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Old 12-04-2017, 01:01 PM   #1
Lakemamma
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Default Drone Question

My son wants a drone for Christmas. Could you give me some pointers when looking for one. It doesn’t have to be top notch. What do you have to do to register it also?

Thanks!!
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
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Default A general question about drones...

I was in a gold rush era town in the Sierras recently and saw a drone hovering, and I assume videoing, the main street. I thought "How cool" but then thought, you do it once, do you have a desire to fly the same route and video it again? Or does the novelty wear off fast? Seems a year ago there was a drone mania that appears to have cooled especially now that there are so many restrictions on flying them.

I recently saw a drone hovering outside my kitchen window in SF. To satisfy my curiosity I called my local PD to find out what their position is on this and was surprised at how serious this officer took this. He wanted (almost demanded) I tell him who was flying it and said they take this very, very (two verys!!) seriously. I knew which neighbor it was and had a private conversation with him and told the officer if it happens again, I would divulge the name. Hasn't happened again.

I have thought seriously of getting one, but changed my mind after realizing how quickly I think the initial fun would fade. I know there are drone owners who frequent The Winni Forum and would like to hear about their current enthusiasm level...Still there? Or has it faded? Where do you fly them?
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
I was in a gold rush era town in the Sierras recently and saw a drone hovering, and I assume videoing, the main street. I thought "How cool" but then thought, you do it once, do you have a desire to fly the same route and video it again? Or does the novelty wear off fast? Seems a year ago there was a drone mania that appears to have cooled especially now that there are so many restrictions on flying them.

I recently saw a drone hovering outside my kitchen window in SF. To satisfy my curiosity I called my local PD to find out what their position is on this and was surprised at how serious this officer took this. He wanted (almost demanded) I tell him who was flying it and said they take this very, very (two verys!!) seriously. I knew which neighbor it was and had a private conversation with him and told the officer if it happens again, I would divulge the name. Hasn't happened again.

I have thought seriously of getting one, but changed my mind after realizing how quickly I think the initial fun would fade. I know there are drone owners who frequent The Winni Forum and would like to hear about their current enthusiasm level...Still there? Or has it faded? Where do you fly them?
I have just over 200 hours of in air flight time on my drone. To me it’s like photography, I can take the “same” photo from the same spot at sunrise everyday but that doesn’t make it really the same photo. Some are better or worse than others and you never know until it’s in the air!
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:32 AM   #4
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Default Drones

I have noticed an unfair perception of Drone owners. People are attracted to them and ask a lot of questions about them and then insult you with a comment like you must fly over skylights and take pictures. Other than that a lot of fun even if you don`t use photography option.
Best places to fly is over open fields,water away from trees and power lines.
The options that come with them are amazing. Return home feature if your battery gets low or you fly out of range,lose signal or just lose sight of it. Also has a follow me option if your out on the boat and you want to film your boat trip,water skiing etc.
There are toys that wont last or don`t have those features
An older model can be had for $300 and is all you would want for a beginner
Biggest restrictions are flying within 5 Miles of an airport,flying over stadiums etc
You must register your drone which is also like a license to fly.
I`m sure the boo birds will come out in force so "Ignore the noise" and have fun
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:28 AM   #5
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Lakemamma - to answer the original questions:

- I am sure for some the initial rush will fade but for others it doesn't seem to. This (as mentioned above) depends I guess on what the primary purpose for use is -- I, like Winnisquamer, like it for the photography/ video -- with a drone you are talking about perspectives that, short of a helicopter ride, can never be captured.

As far as durable, good quality units, as t a reasonable price -- try the DJI Phantom 3 (no pun intended). I believe package sets with spare battery (essential), case, etc are now in the $700 range via Amazon. There are higher & lower grades of DJI as well and I am sure others will chime in with other brand names also.

Yes you need a "license" but in my humble opinion that is simply the government getting their piece of the action. It is a very simple $5 transaction that you do by mail or online ( instructions typically are in the box)--- you will get a small "certificate" and you are suppose to place the numbers assigned on your drone ( I used a Brother P-Touch).

As far as flying near airports -- you are (required) to notify the Airport Manager prior to flight within 5 miles as others say -- if you are on winni, this is not such a big deal as there is an App (called AirMap) which can be used to electronically file with some airports -- KLCI (Laconia) is one of them. I did have some initial issues with the App communicating with Laconia, but after a trip to the airport and some fiddling with App setting got it squared away.

Regarding other aiports, my son also has a drone and lives & fly's within the Hanscom 5 mile zone. He calls over each time - notifies - and has never been turned down.

