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    Default DRO for Deckel FP1

    I keep pondering adding DRO to my FP1. While I would rather have an FP2 for the long haul, that doesn't seem very probable, and I could always take the DRO off the FP1 if I was to sell it, or sell it separately.

    Singer has this kit that is similar priced as the DRO Pros kit:

    3 Achsen Digitalanzeige Arbah mit Anbauteile fur Deckel FP1 Frasmaschine | eBay

    There is also the Dro Pros:

    4 Bad Request

    And the Shooting Star: (slightly cheaper)

    http://www.star-techno.com/order.htm

    Now for the real question. I see some Heidenhain units on ebay, but with no scales or cables. The cables seem to be expensive.

    Is it worth trying to find an entire Heidenhain kit that would fit my FP1 ? Seems I might be able to find one for about US $1,000.

    I know most people use Heidenhain DROs on their Deckels, since that is what Deckel used, and also they are very good quality from what people say about them. I guess a Newall would be comparable.

    Also, is there any advantage to having an LCD rather than LED display ? I realize what the LCD will do, as in ability to draw arcs, circles, and other primitive shapes, but without servos to control the screws, it can't cut them magically...on a manual machine it seems like un-needed expense. Am I missing something in that regard ?

    Appreciate any comments.

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    I have a Newall on a lathe that I installed 17 years ago or so. It's OK.

    I have a Heidenhain 780 on an FP3-- personally I really like the user interface on it. If you are going to buy new I would recommend Mike at Cando Machinery for pricing and great service.

    Can't comment on the other units on your list.

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    Thanks sneebot.

    Another option I didn't mention in my first post is Android and/or if it makes sense to go with an Android tablet that uses open source software.

    Is it true that the cables are ultra pricey on the Heidenhain ? Can those cables be made or do they need to be bought from Heidenhain, do you know ?

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    I must say, after watching the DRO Pros video on the LCD, it makes sense in the difference.

    This is very nice having the graphics on the screen. This would really make my FP1 much more usable, in the sense of ease of use.

    DISCLAIMER: His taste of machinery is not necessarily aligned with mine.



    One nice thing for me is that they're in CA, about an hour or so from me. Might be worth a visit up there, as I can head up 505 to Interstate 5, over through Williams to Clearlake...that's where the next shop will be built...in the basement until I can hopefully build a Carriage House for shop and guest quarters. That might be in a second life...LOL

    EDIT: I must say that vise alignment feature is pretty cool...and it seemed pretty accurate how he calibrated the cylinder head. Curious if someone like Ross would find that useful or distractive ??? I just realized that you could probably set the taper attachment with the same concept...I'm still watching and just getting to the 2nd video, but wow, that's pretty interesting.

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    I can't remember how pricey the Heidenhain cables are. One downside to piecing together a Heidenhain system is that they have changed connectors over the years- so you may need adapter cables or to swap out connectors at the cable ends.

    I glanced at the video above at a couple points but didn't really watch it. The Heidenhain 780 will find the center of a circle like the cylinder head example- it'll let you do it with an edge finder or the KT-130 probe.

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    Hi Alan,

    Quote Originally Posted by traditional-tools View Post
    I keep pondering adding DRO to my FP1.
    It's a Good Thing. I now have DROs on both my mill and my lathe. They make it much faster and easier to work.

    Singer has this kit that is similar priced as the DRO Pros kit:
    Some systems from DRO Pros use magnetic scales made by Electronica. I would not buy one of these because I have read reports that I trust, which show that over time the length measurement has drifted by a large amount compared to the nominal precision of the scale. See this post and what follows it.

    I am sure that the Singer system is good, but you might be able to save a few hundred dollars by getting a system from Sino or another reputable Asian source. I put a Sino DRO on my lathe and am happy with it. But I did buy it from a Sino-authorized German dealer to avoid gray-market and "factory-second" goods.

    I would not buy a Shooting Star system. You want technology that will be more precise than your mill and will stay that way for years. Shooting star systems have errors of 0.002" = 51 microns per foot; your Deckel is better than that. So stick with traditional glass scales which have errors that are smaller than this by a factor of 5 to 10.

    Regarding Heidenhain, I have one on my FP2 because it came with that, and my repair attempts were successful. Having said that, I think buying a 30-year-old DRO system does not make sense now. You will end up with an 11-uA peak-to-peak scale system that is not compatible with other manufacturers and which is non-trivial to maintain or repair. You are better off IMO buying a modern system that uses a standard digital interface.

