in our old rig (from 2005). There was an annoying fan that was always on. The Outback is just about perfect. Each function is separately configurable, the fans only run when needed, and are very quiet under most circumstances. Ours is mounted directly under our bed and it has never annoyed us.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:19 PM   #42
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

Here is a picture of the control panel that I had Great West add to our Legend. The leftmost switch on the Paneltronics switch panel turns the inverter on or off. You can also see the Outback's main control screen.

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File Type: jpg control panel1.jpg (252.9 KB, 413 views)
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:26 PM   #43
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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Avanti- would this work for me and the zion if i already had all the other stuff in the inverter/charger
http://trci.net/products/surge-guard-rv ... -protector
would it interfere in any way with my inverter/charger?
That should work fine.

Note, however, that the Leviton hardwired unit that I referred to earlier has both better specs and is cheaper; plus it is not susceptible to theft. If you are up to doing simple electrical work, you might want consider it instead.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:27 PM   #44
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

looks like star trek to me.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:01 AM   #45
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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You'll probably find that lower wattage inverter/chargers are fed off the AC panel rather than AC passing through the inverter/charger and feeding the AC panel.
Yes. This distinction is key. One needs to understand how a given rig is wired in this regard. Our GWV Legend has a 2800W Outback inverter/charger, and the 120VAC runs THROUGH it. That means that all the sophisticated power-quality checking that the Outback does routinely covers the entire vehicle. For this reason, a full-featured protector such as the Progressive Industries unit is unnecessary. What IS necessary is surge suppression (which, for the record, means: "Protection from high voltage transients" such as those caused by lightning). I am going to add the $50 Leviton unit that you referenced earlier in this thread. It seems ideal for the purpose:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-1...-SRG/202993881
How are you (and others) wiring the Leviton? Are you connecting both lines in the 120v panel? My guess is that would effectively give you 2 surge protection devices as it is intended to protect both 110v legs in a typical house installation.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:14 AM   #46
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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How are you (and others) wiring the Leviton? Are you connecting both lines in the 120v panel? My guess is that would effectively give you 2 surge protection devices as it is intended to protect both 110v legs in a typical house installation.
I was just going to wire in one phase. If it ever blows, I will rewire so as to switch to the other phase. As you say, 2 for the price of 1.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:53 AM   #47
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

Any guesses as to what effect connecting both line wires from the Leviton would have in an RV? I'm asking because a Siemens surge protector-in-a-breaker QSA1515SPD or QSA2020SPD would make for an easy install. No sharing of breakers (if code permitted) or additional breakers or space saver breakers needed. It has two single pole breakers. However, there's no option to not use one of the connections as you can with the Leviton.
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:25 AM   #48
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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It's worth doing some research to figure out and understand what you want to prevent or protect against when shopping for RV Power Protection and/or RV Surge Protection.
For RVs, probably the most common anomalies are overvoltage and undervoltage. Both the Tripplite and APC ignore these anomalies.

Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. That is perfectly good voltage for electronics. And potentially harmful to motorized appliances (ie refrigerator, air conditioner). Both undervoltage and overvoltage tend to be more frequent in campgrounds and almost non-existant in homes. So an RV surge protector should, at minimum, disconnect power during these unacceptable conditions.

Many also keep power disconnected during polarity reversal. That is typically not destructive. But is so easy to implement and can be seen in campgrounds as to be routine for RV protectors. Again, those home protectors ignore this anomaly as well.

Demonstrated are typical anomalies to be defined before anyone can recommend a protector.
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:43 PM   #49
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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For RVs, probably the most common anomalies are overvoltage and undervoltage. Both the Tripplite and APC ignore these anomalies.

Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. That is perfectly good voltage for electronics. And potentially harmful to motorized appliances (ie refrigerator, air conditioner). Both undervoltage and overvoltage tend to be more frequent in campgrounds and almost non-existant in homes. So an RV surge protector should, at minimum, disconnect power during these unacceptable conditions.

Many also keep power disconnected during polarity reversal. That is typically not destructive. But is so easy to implement and can be seen in campgrounds as to be routine for RV protectors. Again, those home protectors ignore this anomaly as well.