Flying etiquette: This is a whole different issue and one that gives Drone owners the "black eye" --- as with boating, there is always a couple of Bone-heads that wreck it for majority. Simple rules are -- Fly SMART ! - don't "buzz" crowds, - don't be a "Peeping Tom" - use common courtesy !


Feel free to message me if you need more


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Old 12-05-2017, 08:57 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Some more drone considerations....

Like Winnisquammer, I have a significant amount of time flying my DJI Mavic Pro over a lot of different parts of the seacoast and the lakes region. I primarily fly to take pictures, some video and just for the fun of it.

Couple of quick notes: You DO NOT currently need to register a recreational drone. The FAA had originally required registrations, but rescinded that when challenged on the legality of their requirement. You can still "voluntarily" register your drone with the FAA for $5.00, which I did.

The regulations you need to abide by in NH are FAA regulations pertaining to drone operation. NH has failed twice to pass statewide laws on drones. Across the country there are some states and localities that have passed drone regulations, but many are being challenged as their is a debate as to who has control of the skies (FAA versus localities).

As a "beginner" I went with a new DJI product as it could be switched from a training mode to professional mode via software. As suggested above, I would look for a used DJI device in the 3 to 500 range. If your son is really serious about learning to fly one, nothing can be more disappointing than buying a toy grade device.

With all that said, here are some basic rules:

Do not fly at night (without an FAA waiver) aka 1/2 after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.

If you have an Apple or Android device have him download any number of free apps that immediately identify the airspace you are in, what restrictions are in place and usually phone numbers of nearby towers that need notification.

Do not fly above 400' (or 400' above a stationary object.

Keep the device in sight at all times. If flying over other properties try to keep the device as high (under 400) as possible to mitigate privacy concerns. Once I'm above 150' most people aren't even aware of the drone's presence. Keep it moving, don't linger over someone else's property unless asked by the property owner!

Want to take the plunge and get a professional (above $1000+) model that will last for years, be easy to train on and can has multiple camera, flight and safety features? Call your local agent or I recommend State Farm. They insured my whole package including loss and personal or property damage to others with no deductible at a minimal $75 annually! I highly suggest that anyone flying a drone off their own property get insured....

Finally, your son should consider obtaining an FAA part 107 license. I am scheduled to take my test later this month. While not currently required to fly recreationally, it is a great learning tool to study and pass this exam. Virtually all study materials are free and available online (Google "drone license" or "FAA Part 107 License").

You will read much misinformation on-line about what you can and can't do with a drone. By simply studying for this license your son will quickly learn the facts, and be a much safer (and educated) pilot!

Good luck...it would be a great gift that I'm sure would give him many years of enjoyment!

Skip
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip View Post
You DO NOT currently need to register a recreational drone. The FAA had originally required registrations, but rescinded that when challenged on the legality of their requirement. You can still "voluntarily" register your drone with the FAA for $5.00, which I did.
Hi Skip;

Can you tell me when the registration requirement was rescinded?

Thanks!

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Old 12-05-2017, 09:16 AM   #8
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I have a Yuneec Q500 and couldn't be happier. Easy to fly, 4K camera takes amazing pictures and videos.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:28 AM   #9
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Post DC Court of Appeals rescinds registration regs

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Originally Posted by ishoot308 View Post
Hi Skip;

Can you tell me when the registration requirement was rescinded?

Thanks!

Dan
Hi Dan,

It was ruled invalid by the DC Court of Appeals on May 19th of this year after challenged by a private citizen. It was under constant criticism by the members of the model airplane community since established. My understanding is the FAA is slowly working its way through the proper legislative process. Expect mandatory registration to become law sometime (probably) next year. I also expect that sometime in the not too distant future, that there may also be some type of licensing component for devices above .55 lbs.

I have attached the pertinent case.

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File Type: pdf 15-1495-1675918.pdf (163.6 KB, 68 views)
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:30 AM   #10
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Hi Skip;

Can you tell me when the registration requirement was rescinded?

Thanks!

Dan
Dan, a quick Google search brought up this article from Popular Science. Looks like it was in May 2017.

https://www.popsci.com/court-overtur...e-registration

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Old 12-05-2017, 09:33 AM   #11
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Dan, a quick Google search brought up this article from Popular Science. Looks like it was in May 2017.

https://www.popsci.com/court-overtur...e-registration

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Thanks Dave!

