NI-FBUS 16.0 Readme
This file contains important information about the NI-FBUS software, including installation instructions, new features, a partial list of bug fixes for each release, known issues, and troubleshooting questions.
Supported Operating Systems
Application Software Support
NI Software Support for Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003
Product Security and Critical Updates
New Features and Bug Fixes
Driver Version Naming Changes
Troubleshooting and Frequently Asked Questions
Accessing the Help
Automating the Installation of NI Products
Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 10
Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.1
The NI-FBUS software enables you to develop applications to configure and control Foundation Fieldbus networks and devices. The NI-FBUS 16.0 software includes the following components:
- NI-FBUS Communications Manager (CM) 16.0
- NI-FBUS Configurator 16.0
- NI-FBUS Monitor 16.0
Note If you upgrade from an earlier version of the NI-FBUS software, NI recommends that you upgrade all components to the same version to avoid incompatibility between versions.
NI-FBUS supports the following operating systems:
- Windows 10/8.11/7 SP12
- Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit)1
- Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (64-bit)2
1 NI software installs VC2015 Runtime and .NET 4.6.1. Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 require Microsoft updates to support these items. Refer to Microsoft KB2919442 and KB2919355 for more information about how to install these updates.
2 NI software is signed with a SHA-256 certificate. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 require Microsoft updates to support SHA-256. Refer to Microsoft KB3033929 for more information about how to install this security update.
NI-FBUS 16.0 supports the following NI hardware products on Windows:
- NI PCI-FBUS/2 (2-Port Fieldbus Interface for NI PCI)
- NI PCMCIA-FBUS Series 2 (1-Port FOUNDATION Fieldbus Interface for PCMCIA)
- NI PCMCIA-FBUS/2 Series 2 (2-Port FOUNDATION Fieldbus Interface for PCMCIA)
- NI USB-8486 without USB screw retention and mounting option (1-Port FOUNDATION Fieldbus Interface for USB)
The following table lists the application software versions, including service packs, supported by NI-FBUS. If you are not using NI application software, refer to Microsoft Visual Studio Support.
|Application Software||Versions Supported by NI-FBUS|
|LabVIEW ||2013, 2014, 2015, 2016|
Note If you want to use the LabVIEW VIs for NI-FBUS, you can only use the 32-bit version of LabVIEW.
Microsoft Visual Studio Support
The following table lists the programming languages and Microsoft Visual Studio versions supported by this version of NI-FBUS.
|Programming Languages ||Visual Studio Versions Supported by NI-FBUS|
|.NET Framework 4.0 Languages ||6.0, 2003, 2005, 2008 |
|.NET Framework 4.5 Languages ||2012 |
Note NI-FBUS 16.0 also supports Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0.
Complete the following steps to install NI-FBUS:
| Notes Before installing NI-FBUS, check whether you need to complete the following preliminary tasks to prepare a clean environment to run NI-FBUS. |
- Install NI-FBUS before you install the Fieldbus hardware such as the NI USB-8486, NI PCMCIA-FBUS, NI PCMCIA-FBUS Series 2, and NI PCI-FBUS/2 cards. Refer to the Installing the Hardware section of the NI-FBUS Installation Guide, available in PDF-format in the NI-FBUS Software media or in printed-format shipped with the media, for information about installing and configuring the NI-FBUS hardware.
- If you have the NI-FBUS Configurator 5.0 or earlier installed on the computer, you must uninstall the previous version from the computer before installing the NI-FBUS Configurator 16.0. You are recommended to remove all existing NI-FBUS cards, such as the NI USB-8486, NI PCMCIA-FBUS, NI PCMCIA-FBUS Series 2, and NI PCI-FBUS/2 cards, from the computer.
- If you have the NI-FBUS Monitor and the NI-FBUS Configurator installed on the same computer, uninstalling the NI-FBUS Monitor might cause the NI-FBUS Configurator to work improperly. To ensure that the NI-FBUS Configurator works properly, you must reinstall the NI-FBUS Configurator after uninstalling the NI-FBUS Monitor.