    I think the LCD displays are a nice for doing bolt circles, "hand-numerically-controlled" milling to follow arcs, etc. and also for the "help screens" that they offer. But for 99.9% of what you do, a normal 3-line LED display will be just as good. The increase in productivity from adding even a basic DRO is much more than the incremental return of fancy additional functions.

    Cheers,
    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by traditional-tools View Post
    Is it true that the cables are ultra pricey on the Heidenhain? Can those cables be made or do they need to be bought from Heidenhain, do you know ?
    If you get a modern HH system which uses DB-15 connectors you can make up your own cables using generic twisted-pair cabling and generic inexpensive DB-15 computer connectors.

    If you get an antique HH system which uses the round 9-pin connectors, beware that these are quite expensive to buy new. You can sometimes find them used at more reasonable cost. Be warned: they are fussy and cramped for soldering in the wires inside.

    For wiring I have cut connectors off some CAT-5 or -6 ethernet cable containing four twisted pairs and a shield and used that.

    Bottom line: you can make your own cables if needed. But if you get a Heidenhain system, are you going to buy a new one (good, but very expensive!) or fix up an old one? As I said in my earlier post, if you buy a new system I think you can get something which is almost as good for a lot less $$$. I don't think it makes sense to buy an obsolete old HH system.

    Cheers,
    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Some systems from DRO Pros use magnetic scales made by Electronica. I would not buy one of these because I have read reports that I trust, which show that over time the length measurement has drifted by a large amount compared to the nominal precision of the scale. See this post and what follows it.
    I have my doubts that the post and thread you highlight accurately show the failings of the Electronica scales. I'd like to see (posted images) his method of calibration before I made an opinion on their accuracy/repeatability/stability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph406 View Post
    I have my doubts that the post and thread you highlight accurately show the failings of the Electronica scales.
    I know the poster and his metrology qualifications and skills, and have no doubts that his reports are correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    I know the poster and his metrology qualifications and skills, and have no doubts that his reports are correct.
    Metrology qualifications? At the time I guarantee he had none. Skills? questionable

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    I would suggest Newall as they are simple to install and high quality (I put one a Newall on my Schaublin 13 so a similar layout as an FP2) and have been happy with the performance. It makes a huge difference for a milling machine's ease of use. If you were paying for the installation they would be worth the money based only on how much faster they are to install than a flat scale type DRO.

    I put an Electronica DRO (ordered directly from the manufacturer in India rather than the US distributor) on my Schaublin 135 lathe and am actually consider taking it off and putting on something better. No comment on the accuracy changing etc but the quality really isn't there (the price is obviously much different so this isn't a huge surprise, I had hoped it would be good enough and it really isn't). I went with a different scale than offered in the US (sealed and oriented like a conventional glass scale but is still magnetic) and I am not happy with the performance despite adjusting and fussing with the scales many times. The lathe is admittedly a more demanding application than a mill but still, I would not recommend Electronica for a high quality machine. Perhaps on a Chinese benchtop machine but not on something "real", you should either get a cheap Chinese system or step up to a high end system. I got my Newall from Can-Do Machinery and was very happy with the service.

    Luke

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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph406 View Post
    Metrology qualifications? At the time I guarantee he had none. Skills? questionable
    I will not spend time arguing with you; the people who participate in this group can decide for themselves who is credible. To repeat myself: I know the poster and his metrology qualifications and skills, and have no doubts that his reports are correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    It's a Good Thing. I now have DROs on both my mill and my lathe. They make it much faster and easier to work.
    The more I use my mill, it's something I definitely want. That goes for the lathe as well. I would like to get that setup with DRO.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Some systems from DRO Pros use magnetic scales made by Electronica. I would not buy one of these because I have read reports that I trust, which show that over time the length measurement has drifted by a large amount compared to the nominal precision of the scale. See this post and what follows it.
    Thank you for jogging my mind. I do remember that thread, and in fact was around the time you came over to my house possibly.

    And I do actually have a problem with that, partially. What was pointed out in that thread is how the temperature effects the length of the scale. I do understand that. However, we have to keep in mind that this is when temp swings. The poster was pointing out that during different seasons he was getting different readings. Completely understandable.