Demonstrated are typical anomalies to be defined before anyone can recommend a protector.
I hope that these interleaved topics aren't confusing people. All of the above is correct. But, high-end inverter/chargers do NOT ignore any of the stated anomalies. So, if your AC power is flowing through one of those, the only missing protection is transient surge suppression. If that is your need, then residential surge protectors such as the Leviton unit appear to be a superior and cost-effective choice.
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:04 PM   #50
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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Any guesses as to what effect connecting both line wires from the Leviton would have in an RV? I'm asking because a Siemens surge protector-in-a-breaker QSA1515SPD or QSA2020SPD would make for an easy install. No sharing of breakers (if code permitted) or additional breakers or space saver breakers needed. It has two single pole breakers. However, there's no option to not use one of the connections as you can with the Leviton.
Are you asking what would happen if more than one surge suppressor was connected to the same phase? I don't think it would do any harm. In the case of a transient event, my guess is that it would be a roll of the dice. Either one or both of the MOVs would sacrifice itself. I don't think there would be any compromise of the protection, though (although I am no expert).

As for the circuit breakers specified in the Leviton install: I am not inclined to lose much sleep over them. I suspect they are specified mostly to provide a code-compliant way to connect the device to the breaker-box bus in a residential situation. My intention is to wire the 30amp input through a Blue Sea 8077 AC main and then simply wire in the Leviton device through an in-line 20amp fuse. I am not even sure the fuse is necessary, but it couldn't hurt.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:39 PM   #51
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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Are you asking what would happen if more than one surge suppressor was connected to the same phase?
Yes, sorry wasn't clear. My guess is the same as yours.

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Originally Posted by avanti
As for the circuit breakers specified in the Leviton install: I am not inclined to lose much sleep over them. I suspect they are specified mostly to provide a code-compliant way to connect the device to the breaker-box bus in a residential situation. My intention is to wire the 30amp input through a Blue Sea 8077 AC main and then simply wire in the Leviton device through an in-line 20amp fuse. I am not even sure the fuse is necessary, but it couldn't hurt.
The bit about the breakers applies more to my rig. I have the "Mighty Mini" PD panel with 5 spaces. I think your PD panel has 9 spaces.

So you'll tap into line, neutral and ground at that location. That should be easy to do. I'm not sure about the need for the AC fuse either but the install instructions mention to not use more than a 20 amp breaker so probably a good idea to do that.

I could tap in right at the 30A inlet. Just getting ideas though.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:49 PM   #52
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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For RVs, probably the most common anomalies are overvoltage and undervoltage. Both the Tripplite and APC ignore these anomalies.

Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. That is perfectly good voltage for electronics. And potentially harmful to motorized appliances (ie refrigerator, air conditioner). Both undervoltage and overvoltage tend to be more frequent in campgrounds and almost non-existant in homes. So an RV surge protector should, at minimum, disconnect power during these unacceptable conditions.

Many also keep power disconnected during polarity reversal. That is typically not destructive. But is so easy to implement and can be seen in campgrounds as to be routine for RV protectors. Again, those home protectors ignore this anomaly as well.

Demonstrated are typical anomalies to be defined before anyone can recommend a protector.
I hope that these interleaved topics aren't confusing people. All of the above is correct. But, high-end inverter/chargers do NOT ignore any of the stated anomalies. So, if your AC power is flowing through one of those, the only missing protection is transient surge suppression. If that is your need, then residential surge protectors such as the Leviton unit appear to be a superior and cost-effective choice.
Best or superior etc. would make for an interesting discussion.

To me best would be all of this stuff handled at the campground power pedestal away from my RV. Next level of protection would be right at the power inlet on the RV. Then at the panel and while I'm at it might as protect the devices where they plug in ...... oops - I'm getting carried away.