- Log in as an administrator or as a user with administrator privileges.
- Insert the NI-FBUS Software media. The installer launches automatically. If the installer does not launch automatically, navigate to the media and launch the autorun.exe file.
- Follow the installation wizard to install the NI-FBUS software.
Activation You can use NI-FBUS Communications Manager and its APIs for free. You must purchase and activate the NI-FBUS Configurator 16.0 and NI-FBUS Monitor 16.0 before you can use the online interfaces.
Visit ni.com/fieldbus for more information about purchasing and using the products.
Caution Reinstalling NI-FBUS Configurator might cause you to lose existing port configuration information. Before uninstalling the previous version of the NI-FBUS Configurator, create backup copies of the NVM files. The NVM files store the port configuration parameters you changed from their default values. If you are using the NI-FBUS Configurator 2.3.6 or later, the NVM files are located in the National Instruments\NI-FBUS\Data\Nvm directory. If you are using the NI-FBUS Configurator 2.3.5 or earlier, the NVM files are located in the NIFBUS\Data\Nvm directory.
NI-FBUS 16.0 Drops Support for Microsoft Windows 7 RTM, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003
With this release, NI-FBUS drops support for Microsoft Windows 7 RTM (with no service pack), Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. NI-FBUS 16.0 and later will not install or run on an unsupported OS. You cannot deploy or distribute applications that use NI-FBUS 16.0 to an unsupported OS. Additionally, after installing NI-FBUS 16.0, you cannot use any installers built on this computer with any version of LabVIEW, LabWindows™/CVI™, NI TestStand™, or Measurement Studio on an unsupported OS.
For more information about the changes to our OS support for 2016, refer to KB 79UC78LS, Why Does my LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, Measurement Studio, or TestStand Built Installer Fail on Windows XP/Vista and Server 2003?.
Visit ni.com/security to view and subscribe to receive security notifications about NI products. Visit ni.com/critical-updates for information about critical updates from NI.
- Added support for LabVIEW 2016
- Added support for LabVIEW 2015
- Removed CompactRIO support
- Field Device VIs are not available under the Foundation Fieldbus palette.
- Field Device properties are not available.
- Real-time target support is not available.
- Remote operations on CompactRIO are not available.
- Added support for the Foundation Fieldbus Template feature
- Added the COLLECTION block type to the nifGetObjectAttributes() function
- Extended the default segment number from four to 12 to support more segments
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issues fixed in NI-FBUS Configurator 15.0. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Configurator.
|514081||Configurator method of a DD file displays the help instead of the label|
|507037||SMAR linking device fails in the ITK test because the CM invokes wrong VFD reference numbers|
|507034||ITK 6.1.1 crashes for test case i9001_03 on NI PCI-FBUS|
|507032||A race condition occurs in NI USB-8486 firmware when reading and writing data|
|498281||Add Tag Editor to support OPC operations|
- Added support for LabVIEW 2014
- Removed legacy VIs and utilities
- The legacy VIs are not available under the Legacy API (Windows Only) palette.
- Tag Editor is not available.
- Add Interface Wizard is not available.
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issues fixed in NI-FBUS Configurator 14.0. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Configurator.
|483217||Interface Configuration Utility does not count EDDL local parameter number correctly|
|473688||Maximum size for Common Software Download is incorrect in ITK|
|468492||The C# API WaitAlert2 does not work|
|424901||The Configurator cannot display the & symbol properly|
|422834||Communications Manager (CM) resets CURRENT_TIME in MIB to 1972/01/01 when you download linking schedules in Clear Device mode|
|422071||Update the .NET framework from 2.0 to 4.0 for .Net library|
- Added support to use CompactRIO with NI USB-8486 as field devices:
- Creating, editing, and deleting the Analog Input (AI), Analog Output (AO), Discrete Input (DI), and Discrete Output (DO) function blocks programmatically
- Auto-recovery after configuration
- Added Link Active Scheduler support to NI USB-8486 in field device mode
- Added field device support to CompactRIO with NI USB-8486, including NI cRIO-901x/902x/9068/9076/908x
- Added support to NI cRIO-9068 for Linux RT
- Added support to Windows 8.1
- Added support for LabVIEW 2013 SP1
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issues fixed in NI-FBUS Configurator 5.0. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Configurator.
