My Home Theater build progress

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jachin99
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My Home Theater build progress

Post by jachin99 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:10 pm

I'm in the middle of updating my media room and thought I would share some of the progress I have made lately. When I'm not around the forums I'm usually busy either painting a room somewhere, or progressing through the deforestation effort that is my back yard :D Either way, here are some pics of what I have done to the room itself so far. For the record I'm using the good 'ol room over the garage, like so many before me, for my media room. The pics are a kind of before and after. The room started out with a dated warm white color but I painted the ceiling pure white, and the walls a tan color called outter banks. This is a pic of about what it looked like when I got the house, and I'll post more as I progress.
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by jachin99 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:57 pm

Painted some trim this weekend
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IMG_20171118_140258.jpg

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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by jachin99 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:30 am

Its been a while since I have updated this. Since my last post, I changed my mind about the color, and bought new furniture. Here are some pretty close to done pics.
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by kgschlosser » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:55 pm

I do have to say i like the neons (or leds) under the sofas. looks great.

May i make a suggestion?


In a former life I used to work doing audio installations. I typically worked with things that had wheels which is more difficult then an open space.

I want to address the positioning of your sub woofers this is because of 2 reasons. 1 being the size of them and the second is because they are not down firing.

You migt want to give this a try. tho every installation is different I have never seen that specific placement to be an ideal location for subs. bass in not directional unlike it's counterpart. they dynamics of pressure buildup in a room, air pressure or total displacement of the volume of air inside the listening environment is bass. the movement of a subwoofer is in 2 directions in and out. now you have ported boxes and those port openings are on the same side of the subwoofer. which can be a good and a bad thing it all depends on how the box was built. i don't have my xray specs to see inside of it. but i can almost guarantee it is square inside and packed with dacron polyfill (pillow stuffing) the polyfill is used to slow air movement inside of the box. this "tricks" the subwoofer into thinking it is in a much larger enclosure. the issue with this is the air movement the pressures on the back side of the subwoofer compared to the front side are going to be unbalanced. this unbalance leads to decreased power handling (sound output) and noise. you can hear the subwoofer move. and depending on the port you may also get "port whistle" not really a whistle but you can hear the air moving across the edge of the port. if you move the subwoofer face to a distance of half the diameter of the subwoofer from a wall you will see a great improvement. so long as the subwoofer is half it's diameter in feet away from the listening position. This becomes even more ideal if the subwoofer can be placed in a corner of a room. the corners of a room is where the air pressure will tend to collect. this is where your bass will typically be loudest by placing it in a corner this is one less corner to have that is going to absorb that sound. not to mention that the corner acts like an amphitheater of sorts. it also lowers the chance of standing wave. or bounce back cancellation. No speaker should ever be pointed parallel to a wall. this includes the subwoofer. so when you point it put a slight angle to it. only a couple degrees is needed. the front and rear speakers should be in the area of 22 degrees. measure the distance from the listening position to the TV use this as a radius and draw an imaginary circle in the room. the tv being 0 degrees. place the front speakers at + 22 and - 22 and then point them directly at you. if you do not have an equal distance in front and in back. then shift the center of the circle twords the TV to place the rears.


This is a great starting point. You will want to adjust to accommodate for you specific speakers. but also for your ears. no 2 people hear the same thing and untimely you are the one that has to listen to it. But spend the time to adjust position and also the levels and cross overs for each speaker. and you may have one front louder then the other and the cross overs may be different because of how the room bounces the sound and absorbs the sound. a door on one side of the room and not on the other will cause a change. put the system in stereo and adjust the fronts. you should be able to sit in your favorite spot and not here a stereo separation unless the artist intended it to be so. so when they sing it should sound as tho they are standing right in front of you. You will need to close your eyes and focus on only the voice. One of the best songs to use is Hotel California by the Eagles.

Subwoofers ar the hardest speaker to get right. you have to play with position. phasing and crossover. but there is a sweet spot. and you will find it. it's usually in a crazy ass spot. You subwoofers do not have to be visible. if you have a coat closet in the room try putting them in there, it's kinda funny but the closet acts like an enclosure making the sound even louder while eliminating thing like the port whistle and the sound from the movement of the subwoofer. I have 2 sets of subs. one set i have the crossovers set much higher with a port tuning freq of close to 60 hz and they are in a false ceiling above my washing machine and dryer in my laundry closet. those are for your ears. then the second set are under the floor of the second row of seats firing into the backs of the first row of seats. the crossovers are set wayyy low. around 35 hz and the cabinets i built for them are oversized with a port tuning freq of 20 HZ. You are meant to feel these. on the second set the power handling is really low because of the "slop" you get with the oversized box and port.