The thing is my history with using a portable device is very poor. Permanent & inside the RV is how I'd have to do it.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:53 PM   #53
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

We have this built in TRC surge guard inside our van. When we plug in it goes through about a two minute diagnostics which is displayed on the Silverleaf monitor. The Outback inverter as Avanti mentioned is rather quiet. I've had smaller inverters for the TV in the past and envisioned an obnoxious fan noise. Turns out not to be the case.

http://trci.net/products/surge-guard-rv ... a-hardwire
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:56 PM   #54
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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For RVs, probably the most common anomalies are overvoltage and undervoltage. Both the Tripplite and APC ignore these anomalies.
For clarification, Tripplite and APC make both surge protectors and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS). A UPS does protect against over and under voltage.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:36 PM   #55
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

But ( if for RV use) they have to be wired in to take advantage of the UPS feature set. The Tripp-Lite in the RT I had the UPS and Surge protection features but most of the coach's AC wiring did not pass through the inverter. The air conditioner and the microwave oven for example were on their own circuits.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:42 PM   #56
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

Just a note re: the Siemens surge protector-in-a-breaker QSA1515SPD or QSA2020SPD - they wouldn't work in my RV - (not designed to). They could physically click into place but they require the neutral and ground be bonded at the panel (like the panel in my house). Neutral and ground are not bonded together at the panel in my RV. The neutral and ground buss bars are separate and in a plastic panel box not a metal box like in my house.
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:58 AM   #57
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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For clarification, Tripplite and APC make both surge protectors and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS). A UPS does protect against over and under voltage.
Previously noted was:
Quote:
Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. That is perfectly good voltage for electronics. And potentially harmful to motorized appliances (ie refrigerator, air conditioner).
What does a Tripplite or APC solve? Over and under voltage is already solved in electronic appliances. Using that UPS to address same for motorized appliances puts those appliances at risk. Since 'dirty' UPS power (that is just fine for electronics) creates potentially harmful electricity (ie harmonics) to motorized appliances.

The word 'surge' is subjective. So it can mean most anything - tempered by context. For example, a low current can be a surge. A high voltage can be a surge. A high current can be a surge. A low voltage can be a surge. An initial startup current spike (ie surge AC overload) can be a surge. None of these are same. The word surge means so many different things especially when not defined with numbers.

A surge protector located in an RV is not for another type of surge such as lightning. The Siemens examples are for that type of surge WHEN connected at the pole. To make it relevant for that type of surge: a short as possible connection to earth ground is required. Same earthing would do nothing for some other types of surges.

An inverter charger may address a transient surge current. That is completely different and unrelated to a surge created by stray cars or lightning. IOW one question was asked. A different question was heard. So an answer was for something that was not asked.

Sacrificial MOVs are another old wive's tale. MOVs fail that way when designed in violation of MOV manufacturer specification. Protectors that are properly sized suffer direct lightning strikes and remain functional. But those undersized APC and Tripplite protectors, with numbers that say undersized, can fail.

A surge, too tiny to damage adjacent appliances, also damaged a Tripplite or APC. Then urban myths speculate, "My protectors sacrificed itself to save my appliance." Total nonsense. MOVs were disconnected as fast as possible to avert a fire. Surge was left still connected to the appliance. No problem. Appliances typically have better protection. Undersizing the APC or Tripplite simply created a 'sacrificial myth' that only promotes more sales of undersized protectors.

If an MOV fail on a first surge, then it was grossly undersized. It fails catastrophically in violation of MOV manufacturer's numeric specs. But again, this discusses another type of surge irrelevant to what (for example) a Progressive is intended to address.

Again, the word surge is subjective - defines many completely different anomalies.

First define an anomaly. Only then can an appropriate solution be recommended.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:29 AM   #58
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

@Westom:
You are needlessly obfuscating the discussion. Although it is true that you can redefine any term any way you please (and can find president for it somewhere if you look hard enough), it is not reasonable or helpful to claim that "anything can be a surge". In standard industry usage, a "surge suppressor" is a device intended to protect against a voltage spike, that is a brief transient representing a much higher voltage than is intended in a circuit. None of the other things you mention are properly called "surges", assuming we are using technical terminology rather than colloquial English. For example, calling a "sag" a "surge" is simply wrong and only serves to confuse the discussion.