|415733||Configurator does not show DD-defined menu correctly|
|382252||Domain download based on MIB is not supported|
|382251||Variable list data type is not readable in C# library|
- Added support to the HSE ITK
- Added support for LabVIEW 2012
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issues fixed in NI-FBUS Configurator 4.1.1. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Configurator.
|346192||Adding a customized tab in the block view on Configurator causes the error of NIFCONF_ERR_APPLICATION_EXCEPTION|
|335253||Communications Manager cannot find the latest version of DD5 file when the Rev01 DD file does not exist|
|325020||The VB6 example application crashes when opening session|
|320528||Interface Configuration Utility fails to import the DD/CFF file when the DEV_REV is greater than 9|
- Added support to NI USB-8486 with USB screw retention and mounting option on CompactRIO
- Provided a set of LabVIEW APIs to monitor data over the H1 bus and programmatically configure the H1 network (excluding schedule/trend/alarm downloading)
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issues fixed in NI-FBUS Configurator 4.1. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Configurator.
|302729||The Import DD feature fails if the local file path is longer than 100 characters|
|247680||The function nifDownloadDomain() returns E_RESOURCE (-6) error when downloading Yokogawa FVX110 firmware|
|247652||The Field Diagnostic Alarm test cases cannot run due to the E_BAD_ARGUMENT (-5) error in the function nifConnectAlert()|
- Added support to Windows 7
- Added support to the 64-bit operation systems for Windows 7/Vista/Server 2008 R2
- Improved the user interface of Communications Manager
- Enabled the interfaces automatically with default settings without the need to run Interface Configuration Utility
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issues fixed in NI-FBUS Configurator 4.0.1. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Configurator.
|219390||Configurator crashes on some EDDL devices|
|217415||Configurator crashes in Live List window when CM is closed manually|
|215340||The parameter values in offline device are still NULL if the imported online parameters are 0|
|203244||Incorrect tab index for EDDL with empty menu item|
- Added support to NI USB-8486 H1 interface devices
- Added support to DDS 5.1.2
- Improved EDDL layout
- Added new DD/CFF files supporting the new devices
- Fixed some major inconvenience issues
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issue fixed in NI-FBUS Monitor 4.0.2. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Monitor.
|332131||Monitor may lose packets when a large number of FF devices are connected with NI USB-8486|
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issue fixed in NI-FBUS Monitor 4.0.1. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Monitor.
|300080||Monitor may sometimes fail to launch|
- Added support to NI USB-8486 H1 interface devices
- Added support to Windows 7
- Added support to the 64-bit operation systems for Windows 7/Vista/Server 2008 R2
- Added support to the simulator board
- The following table contains the ID and title of the issues fixed in NI-FBUS Monitor 4.0. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in this version of NI-FBUS Monitor.
|101645||Supporting for partial load of the large files|
|88190||Some packet numbers become negative|
|87112||The first page is always printed when printing a specific page|
NI-FBUS versions are now aligned with the versions of major NI application software products. This alignment gives you information about the year the driver was released and the most recent software version the driver was designed to work with. Driver versions now start with a two-digit year indicator: <ProductName><Year-BasedVersion>. For example, NI-FBUS 16.0 is the version released with LabVIEW 2016. The last version released under the old numbering scheme is NI-FBUS 5.0, including NI-FBUS Configurator 5.0 and NI-FBUS Monitor 4.0.3. The first version released under the new numbering scheme is NI-FBUS 14.0, including NI-FBUS Configuration 14.0 and NI-FBUS Monitor 14.0.
You can use NI-FBUS Configurator 16.0 and NI-FBUS Monitor 16.0 in evaluation mode by clicking the Evaluate Now button when you launch the software.