I used to ask this question if i was building a custom enclosure for a subwoofer.. "Do you want your ass to shake, or your ears to hurt" the higher the tuning frequency of a subwoofer the higher it's actual volume (spl) is. more peak to peak cycles = more air displacement. and spl is all about displacement of air within the listening area.

back in the day (which was a Wednesday i think) I built the worlds loudest car. it held the record for just over 10 years. 10 15" subwoofers, 10 30 watt RMS modified (unregulated) amps, 16 1500 CCA dry cell batteries with such a low internal resistance that if dead shorted could discharge all of it's energy in under a second and that energy would be the sum of about 5000 amps each. 280 amp alternator with the voltage regulator bypassed. box was made from 1/4 inch plate steel all rammed into an early 80's Volkswagen Fox (Golf with 4 doors). time alignment to control when the subs fired to "push" the ball of pressurized air to where we wanted in the car. 169.9dB record was held through the 1990's. and yes i said 30 watt amps. this is 30 watts at 4 ohms. the amps were running at 1 ohm and were unregulated this meant higher power output. a lot higher somewhere in the realm of 1200 watts rms. Heat was the enemy so 2 10000 btu roll around AC's helped out. cold air is also denser allowing for a higher compression of the air. we would pipe the cold air into the car for an hour before we turned it on. one hour of AC for 5 seconds of sound. if we didn't do this voice coils would melt resulting in a seized sub. when the sub would seize the other 9 had so much force and pressure inside the enclosure it would literally eject the cone of the seized subwoofer out of it's basket.

Wow those were the days. a lot of memories. learned a whole lot also. I was really good at building systems for peoples cars, RV's, boats, bikes. then age struck. harder to twist and bend about inside of a car doing that every day does a number on the joints in a body. burnout for that job is typically under 4 years. i did that from 1992 to 6 years ago. still tinker a bit did a friends Yukon Denali. 6 4 tweet JL C7's for front staging. 8" JL w3 in the center console way up under th dash pointing at the firewall 2 6" JL w3's in the front doors with the 6" c7's, had to do some fabrication on the door and the center console, build boxes for the high freq subs in the doors and the mid basses and the low freq sub in the console. Fiberglass!!. kept the backs stock and added crossovers to them. just used them for rear fill. by-amped the c7's, 2 amps. a 6 channel and a 4 channel JL xd amps, high 90's for the efficiency. so they were a very small footprint amps with a low current draw (no light headlight dimming). put those in the center console. That was the last car i worked on. took me 2 weeks and everything could be removed from the car and it could be put back to stock with no visible modifications.


sorry about the rambling.. just brought back some memories.
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by kgschlosser » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:56 pm

Oh. one other thing. placement of everything might be better if you kept the TV in the location seen in the first pic. build a platform for the sofa and make 2 rows of seats. make the second row 14" higher if ceiling height permits. you want 80" clearance from the platform to the ceiling. this will allow for an un obstructed view of the screen from the second row. materials are cheap to build a platform. it can be done with 2x4's and 1/2" osb. be sure to frame the platform at 12" OC (On Center) and put supports in the center coming down from every other 2x4 to the floor. this also gives you a really nice spot to put the subs. right under the platform with openings pointing at the backs of the first row. (use screws so it can be taken apart). if you keep your eyes open at home depot. they have a "cull" lumber cart. or a discounted lumber cart.. you can get the 2x4's for a dollar each just make sure they aren't split. a twist is not a big deal. a banana on the narrow edge is no good can't be made straight easily. but if it's a 12 footer and only the last 1/3 rd of it is like that then there is still 8 feet usable.

you should be able to build the platform (no covering) for around 50 bucks.

96" platform 5 foot wide

5 2x4x8 for the joists - 5 dollars
4 2x8x8 for the back and sides - 8 dollars
1 2x6x8 front edge - 1.50
2 sheets 7/16 osb - 24.00
1 2x4x8 for the center supports - 1.00
build steps on either side out of any scraps.
griprite 1 5/8 deck screws 8 oz package - 3.00
griprite 2 1/2 deck screws 8 oz packages = 2 packages at 3.00 each 6.00

5 + 8 + 1.50 + 24 + 1 + 3.00 + 6.00 = 48.50 after average sales tax - 51.41.
having jealous neighbors because of the stadium seating in your home theater... priceless...LOL
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by kgschlosser » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:09 pm

I mucked up that supplies list.. you will need more 2x4's double the number of them for the joists. so it would be a few dollars more.


Here are some renderings of what i am talking about.