    What this says is that to work correctly, the magnetic would need to be calibrated at the temp the work is being performed. That in itself sucks, because even if you think about early morning vs. mid day, the temp can be substantially different for any locale. Since I know I will not calibrate constantly, this might not be a good system for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    I am sure that the Singer system is good, but you might be able to save a few hundred dollars by getting a system from Sino or another reputable Asian source. I put a Sino DRO on my lathe and am happy with it. But I did buy it from a Sino-authorized German dealer to avoid gray-market and "factory-second" goods.
    Singers system appear to be the same as any other Chinese system. Just that he tailors that for the Deckel. It is about 3x the cost of most of the Chinese packages though.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    I would not buy a Shooting Star system.
    I agree, I don't like the design of the scales at all. With the plastic wrapper it really looks kind of cheesy. It looks almost like something you'd find on garden equipment.

    The only reason I wanted to give it a look is that Keith Fenner has been sponsored and has been talking about it off/on. I think YouTube is getting more and more sponsorship from vendors to some of these people. The person doing the video tries to be nice, since they got some product for free, but the reality is the product is a POS. I got this same feeling recently when Adam Booth was evaluating a Shar 3-jaw chuck. I thought it was a POS that he was playing nice for the sponsorship. My $0.02, and I think that probably goes for Shooting Star DROs and Keith Fenner...LOL

    Thanks for your response, it's made me realize that unless I go with a $1800-$2000 system, I'm better off going with the Chinese knockoff.

    That said, I'm almost afraid to post a link to the package I bought. I suspect some might laugh at me. But I do agree with what you say, and think glass is the safest, and of course I wanted to get the best resolution, so wanted 1 micron scales. It's about 25% of what Singer's package would cost me with shipping, which almost seems to good to be true...but I've read others that have bought it and were happy...I have wonder which Shenzhen crap hole all of this steamin' product is made in...? Of course I envision the electronics being soldered up by 8 year old kids who are licking the lead paint off their fingers as they work 19 hour days for a thimble full of rice...

    Cheers,
    Alan

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    I will not spend time arguing with you; the people who participate in this group can decide for themselves who is credible. To repeat myself: I know the poster and his metrology qualifications and skills, and have no doubts that his reports are correct.
    Your talking about the guy who checked the DRO using the scale on vernier calipers? Who then went online to complain about the scale and didn't talk to DroPros like most would have done?

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    Hi Alan,

    Quote Originally Posted by traditional-tools View Post
    The poster was pointing out that during different seasons he was getting different readings. Completely understandable.
    If you read the post carefully, he documented that it was not temperature change that was responsible for the slow "shrink" that he saw in the length of the scale over a long period. The scale is constructed from a thin flexible polymer strip that has a pattern magnetised onto it. The strip is mounted to a thin (about 1mm x 10mm) stainless steel carrier, and the theory was that the carrier had residual stresses that were gradually relaxing, changing the length of the strip. The amount of motion was so large (0.014" = 0.355mm = 355 microns!) over 24" of travel that it was simple to measure (he made two sets of measurements, one using a set of grade 2 calibrated gage blocks and the second using a 24" scale that had recently been calibrated to 0.001".) As I recall the other two axes did not drift enough for him to measure it with the crude methods that he used.

    Singers system appear to be the same as any other Chinese system. Just that he tailors that for the Deckel. It is about 3x the cost of most of the Chinese packages though.
    I would be cautious here. The reputable manufacturers deliver their glass scales with individual calibration charts done on interferometers with traceable standards. So appearance may not be enough.

    Thanks for your response, it's made me realize that unless I go with a $1800-$2000 system, I'm better off going with the Chinese knockoff.
    Alan, for the record I said, "you might be able to save a few hundred dollars by getting a system from Sino or another reputable Asian source."

    Of course I wanted to get the best resolution, so wanted 1 micron scales.
    In this application (Deckel FP1) the ACCURACY (difference between between the position reported by the scale and the actual position) is more important than the RESOLUTION (smallest unit of change reported by the scale/display combination), provided that the resolution is 5 microns (0.0002") or less. So you should worry about the accuracy of the scales, not just about the resolution.

    I am going to be adding a DRO to my surface grinder in the future. Because it's such a messy location (flood coolant) I'd really like to use magnetic scales. The one that seems to offer the best compromise of accuracy and resolution is made by Newall, I just wish it wasn't so expensive.

    Cheers,
    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by traditional-tools View Post

    Is it true that the cables are ultra pricey on the Heidenhain ? Can those cables be made or do they need to be bought from Heidenhain, do you know ?
    if you were paying attention you'd know from many of my past posts that you can make your own Heidehain cables as they use a standard Dsub 15 connector and the pin outs are in the manuals typically. Below is an ex active FP2 where I used the current style connectors on a Heidenhain Positp that can display up to 6 axis on one screen, including angles from rotary encoders.