In evaluation mode, NI-FBUS Configurator 16.0 only supports the offline function, which includes the following features:
- Configuring multiple offline interfaces
- Configuring offline devices through DD/CFF files
- Configuring offline function block applications
- Saving offline configurations
In evaluation mode, NI-FBUS Monitor 16.0 only supports the offline function, which includes the following feature:
- Running the simulator board based on an existing Monitor record file
Note The NI-FBUS Monitor does not support block instantiation on offline devices.
- How do I install the NI USB-8486, NI PCMCIA-FBUS, NI PCMCIA-FBUS Series 2, or NI PCI-FBUS/2 interface board?
Install NI-FBUS and shut down the computer. Follow the instructions in NI-FBUS Installation Guide to install the Fieldbus hardware. Restart the computer and Windows recognizes the NI-FBUS interface card automatically. Use the Found New Hardware Wizard and install the driver for the new hardware.
Run the Interface Configurator Utility, which shows the NI USB/PCI/PCMCIA interface after you install the driver.
Open the NI-FBUS Communications Manager to use the newly-configured hardware.
- When do I need to activate the NI-FBUS Configurator 16.0 and Monitor 16.0?
When launching NI-FBUS Configurator 16.0 or NI-FBUS Monitor 16.0, activate the product in the activation request dialog box that appears. You also can activate these products later using the NI License Manager, available by selecting Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI License Manager.
You must activate NI-FBUS Configurator before you can use the following features:
- H1 interfaces (NI PCMCIA-FBUS, NI PCI-FBUS, and NI USB-8486) and HSE interfaces (Ethernet and HSE Linking Device)
- Ethernet and High-Speed-Ethernet (HSE) Linking Device in the Add Interface Wizard, Interface Configuration Utility, and Communications Manager
You do not have to activate the NI-FBUS Configurator in the following situations:
- Install the drivers for the NI-FBUS interface devices
- Use Communications Manager APIs to build your own applications
- Evaluate the NI-FBUS Configurator in offline mode
- How do I activate the NI-FBUS Configurator and NI-FBUS Monitor?
You can acquire the activation code from NI through the Internet, telephone, or fax. Refer to the National Instruments License Manager Help, available by selecting Help»Contents in the NI License Manager, for more information about activating the NI software.
Do not remove the Ethernet adapter from the computer after you activate NI-FBUS Configurator. Removing the Ethernet adapter might deactivate the NI-FBUS Configurator.
- How does NI-FBUS Communications Manager support Device Descriptions (DD)?
NI-FBUS uses manufacturer-supplied device descriptions. To use a new Device Description (DD), you must specify a "Base Directory" for your device descriptions. This directory can be anywhere on your computer. All your DD files are in this directory. Complete the following steps to locate the base directory.
After locating the directory, complete the following steps to import your manufacturer-supplied DD files into this directory.
- Launch the NI-FBUS Interface Configuration Utility and click Import DD/CFF.
- Click DD Info.
- Click Browse to locate the base directory path, or manually enter the path to this directory, such as C:\Program Files\National Instruments\NI-FBUS\DD.
NI-FBUS uses identifying information in the actual device to locate the DD for this device. The identifying information includes four resource block parameters: "MANUFAC_ID", "DEV_TYPE", "DEV_REV", and "DD_REV". If the identifying information is incorrect, NI-FBUS is not able to locate the DD for the device. When NI-FBUS locates the DD, NI-FBUS matches the block types in the DD with the actual blocks in the device by using the Item ID of the block characteristics record. If this block information is incorrect, NI-FBUS is not able to locate the description of that particular block.
- Launch NI-FBUS the Interface Configuration Utility and click Import DD/CFF.
- Click Browse to locate the DD/CFF file or input the path.
- Click OK.
- The Interface Configuration Utility checks the DD/CFF files. If this utility does not detect any errors, the utility copies the .cff file, the .ffo file, and the associated .sym file to the correct location in the base directory. Otherwise, the utility returns an error message for you to identify the error.
- Troubleshooting — Setting Addresses
If you cannot set the address of your device, you may need to change some of the "System Management Info" parameters in the Advanced settings of your interface port in the Interface Configuration Utility. The parameters in setting addresses are T1 and T3. These parameters represent delay time values that your interface card uses to compensate for the delays inherent in the device and in the set address protocol.