This also leaves a 1/4" space at the bottom for adding LED strip lights to light up the bottom of the platform if wanted. If you leave a space large enough to clear the carpet you can get a glow effect instead of possibly seeing the leds by mounting the leds further under.

platform_top.png
platform_bottom.png
I can provide a cut sheet if wanted. but this makes a 5 foot wide x 8 foot long free standing platform that would be able to support a massive amount of weight. the only thing I would add is blocking between the joists where the legs of the sofa are going to sit. since the location of the legs can vary i did not add them.

I will tell you this. by putting the subs under this platform the sound is going to get HUGE. because the platform is going to make a secondary enclosure. and because the enclosure is so large the bass is going to get real deep. it's the same reason as to why subs in a trunk are louder then subs sitting on the back seat. you decreased the volume of air surrounding the subs causing the percentage of air being displaced to increase dramatically thus giving you higher SPL. this also allows pressure to build up on both sides of the sub allowing a much higher amount of watts to be pumped in before the sub will reach either x-lim or x-max. x-lim = distance voice coil can travel before hitting the magnet and x-max is the distance the voice coil can travel before hitting the x-mech (mechanical limit, or the limit the suspension can move in an outward direction) a good sub design is going to have an x-mech that is 25% higher then the x-lim this is due to uneven pressures on either side of the sub poor box design and not pressure loading the front can cause a lower output. now we assume the box deign should be correct for the subwoofer from the manufacturer.. NOT!. so bring up the specs on the sub and check it out. usually the enclosure is to small and most times the port is also wrong. but because of the small enclosure you get high pressures in the enclosure if you dont try to balance the front you output is going to be limited to the x-max because the pressure is lower the sub is going to travel in that direction much easier for 2 reasons. + pressure in the cabinet pushing in that direction and the lack of compressible air on the front. want to test my theory. take some blocks of wood 3 pieces. put them on the floor. take the subwoofer cabinet and put it on the blocks of wood pointing the driver at the floor. be sure not to have anything that can hit the driver as it moves. I am not responsible for stupidity LOL. ideal is 3 - 5 " depending on the x-max. but typical driver movement is 1.5 to 2" peak to peak. so safe number is to say the cone can move that much in an outward direction as to be sure it is not going to hit anything. i usually shoot for 3" from the sub to the floor. You should notice an instant difference. If not move the sub to a different location in the room.

well My whole point to this is that all speakers work this way. and it can take weeks and weeks to find the "sweet spot" for everything in a home theater build. variations in dimensions, wall composition, wall density. ambient air density and humidity other materials in the room like floor coverings, sofas, pictures, hell even the number of layers of paint and if the walls are textured or not (texture is better). and the number of people will affect the sound. so you have to be extremely patient and keep on moving and changing until you find the ideal placement and settings for your room and more importantly for your ears.
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by jachin99 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:13 pm

Thanks for looking!! Yea, I was into car audio for a while up until a few years ago but then responsibilities got the better of it. I have a lot of old hobbies that have become toys in the attic. The one thing that can benefit everyone in some way or another is the theater room though. I still have an unfinished stereo in my car, and I'll have to share some pictures sometime. Those are nice drawings, and Its nice to know about discount lumber but I don't want to put too much money into the house I have now at the moment because I'll probably end up getting something a little better. I still have to remodel a few rooms, and paint about half of the place before that happens. I actually moved the subs to behind the couches some time ago. I didn't have cables long enough when I took that picture so that is where they had to be for the time being. I still have to mount my rear speakers on the wall, finish painting the room, install new light fixtures, (That yellow light looks weird to me in the picture) among other things. I would like some sconce lighting but I only have so much wall space, and those couches block almost the entire wall. 2 more of the walls have either a door or a window taking up most of them, and the one remaining wall is shown in the picture. It will be hard not to overdo everything. The weather is nice right now so my focus is on the yard, which is probably more work than anything else but in the fall/winter I'm hoping I feel better about painting things again (I have about 24 hours into painting the trim in my kitchen alone), and I'll probably start things back up. What is nice about this room is there is storage space behind the TV that I can run a few wires through. I can't put my gear in there right now though because I don't want to go into the attic everytime I need something but there is room for some stuff. Temperature is another concern as well.