    A bit more "tasteful" than the DRO Pros, which look like something you'd win in a ring toss at the county fair


    image.jpg image.jpg

    L-com Inc is a good source for cables, connectors and complete cable connector assemblies

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    If you read the post carefully, he documented that it was not temperature change that was responsible for the slow "shrink" that he saw in the length of the scale over a long period. The scale is constructed from a thin flexible polymer strip that has a pattern magnetised onto it. The strip is mounted to a thin (about 1mm x 10mm) stainless steel carrier, and the theory was that the carrier had residual stresses that were gradually relaxing, changing the length of the strip. The amount of motion was so large (0.014" = 0.355mm = 355 microns!) over 24" of travel that it was simple to measure (he made two sets of measurements, one using a set of grade 2 calibrated gage blocks and the second using a 24" scale that had recently been calibrated to 0.001".) As I recall the other two axes did not drift enough for him to measure it with the crude methods that he used.
    While all of this sounds plausible, I have no idea exactly how he mounted it, or if there was something about his shop in the way of interference, just not enough information. It does however present some actual fact on how it acted for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    I would be cautious here. The reputable manufacturers deliver their glass scales with individual calibration charts done on interferometers with traceable standards. So appearance may not be enough.
    Sure, but are you saying there are reputable manufacturers in China ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Alan, for the record I said, "you might be able to save a few hundred dollars by getting a system from Sino or another reputable Asian source."
    I didn't mean to put any words in your post, I should have pointed out that it was my conclusion. I don't think there are very many manufacturers in China, and believe that many of them get their scales from the same manufacturer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    In this application (Deckel FP1) the ACCURACY (difference between between the position reported by the scale and the actual position) is more important than the RESOLUTION (smallest unit of change reported by the scale/display combination), provided that the resolution is 5 microns (0.0002") or less. So you should worry about the accuracy of the scales, not just about the resolution.
    Sure, but the accuracy is in direct correlation to the resolution. Are you saying you believe that some scales are not able to transmit the signal fast enough to meet the stated resolution ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    I am going to be adding a DRO to my surface grinder in the future. Because it's such a messy location (flood coolant) I'd really like to use magnetic scales. The one that seems to offer the best compromise of accuracy and resolution is made by Newall, I just wish it wasn't so expensive.
    That is what I was comparing to. Would cost about $1600-$1800 for a Newall package.

    I'm willing to gamble and try this out. I'll let you know how it works out. If this doesn't work out I might end up going the Android tablet using an Arduino controller. I have some BBB Arduinos, and a bread board or two. I could wire up the controller pretty easily. There's a bluetooth controller available that allows you to plug/play with an Android tablet using TouchDRO. Not for everyone, but I've programmed Android and could do it for myself if I wanted. Usually better to have someone pay me to program for them though, I find that more profitable. It is what allows me to f#@$ around with machines in my garage...LOL

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    Hi Alan,

    Quote Originally Posted by traditional-tools View Post
    While all of this sounds plausible, I have no idea exactly how he mounted it, or if there was something about his shop in the way of interference, just not enough information.
    This is someone who does careful quality work. In his postings, he explains the care with which the scale mounting was done (and this is on the X-axis of a mill, not very difficult).

    Sure, but are you saying there are reputable manufacturers in China?
    Yes, absolutely. But there are others who will put lipstick on a pig and sell that to the unwary. Caveat Emptor.

    Sure, but the accuracy is in direct correlation to the resolution. Are you saying you believe that some scales are not able to transmit the signal fast enough to meet the stated resolution?
    Accuracy and resolution are distinct; it has nothing to do with transmission speed. You should clarify your thinking on this. Here are two exaggerated examples which I hope will help to explain it.

    (1) High accuracy, low resolution:
    Suppose you have a scale+DRO which reads inches like this: 0, 1, 2, and so on. So there is no decimal point and no fractional part. But it is exact, in the sense that it makes the transition from 0 to 1 EXACTLY one inch from the end. It makes the transition from 1 to 2 EXACTLY two inches from the end. And so on. This is a scale with high accuracy and low resolution.

    (2) Low accuracy, high resolution:
    Now suppose you have a scale+DRO which is off by an overall factor of two. So it reads 0.000 at the end, and one inch down the scale it reads 2.000", and two inches down the scale it reads 4.000", and so on. Suppose also that all three digits after the decimal point run uniformly through all the thousand variants from 000 to 999. So in other words as you move it from the end, the scale+DRO reads 0.000, then 0.001, then 0.002, and so on. This is a scale with terrible accuracy, but 0.001" resolution.