T1 is a parameter that describes the expected response delay of the device at a given address. Normally, you do not need to increase the value of this parameter; however, if your interface card cannot detect responses of the device related with setting an address, increase this value of this parameter. The correct value for this parameter can depend on the number of devices on the link. For example, if you are using a bus monitor, you might see a WHO_HAS_PD_TAG request going to the device to start the Set Address sequence, and an IDENTIFY response coming back, but with the host never continuing with the next step in the protocol, the SET_ADDRESS packet. This probably mean that your T1 value is too small and should be increased.
T3 is a parameter that describes the expected time for the device to respond at its new address. This parameter is highly dependent on the number of devices on the link and the number of addresses being polled. Refer to the next troubleshooting issue Setting the Number of Polled Addresses for more information about setting the number. If you are using a bus monitor, you may be able to see the host identify a device with the IDENTIFY packet at the new address before the device has sent its probe response (PR) packet to the host. This error indicates that the T3 value is too small. If this error occurs, increase your T3 value until the IDENTIFY packet to the new address occurs after the PR.
All of the System Management Info timers are in units of 1/32 of a millisecond; for example, T3=32000 units means that T3=1 second.
- Troubleshooting — Setting the Number of Polled Addresses
The Fieldbus Specification describes how a Link Active Scheduler device (LAS device) probes a list of addresses to allow devices to come online during normal operation. The LAS sends a Probe Node (PN on the bus monitor) packet to each address in its list of addresses during operation at a regular interval determined by the number of devices on the link and the value of the Link Maintenance Token Hold Time parameter. The Fieldbus Specification describes how to tell the LAS to avoid probing certain addresses in the range, which can speed up detection of new devices on the bus (or devices that are having their addresses changed). The two parameters involved in maintaining the list are called FirstUnpolledNode and NumOfUnpolledNodes, and they can be found in the NI-FBUS Interface Configuration utility advanced settings for a port, under the "DLME Master Info" section. The following diagram shows how the LAS determines the list:
| |<--NumOfUnpolledNodes-->| |
0x10 (16) FirstUnpolledNode nbsp; 0xf7 (247)
P is the address that is probed for new devices
X is the address that is not probed for new devices
To summarize, FirstUnpolledNode tells the LAS the starting address of a section of addresses to skip, and NumOfUnpolledNodes tells the LAS the length of that region. So if FirstUnpolledNode was 0x25 and NumOfUnpolledNodes was 0xba, then none of the addresses from 0x25 to 0xdf would be probed. That means that if a device with an address of 0x25 was placed on this bus, the LAS would not probe it and it would never be able to send or receive packets on the bus.
The main reason to have a NumOfUnpolledNodes with a nonzero value is this: The LAS probes every address in the list, and then starts over again at the beginning. Remember that a device cannot become active on the bus until its address is probed. If the LAS is probing all 255-16+1=240 possible addresses and each probe node request goes out every T millisecond, it might take 240T milliseconds for a device to come online. If, however, the LAS probed only the first 16 addresses and the last 16 addresses, it might take 32T milliseconds for the device to come online; this results in the new device being recognized almost 8 times faster. These parameters also affect the Set Address protocol, because recognizing a device at a new address is the same as recognizing a completely new device, because the new address must be probed for the device to come online. In this way, the NumOfUnpolledNodes parameter can affect the value of the Set Address protocol parameter "T3", which is described in the section above. Increasing the NumOfUnpolledNodes parameter might fix a SetAddress T3 problem because it takes the device less time to be recognized at the new address.
- For devices with a third-party stack, the NI-FBUS Configurator might take a long time to update device information such as Function Block list, MIB parameters, and so on. The reason is that when a device with a Softing stack has a higher address, like 0xE0 or 0xF6, the NI-FBUS Communications Manager is hard to obtain a valid VCR connection to the MIB of the devices. You can solve the problem by changing the address of the device to a lower one when the Configurator finishes updating the device.