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Old 12-05-2017, 10:28 AM   #12
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Checkout the "refurb" page on the DJI Website.
They sell the Phantom 3 for $399 and the Mavic Pro for $799 (free shipping + no tax. full warranty).
The DJI refurbs are available on Amazon as well.

https://store.dji.com/refurbished

Mark

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Old 12-05-2017, 10:35 AM   #13
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Default Some good info here...

Thanks all...

What are the restrictions about flying in a city? Can I fly one down Commonwealth Ave in Boston?
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:47 AM   #14
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Default Use a free airspace App to get details....

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Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
Thanks all...

What are the restrictions about flying in a city? Can I fly one down Commonwealth Ave in Boston?
If this is a serious question then I suggest you search and add any one of a number of free apps, including an FCC app, that identifies the location you want to fly in and the restrictions in place. For Commonwealth Avenue in Boston there are over 300 advisories (depending on where on Commonwealth you are) and at least 25 restricted areas. In some cases, if you have a Part 107 license, you can seek a waiver even over a restricted space.

It took less than a minute with the AIRMAP app to garner that critical information.

My advice? Do not attempt to fly in a city, any crowded area, or near any common sense sensitive area unless you understand regulations that pertain to both the licensed and unlicensed operator, and have consulted any number of free sources that delineate regulated airspace.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:04 AM   #15
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Default Last week a guy was arrested...

For flying a drone over the 49r's game and then an hour later, over the Raiders game. Not sure how they found him. Some potential scary stuff...Yes, my question about flying over Comm Ave. was a serious one.

There's a drone race on TV that I've seen a few times with total amazement. Very talented pilots.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
For flying a drone over the 49r's game and then an hour later, over the Raiders game. Not sure how they found him. Some potential scary stuff...Yes, my question about flying over Comm Ave. was a serious one.

There's a drone race on TV that I've seen a few times with total amazement. Very talented pilots.
He was located by utilizing a number of high resolution security cameras that ring the stadium. Because of signal interference near the stadium, do to the spectrum in use, he was fairly close to the event and easily identified.

Again, there are FAA regulations (and APP would have shown those restrictions) that prevented his flight (without a waiver) and the authorities responded quickly and made a swift arrest. Great job by the local authorities!

As with anything is life, there are people that will abuse this technology. But given that it is estimated that there are well in excess of 7 million drones flying in the US, as always the very few violators get way too much exposure by an audience seeking media....
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:11 AM   #17
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garysanfran -- your question regarding Comm Ave ......

You will be within "Restricted" airspace of Logan -- for that one, I doubt seriously that you will get a waiver !


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Old 12-06-2017, 08:57 AM   #18
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I bought my DJI Mavic Pro in September and I can’t tell you how much fun it has been to fly. It’s so easy as well. If you go with a toy brand you will crash it. My friend bought a $125 toy drone for her 11yo son and he immediately,”Lost it”. I figured he crashed it and couldn’t bear to tell his Mom. If you’re gonna buy one, go with a higher quality one with a lot of safe features (gps, return to Home on low battery etc). Buying used is a great idea to save money. Also a lot of good advice about apps on where to fly, checking in with control towers, fly under 400’ etc and I totally agree with what has been said previously. Fly responsibly and you’ll be fine and have a lot of fun.

The following is a picture of teachers and kids at North School in Londonderry making a “50” in honor of the school’s 50 year anniversary. The principal called me up and asked me if I would do it so of course I did. I also saw on my app I was just outside of the 5 mile limit of Manchester Airport but I called the tower anyway and informed them I’d be flying under 200’ for 15 min and they were very appreciative and approved it. Have fun!Name:  DJI_0044.JPG
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:28 AM   #19
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garysanfran -- your question regarding Comm Ave ......

You will be within "Restricted" airspace of Logan -- for that one, I doubt seriously that you will get a waiver !


.
You won’t get a waiver. It’s “almost” impossible to get a response or waiver from Logan airport.. I’ve tried numerous times, even having the 107 Cert, and working for the FAA I have been denied or just never heard back.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:02 AM   #20
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Default I think this is reslly cool..

Quote:
Originally Posted by goutes23 View Post
I bought my DJI Mavic Pro in September and I can’t tell you how much fun it has been to fly. It’s so easy as well. If you go with a toy brand you will crash it. My friend bought a $125 toy drone for her 11yo son and he immediately,”Lost it”. I figured he crashed it and couldn’t bear to tell his Mom. If you’re gonna buy one, go with a higher quality one with a lot of safe features (gps, return to Home on low battery etc). Buying used is a great idea to save money. Also a lot of good advice about apps on where to fly, checking in with control towers, fly under 400’ etc and I totally agree with what has been said previously. Fly responsibly and you’ll be fine and have a lot of fun.