    Given your programming/electronics background, if you want to save money you could certainly set up an Android tablet with TouchDRO as the display. But the accuracy and resolution will depend on the scales, so IMO that is not a good place to scrimp.

    Cheers,
    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by whidbey View Post
    I put an Electronica DRO (ordered directly from the manufacturer in India rather than the US distributor)
    That's interesting, and I'll tell you why I think that. Electronica is evidently the company that came up with the magnetic scales, at least it seems that way for the DRO Pros setups. It is in fact the magnetic that is being questioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    This is someone who does careful quality work. In his postings, he explains the care with which the scale mounting was done (and this is on the X-axis of a mill, not very difficult).
    I believe you, but just trying to be realistic about it, I'm coming in after the fact and remember it happening, but can't remember exact details.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Yes, absolutely. But there are others who will put lipstick on a pig and sell that to the unwary. Caveat Emptor.
    Absolutely, I don't mean to say otherwise. I've tried to do a bit of home work, and would like to point out a few things.

    DRO Pros sells a lot of different model Easson displays and scales, but Easson only makes glass scales, AFAIK. As I point out above, I think the Electronika folks are the ones that came up with those. I found it interesting that those are possibly be done in India.

    I agree with you on Singer. In fact, if he says it works, I believe it would work. You know him better than anyone on this forum though.

    Singer actually appears to sell K+C in Germany, who appears to be the Easson distributer for Germany, possibly how DRO Pros appears in the U.S.

    It's all kind of grey, since I can only see what the sellers say and look at their 2-week old Chinese food.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Given your programming/electronics background, if you want to save money you could certainly set up an Android tablet with TouchDRO as the display. But the accuracy and resolution will depend on the scales, so IMO that is not a good place to scrimp.
    I agree. Not sure I want to be programming Android though, I'd rather have someone pay me to do it. LOL

    Now, I will post 3 pictures of DROs.

    Do you see any similarities ?

    The first image is From China. The second is from DRO Pros. The third is from K+C in Germany (Singer's Supplier). I think K+C might be the SINO distributer in Germany, maybe you bought your SINO from them.

    As best I can tell, all 3 of these are Easson built/badged. All 3 offer Easson GS10 (5 micron res) or GS11 (1 micron res).

    Care to guess on cost ?

    NOTE: In addition I found another unit that I believe is Easson built but unbadged, and it's even cheaper. The reason I believe that is the glass scaled are roller bearing based, rather than rub pads. The cheaper ones have gotten good reports and are offered in a cheaper package. Also, Singer includes a mount, AFAICT, which the others don't. Most of this is just speculation on my part, I have nothing to back up this conspiracy theory...

    EDIT: Also, should add, the ES-8, ES8A, and ES-10 all have a similar user interface, although all aren't entirely the same. But I will say that after living in Asia for 5 years, you NEVER know what you could get until you get it, even if the sample looks AWESOME!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails easson-es-17.jpg   easson-dro-pros.jpg   easson-singer-k-c.jpg  

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    Hah, I won't leave you hanging on price...

    So, I know nothing about this company other than other people online have bought from them with good transactions. This is actually the ad I saw that someone posted:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3-ax...556577283.html

    I first thought it was too good to be true, and maybe so, but others have gotten good product from the vendor.

    I believe that could be slightly cheaper Easson glass scales. The case looks slightly different. They are 1 micron also and they are roller bearing, and reports are they work well...I think they could be cheaper versions of the Eassons. In the end I decided to play it safer and go with the Easson GS11.

    Now, the ES-17 unit which is similar to Singer and DRO Pros is here: (same company)

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/EASS...002018631.html

    That kit is for 5 micron GS10 scales, but you can upgrade to 1 micron GS11 scales for $20/each. So, basically you get the better scales for the normal pricing, whatever that means...LOL

    That's also free shipping to the U.S.! I know, doesn't help you out. I don't get how China can do this...same thing for other small toollig, like a diamond nib I saw the other day, ships from china for a few bucks...but I digress.

    DRO Pros is $992 after upgrading to the 1 micron scales for what they call their DP3M, so it's basically $1,000.

    Singer's price to me without VAT is 1063 Euros, which translates to $1182 + whatever DHL costs. That's gonna be in the $1300 range, IMO.

    To be fair, the Easson from China would normally be $528 for me, if it wasn't on sale...(again whatever that means).

    It's twice as much to get it from DRO Pros and it's about 2-1/2 - 3 times to buy it from Singer. Singer doesn't include the 1 micron scales, I don't think. Not that they are needed, but when it's $20/scale, why not...Singer also includes a mount which is nice.


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