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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by kgschlosser » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:03 am

well that i one of the nice things about that platform. If you wanted to you could take it with you it is not attached to the home. the one i did up is a whole curved design that winds it's way around my spiral staircase. It's all still a work in progress. I hope to be finishing it up soon enough. My media room is in what would be called a basement. but my basement isn't really a basement only 1/2 of it is underground. the other half is at ground level. I didn't want to have a door visible into the unfinished side of the basement so what I did was I engineered some moving walls that have book cases and art nooks built into them that I can move. I ended up getting sidetracked onto another project and the media room has been put on hold until i finish with the other project. I am hoping to get back to it soon.
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by kgschlosser » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:04 am

well that i one of the nice things about that platform. If you wanted to you could take it with you it is not attached to the home. the one i did up is a whole curved design that winds it's way around my spiral staircase. It's all still a work in progress. I hope to be finishing it up soon enough. My media room is in what would be called a basement. but my basement isn't really a basement only 1/2 of it is underground. the other half is at ground level. I didn't want to have a door visible into the unfinished side of the basement so what I did was I engineered some moving walls that have book cases and art nooks built into them that I can move. I ended up getting sidetracked onto another project and the media room has been put on hold until i finish with the other project. I am hoping to get back to it soon.

Also I have been meaning to ask. what brand are those subs?? they look like Infinity's
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by jachin99 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:04 pm

Sorry its been so long, I actually replied to this at one point but my phone dropped its connection before it posted. Those are polks, and I actually got them for about a hundred each on Amazon. Either way, I got a few more things done so I figured I would put up some more pictures. I wanted some flexibility in terms of where I would mount the rear speakers so I thought I would try some drywall anchors, and they actually turned out really well. I have the rear speakers mounted directly to 1/2 inch drywall!! Here are some pics. I still need to hide the wires, and i haven't decided on weather to get a rug, or try to run them through the walls. I don't know if I can run them correctly without taking out some drywall in a closet that isn't shown in the pictures.
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by kgschlosser » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:14 am

ok so i am going to give you a really nice tip on running wires..


depending on where things are in your room and how much wire you have available to you depends o what you will need to do.

if you can only make a line of sight run with the wire you will need to roll back your carpet. take a marker and draw a line from where you amp/avr is to the speaker on the carpet padding. take a staple gun and put staples on either side of the line the length of the line. leaving enough room between the staples on either side of the line to fit the wire.

next take a razor knife and cut the padding you want to take out a strip of the padding that is wide enough to fit your wire in. the purpose to the staples is to hold the padding while you are cutting and also to hold the padding once you roll the carpet back over it.

if you have enough wire to go around the room this is the best way. roll the carpet back along the edge of the room. take a screw driver and pry up the nail strip. carefully so you can reuse it. you are going to want to put it back down leaving a larger space between the strip and the wall. this is going to give you a place to tuck the wires into.

If you have to cross a doorway this gets tricky. what you need to do is nail down the carpet on either side of the doorway. roofing nails work best. nail right through the carpet. locate yourself a wire coat hanger you can slide it under the carpet from either side of the door. you need to make sure the coat hanger is between the nails. it may help if you can roll the carpet back a bit at the wall. once you have the hanger through you will make a small hook on one side. you are going to try and snag the carpet padding to yank it out. the more nails you put the better this is going to work. the nails end up perforating the padding so ti will rip evenly. This is going to take some time to do. you never want to try and pick the carpet up at a doorway because 100% of the time it is seamed there. so do not even try chances are the seam will come apart.

as for the walls. go and get yourself some box eliminators. these are in the "networking" section of home depot in the electrical department. also grab a keystone jack faceplate and some binding posts. sometimes they have the plates with the posts already on it. also grab a package of or 3 foot long sipties. they should be right behind you if you are looking at the networking crap at home depot. in that same spot where the zipties are there will also be the electrical tape. you have to get 3M super33+ it is expensive at 5 bucks a roll but once you use it you will understand why. It will also becoemes the only electrical tape you will ever purchase/use.

once you have the box eliminator lay it against the wall and trace the inside of the opening. using a sheetrock saw or a sawzall blade (not on the saw) cut the sheetrock.

depending on if you have small hands or not you may need the help of a kid or the Mrs. directly below where you cut the opening you should have some baseboard molding. you are going to need to remove this. measure up from the floor (carpeting rolled back and nail strip removed) 1.5" make a mark. just above that mark take a small drill bit and drill a hole and see if you hit the bottom plate of the wall. most times the bottom plate is a single 2x4 this is how we check. if the drill does not hit any framing awesome. if it does then pick up your baseboard molding and measure the width of it. if it is not wider then 2.75" then you will have to do a little bit of patching. if it is then measuer up from the last mark another 1.5" and drill a hole..

yes yes i know 2.75 is not 1.5+1.5. the molding does not sit directly on the sub floor either :D

once through you will take 2 of those large zip ties. cut the large end off of each of them. tape them together to make them longer stretch the tape when putting it on. then tape the end of the wire to the opposite end you are going to stick up the wall. drill out that hole you made at the bottom of the wall with a large enough drill bit to fit the wire and zip tie. then stuff that bugger up the wall. using your small hands or someone elses small hands or something to grab the zip tie you will be able to pull the wire up the wall. this also work if the wall is insulated. it does require a little patience if you get the ziptie between the insulation and the interior wall it will slide up between them because the insulation is paper backed.

there is going to be a strip of sheetrock between the floor an where you drilled the hole. using a razor cut his bit out so the wire can lay into it so you can put the molding back on nice and flush with the wall. adjust the opening side for the box eliminator. put it in bend the tabs. attach the wires to the wall plate. screw the wall plate into place.