The following is a picture of teachers and kids at North School in Londonderry making a “50” in honor of the school’s 50 year anniversary. The principal called me up and asked me if I would do it so of course I did. I also saw on my app I was just outside of the 5 mile limit of Manchester Airport but I called the tower anyway and informed them I’d be flying under 200’ for 15 min and they were very appreciative and approved it. Have fun!Attachment 13458
Modern day memories for young people. I hope each kid frames a copy.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:13 PM   #21
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Thank you so very much for all the info. What a big help. My old addadge is you get for what you pay for, with that being said I was definitely thinking not to cheap like a toy model.

Never having a drone I wanted to make sure I had all the correct information before even looking at one of those. He loves to take pictures and wants to get pictures of the loons and our boat so he wouldn’t be doing crazy things with it. Plus his friend lives on 110 aces so they would use it there.

I definitely will be DM more of you and again appreciate all of your help....
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:25 AM   #22
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Dan, a quick Google search brought up this article from Popular Science. Looks like it was in May 2017.

https://www.popsci.com/court-overtur...e-registration

Dave

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See link below, this may be back as a requirement again. I recently received a notice from the AMA that some recent legislation turned it on again. I didn't pay full attention as I am already registered.

http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/ama...vember-9-2017/
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:35 AM   #23
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Default Phantom 3 Standard

This is for sale on Amazon for 499.00 and at B&H Photo for 409.00.

Has all the features a kid would need. There are tons of YouTube videos on how to use.

This is a terrific drone. The 100 dollar ones are too hard to fly.

IG
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:01 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
See link below, this may be back as a requirement again. I recently received a notice from the AMA that some recent legislation turned it on again. I didn't pay full attention as I am already registered.

http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/ama...vember-9-2017/
Here's a link to the status. On its way to the President's desk.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115

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Old 12-07-2017, 11:02 AM   #25
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The DJI Phantom line of drone's are excellent with tons of safety features and very very easy to fly. I have the Phantom 3 advanced. The only thing I did not like is the updating required and other necessary downloads is not very user friendly especially if you are computer challenged like me!

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Old 12-07-2017, 11:59 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Girl View Post
This is for sale on Amazon for 499.00 and at B&H Photo for 409.00.

Has all the features a kid would need. There are tons of YouTube videos on how to use.

This is a terrific drone. The 100 dollar ones are too hard to fly.

IG
Better read the fine print.
The B&H price of $409 does not include the remote control or battery charger.

"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away" - Tom Waits
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:56 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
I was in a gold rush era town in the Sierras recently and saw a drone hovering, and I assume videoing, the main street. I thought "How cool" but then thought, you do it once, do you have a desire to fly the same route and video it again? Or does the novelty wear off fast? Seems a year ago there was a drone mania that appears to have cooled especially now that there are so many restrictions on flying them. I recently saw a drone hovering outside my kitchen window in SF. To satisfy my curiosity I called my local PD to find out what their position is on this and was surprised at how serious this officer took this. He wanted (almost demanded) I tell him who was flying it and said they take this very, very (two verys!!) seriously. I knew which neighbor it was and had a private conversation with him and told the officer if it happens again, I would divulge the name. Hasn't happened again. I have thought seriously of getting one, but changed my mind after realizing how quickly I think the initial fun would fade. I know there are drone owners who frequent The Winni Forum and would like to hear about their current enthusiasm level...Still there? Or has it faded? Where do you fly them?
A "suggestion" from the FAA—I'm just the messenger...

Quote:
Seeking to boost "public awareness" of legal small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) operations, the U.S. FAA is urging sUAS pilots to wear reflective safety vests when flying their aircraft. "By taking this simple action, sUAS [pilots] can demonstrate that they are accepting responsibility for the activity and that they are intending to operate in a safe and compliant manner," the FAA said in a newly released safety information for operators bulletin.
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n...ots-wear-vests
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:47 PM   #28
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In addition to wearing a safety reflective vest with the words 'drone pilot' front and rear, wearing a similar style helmet could be effective. Just picture a bright fluorescent yellow or orange helmet with a propeller attached to the top, and the word 'drone head' on the helmet.

Now, that would be tough to miss?
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Old Yesterday, 09:00 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by upthesaukee View Post
Here's a link to the status. On its way to the President's desk.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115

Dave
I received a notice that the Pres signed this bill, so now you have to register your drone again!

See this link for info:

http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/faa-uas-faq.aspx
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Old Yesterday, 09:05 PM   #30
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Thanks, Rich. Interesting article.

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