It is also incorrect to characterize sacrificial MOVs as an "old wive's tale". Yes, of course a given MOV has an engineering specification that if not exceeded will provide protection without being damaged. But, power surges by definition cannot be specified. A sufficiently direct lightning strike, for example, can destroy any realizable part. Therefore, properly-engineerd surge suppressors always include indicators to show that they have absorbed a sacrificial event. This is not bad design, it is necessary design. How robust a part to employ in a given situation is not a matter of proper engineering, it is a cost-effectiveness decision that must be made in the context of a given market need. I repeat: NO POSSIBLE design can be "properly engineered" for real-world worst case events.

I humbly suggest that we limit the term "surge" to describe brief high-votage transients and find other names for other phenomena. In this way, we will be consistent with the broader technical community, and we will have a chance of actually communicating.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:09 PM   #59
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

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I humbly suggest that we limit the term "surge" to describe brief high-votage transients and find other names for other phenomena. In this way, we will be consistent with the broader technical community, and we will have a chance of actually communicating.
The term surge protector so often used for RVs does nothing for our surge commonly known as a high voltage (actually a high current) transient. Undervoltage (ie sages) and overvoltages are a different phenomena and are not surges using this new definition. However many surge protectors for RVs are called "surge protectors" even if only addressing different phenomena called undervoltage and overvoltage.

For our type of surge, any protector that is sacrificial should never be purchased. These transient surges are defined by over 100 years of science and engineering experience; are well quantified by numbers. For this type of phenomena, a protector must be rated at least 50,000 amps. Because MOVs that are sacrificial are also potental fire hazards.

We also know that RV surge protectors to protect against this typical and destructive transient must be located at the pole. As close to earth ground as possible. And with increased distance between that protector and appliances.

Shortest distance is made necessary by another well quantified parameter - impedance. A thicker wire does little to decrease that impedance. Making a connection shorter does.

We also know that a protector for direct lightning strikes must not and do not fail. Similar devices for home lightning protection come from a long list of manufacturers with integrity including Square D, ABB, Intermatic, Cutler-Hammer, Ditek, Polyphaser (an industry benchmark), General Electric, Syscom, Leviton, and Siemens. Routine is a direct lightning strike without protector failure. These devices cost about $1 per protected appliance ... for homes. And do not protect using sacrificial parts.

Furthermore, if an earth ground is missing or compromised, then well proven surge protectors cannot provide effective protection.

As for Tripplite and APC, well, these companies sell products that do not claim to protect from our surge. Again, numbers are proven by generations of knowledge. Our surge can be hundreds of thosuands of joules. How many joules does an APC or Tripplite claim to absorb? Hundreds? A thousand? IOW it is near zero protection. Sacrificial. it does not claim to protect from a typcal destructive transient further defined by another number such as 8 by 20 microseconds. These power strip protectors explain why an old wive's tale about sacrificial MOVs lives on. Fires traced to this type of protector were even identified by fire marshals in their own fire houses.

Surge protectors (ie from Progressive) that do not protect from our surges also protect from other anomalies such as overvoltage, undervoltage, reversed polarity, open neutral, and floating ground. Other RV "surge protectors" might protect from harmonics, frequency variation, EMI/RFI, or bad power factor. Protection from these other 'not called surges' is possible when located inside an RV. Since earth ground is unnecessary.

For RV protectors to be surge protectors (using our new definition for surges), then manufacturer specifications must provide relevant numbers (ie 50,000 amps). Operating instructions mention that the pole earth ground (which is different from a safety ground reported by some RV protectors) must be good. Best if visually inspected.

One final point. Power strip protectors have an indicator light. It does not report a protector as good. It only reports one type of failure that occurs because the protector was grossly undersized. That light says a protector failed (was sacrificial). Too tiny for the transient. That light warns that a similar replacement protector, next time, may create human safety issues such as fire. Effective protectors do not fail. Only grossly undersized protectors are sacrificial - even violate MOV manufacturer Absolute Maximim parameters. These numbers are well understood.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:35 PM   #60
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Default Re: UL 1449 Certified Surge Protection Devices for RVs

I moved the posts re: ZL Power / Power Star to a new topic http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...php?f=9&t=3590

I've learned a lot from this topic and appreciate everyone's effort here. For me, it can take a while to make a decision or come to a conclusion on something if I don't understand it. I definitely have a better understanding of what is discussed in this topic now compared to when I started it.
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