- The following table contains the ID and title of known issues for NI-FBUS.
|Issue ID ||Known Issue |
|431096 ||Issue - NI-FBUS PCI/FBUS card does not appear in ICU after reinstalling the FBUS without restart. |
Description - When you use the NI PCI/FBUS card on Windows XP and reinstall or upgrade NI-FBUS, you plug out the Fieldbus hardware. After the installation, the card does not appear in ICU.
This issue only occurs on Windows Vista or later.
Workaround - Launch the Windows Device Manager, uninstall the card, click Scan for the changed hardware, and reinstall the software for the hardware.
|219594 ||Issue - When the system with multiple NI USB-8486s connected is recovered from hibernation on Windows Vista or later, only one USB-8486 is left in Configurator. |
Description - When the system with multiple NI USB-8486s connected is recovered from hibernation, the log in Communications Manager shows that all the interfaces are reinitialized automatically. When you use Take Online in Configurator, only one USB-8486 is left in the list.
This issue only occurs on Windows Vista or later.
Workaround - Restart Communications Manager and Configurator after the system is recovered from hibernation.
|171893 ||Issue - NI-FBUS does not support the dynamic image display feature in EDDL |
Description - The dynamic attribute of the image in EDDL is not supported. Configurator shows these images statically.
Workaround - N/A
|89744 ||Issue - Communications Manager cannot initialize the HSE/H1 linking device if one of the link IDs is equal to or greater than 0xF0FF |
Description - If one of the link IDs on the HSE/H1 linking device is equal to or greater than 0xF0FF, Communications Manager can not start successfully. Error occurs when initializing the HSE/H1 linking device.
Workaround - Use the default ID. Do not set the ID to the value which is equal to or greater than 0xF0FF.
Refer to the Fieldbus Foundation website for more information about FOUNDATION Fieldbus. Refer to the National Instruments website for more information about NI FOUNDATION Fieldbus products. If any problem persists, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for NI FOUNDATION Fieldbus products support.
This product includes components that use eCos. In regards to the eCos, the following notice applies: No modification is made by NI to the version of the eCos used in this product.
The NI-FBUS software provides two help files. Refer to the NI-FBUS VI Help, accessible from LabVIEW, for information about the FBUS VIs and properties. Refer to the NI-FBUS Utilities Help, available by selecting Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI-FBUS»Documentation»NI-FBUS Utilities Help or (Windows 8) by clicking NI Launcher and selecting NI-FBUS»Documentation»NI-FBUS Utilities Help in the window that appears, for information about the NI-FBUS utilities.
Select Help»Find Examples from LabVIEW to launch the NI Example Finder. LabVIEW examples for NI-FBUS are located in the labview\examples\NI-FBUS directory. You can modify an example VI to fit an application, or you can copy and paste from one or more examples into a VI that you create.
You can automate the installation of most NI products using command-line arguments to suppress some or all of the installer user interface and dialog boxes. However, starting with the August 2012 releases (products using NI Installers version 3.1 or later), you may need to perform additional steps before or during a silent installation of NI software.
If the NI product you are installing uses Microsoft .NET 4.0, the .NET installer may run before any NI software installs and may require a reboot before the installation of NI software begins. To avoid a .NET reboot, install .NET 4.0 separately before you install NI software.
For more information about automating the installation of NI products, refer to the following KnowledgeBase articles:
Microsoft Windows 10 is the latest version of the Windows operating system and features significant changes compared to previous versions. Windows 10 introduces several new capabilities and also combines features from both Windows 7 and Windows 8. For more information about NI support for Windows 10, visit ni.com/windows10.
When you install NI software on Microsoft Windows 8.1, you will notice a few additional tiles in the Apps view, including shortcuts to NI application software products such as NI LabVIEW, NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), and NI Launcher. For more information about NI support for Windows 8.1, visit ni.com/windows8.
Notes Upgrading Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 with the NI-FBUS software installed might result in device configuration information damage and ostensible disconnection between devices. NI recommends that you reinstall the NI-FBUS software after upgrading the operating system.
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