It is a very easy process to do. and you will have no lumps in your carpet you might have a really really tiny amount of patchwork on the walls at the bottom. but that is so rare to have to do.

One thing that can happen. if there is blocking between the studs in the wall it is not going to let you push a wire up. i think home depot has these tho i am not 100% sure. I own one and it has saved me a whole lot of my hair. it should also be in the electrical section. it is a 3 foot long drill bit. look around the same area for a bent piece of metal that looks like an L and one end will have a hook and the other a handle. this is used to slide down that drill bit so you can bend it in an arc. you will need to feed this down through the opening for the box eliminator. using the handle to bend the shaft on the drill bit so it doesn't mess up your wall. you will be able to get this thing to go right down the wall. I have used this to drill between floors. it makes a pretty good sized hole and with some fiddling you can get that zip tie to go through the hole in the blocking. it's a real pain in the ass. but it beats ripping down sheetrock and mussing the wall sanding and painting.

I forgot to say remove the nails in the doorway when you are done!
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by kgschlosser » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:19 am

i believe i posted some photos of my speaker stands also. i built mine. no one made any that could hold 80 lbs 3 feet off the floor and 6" off the wall and have a 12" offset where it screwed to the wall from where the speaker was going to sit. all of this without any of the stand showing. and without having the speaker attached to the stand either.
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by jachin99 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 am

So I FINALLY got around to painting the windows (Along with a few other things around the house), and hanging curtains. I'll have likely have to try running those wires under the carpet at some point but I think I have decided I want to install a gear rack on the back wall between those couches. I figured a 26" by 5' rack should do the trick but this will be my first go at wood working since my last sub box, and that was a LONG time ago. I also haven't attempted any kind of work like that on the house so hopefully it won't be too interesting. Either way here are some pics, and please forgive the curtains because I still have to iron them. I also built a new PC just for this room, and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with Soundgraph display. It hasn't been supported in quite a while but I found an old EG plugin for it. Right now I have a combination of Soundgraph's IMON, and FrontView+ driving the display.

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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by kgschlosser » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:44 am

That was a very expensive case back in the day. does that one display the full windows desktop???

I am going to have a look see at it. I bet I can find some kind of an API for it.

BUT!!

If it does display the windows desktop. you may be interested in a plugin i once made. It is called On Screen Multi Menu it was one of my first plugins so I am sure It can be improved upon a vast amount.. But it provides a nice scrolling nested menu that might be something easier to use to operate from the display. if produces events when a menu item is clicked.
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Re: My Home Theater build progress

Post by jachin99 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:12 am

The screen actually just appears as a second monitor without an application to control but I'm not sure if it HAS to mirror the primary display. There is a small box in the case that I think has something to do with controlling the screen, and if I remember correctly I had to hook up a USB header to the MOBO and 2 pin Molex power cable for the screen. It is a touch screen but to be honest, I don't plan on installing my gear anywhere that is convenient to use the touchscreen. I was hoping more for a second screen experience. I tried the EG plugin for this but I don't believe its compatible with newer versions. The hardest part of this whole thing is finding one application to run on the screen that adds useful information.

The soundgraph application displays things like an email feed, CPU usage, weather, and RSS feeds when I'm using the desktop. After I start WMC, a page is displayed on the screen that tells me which page of WMC I'm on, and displays the title of the currently running program, along with a graphic equalizer BUT no coverart. There is also a bug in the application where if I view live TV, the EQ won't start working again until I exit, and restart WMC. They didn't really update it much after Vista.

Frontview+ does display cover art but it only works for emby & kodi, which means unless I'm viewing files on WMC from my emby server, Frontview+ doesn't show anything. I can't display the frontview & soundgraph applications on the screen at the same time, and I have yet to work out the kinks with frontview & emby.

I think Ideally I would like to combine the two where the graphical elements match WMC, the EQ works for music, and I get coverart or fanart for movies and recorded TV, and tracknames and channel logos for live TV. I'm sure eventghost can help out quite a bit with that.

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