Machine photos? Scroll down, or click the ‘Tattoo Machines’ category on the left and then scroll down. Ugly Bill is currently concentrating on tattooing for winter 2013-14. He’ll be making only a few machines this winter, and working on building a 2nd workshop in Kansas City, where he currently tattoos full time. With two workshops in both San Diego and Kansas City, he’ll never have to be away from building machines. To contact Ugly Bill, email director@specialtechnique.net.

If you need customer service from Brian Campbell, email him at briancampbell.mail@gmail.com.

Special Technique is an artist collective. We have many projects including music, garments, spiritual pursuits,and of course the crafting of mechanical devices. Check out our music/dj pages for cutting-edge beats, and visit ourMagic section for natural health solutions.

Thanks to all our supporters.


RCA Copper Direct Rotary by Special Technique

This Copper Direct Rotary with RCA connection by Special Technique features a 3.5mm stroke, and a motor and flywheel from our friend Dan Kubin in Kansas City. See Dan’s machines at www.dankubin.com. The motor and flywheel are easy to replace, and Dan has an archive of them for future needs.

This machine is priced at $200 shipped. Make it yours here. Pros in shops only please.



The Last Slingshot Version 3 Rotary by Special Technique

This is the last Slingshot V3 we’re going to make. We’ve been saving the body of this machine in the archives, and decided to build it up. The stroke on this machine is around 3.5mm, and it has a medium to soft hit. You can do most tattoo tasks with this machine in between 4-6 volts. The motor is easy to obtain and replace, and the crank/drivebar can be replaced through Workhorse Irons. The body is cnc machined in San Diego from Delrin, and the tube vise is cnc machined by Workhorse. The armature and copper-layered brass binders are hand made in our San Diego Workshop.

The last Slingshot Version 3 is SOLD.

SlingshotV3Last02 SlingshotV3Last03






Slingshot Rotary Version 4 – Reversible! By Special Technique

The new Slingshot Rotary Version 4 by Special Technique is finally here. We’ve built the first two. These machines are quite solid and heavy for a rotary, and nearly silent. They are powered by a Maxon Swiss motor and run at 6-8 volts. The Slingshot Version 4 can be built in two styles. We’ll be shipping future models with armature setups for both styles – all purpose machine or color packer/whip shader.
Both Styles of Slingshot Version 4

The first build has a 3.5mm stroke and the Special Technique/Workhorse Irons armature setup. This version has slight dampening in the mechanism and a medium-to-hard hit, which will make it great for most tattoo tasks. The clipcord binders are on the rear of the machine. This machine is SOLD.
Slingshot Version 4 Axis

The second machine in this series is set up like a normal armature rotary, and has a giant 4.5mm stroke with no dampening. The clipcord binders are on the side of the machine and vary close to the tattoo tube, which will put the weight of the clipcord closer to the tattooist’s hand. This second build will be awesome for packing color and whip shading. The long stroke version of the Slingshot Version 4 is priced at $425. Make it yours here.
Slingshot Version 4 Color Packer


Pro tattooists in shops only please.


Copper Direct Rotary 2013 by Special Technique

This Copper Direct rotary by Special Technique features a 3.5mm stroke, and a motor and flywheel from our friend Dan Kubin in Kansas city. See Dan’s work at www.DanKubin.com. This Copper Direct has brass clipcord contacts layered in copper, a door latch, a cnc machined tube vise from Workhorse Irons, and a hand lathed aluminum back door on the motor housing. This machine is priced at $275.00 shipped. Buy it here.

Copper Direct Rotary 2013

Copper Direct Rotary 2013

Copper Direct Rotary 2013


Broken Arm Project – Direct Rotary by Special Technique

The Broken Arm Project direct-rotary by Special Technique is constructed from brass and copper stock, and a clamp for holding pins in place in my old roommate’s arm. She fell of her motorcycle and had quite a bit of reconstruction and therapy for her broken arm. During her healing she had pins sticking out of her arm and this crazy stabilizer arrangement holding the pins in place. When she got the pins removed, the hospital sterilized the clamps and gave them to her. I inherited one of them and made this machine from it. The clamp/tube vise is made from some high tech alloy that’s extremely hard to work with – I dulled two hacksaw blades and broke my 8-32 tap on it. The motor and flywheel are from our friend Dan Kubin in Kansas City, and there’s a one pound coin and a few bits from an old clock. This machine has a 3mm stroke and is perfect for color packing. The Broken Arm Project direct-rotary is priced at $400. Make it yours here.

Broken Arm Project Direct-Rotary by Special Technique

Broken Arm Project Direct-Rotary by Special Technique

Broken Arm Project Direct-Rotary by Special Technique


Steampunk Merkaba Pendant by Special Technique

The Steampunk Merkaba Pendant by Special Technique is a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art made from brass and copper. The six pointed star shape represents the Merkaba or Metatron’s cube – one of the fundamental shapes found everywhere in nature. The six points are tattoo machine hardware from Workhorse Irons, the gear is from an old clock, and the red material for the gem is auto tail light material. There is no glue on this piece – it’s entirely brazed together so it will last forever. The ring to hold it on a chain is made from a tattoo needle bar. It took quite a bit of work to get all the brazing right. It’s strong and built to last forever. This pendant is SOLD.
Steampunk Merkaba Pendant by Special Technique

Steampunk Merkaba Pendant by Special Technique

Steampunk Merkaba Pendant by Special Technique


Holy Silver!

This info was on someone else’s blog. Then someone else removed the info after being hassled by the FDA. I was lucky enough to grab it and pass it on to you before that happened. They got hassled because they sell a colloidal silver maker, and also had medical info on the same site where the silver maker was sold. I guess this is forbidden by the FDA.

What is silver water or colloidal silver?

Colloidal Silver is a solution of extremely fine sub microscopic particles (.015 – .005 microns) of pure silver suspended in water by a positive electric charge on each particle. The particles remain suspended throughout the solution because these positive charged particles repel each other with a greater force than gravity can exert upon. A powerful germicidal, silver is an exceptional metal in that it is non-toxic to the human body, but lethal to over 650 disease causing bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and molds; while conventional pharmaceutical antibiotics are typically effective against only 6 or 7 types of bacteria. Some new strains of bacteria classified as MDR (Multiple Drug Resistant) have proven to be resistant to all pharmaceutical antibiotics, but not to colloidal silver due to different germicidal mechanisms of deactivation.

How does colloidal silver work?

Richard Davies and Samuel Etris of The Silver Institute, in a 1996 monograph entitled The Development and Functions of Silver in Water Purification and Disease Control, discuss three mechanisms of deactivation that silver utilizes to incapacitate disease causing organisms. They are Catalytic Oxidation, Reaction with Cell Membranes, and Binding with the DNA of disease organisms to prevent unwinding.

Catalytic Oxidation:

Silver, in its atomic state, has the capacity to absorb oxygen and act as a catalyst to bring about oxidation. Atomic (nascent) oxygen absorbed onto the surface of silver ions in solution will readily react with the sulfhydryl (-S-H) groups surrounding the surface of bacteria or viruses to remove the hydrogen atoms (as water), causing the sulfur atoms to form an R-S-S-R bond; blocking respiration and causing the bacteria to expire. Employing a simple catalytic reduction/oxidation reaction, colloidal silver will react with any negative charge presented by the organism’s transport or membrane proteins and deactivate them.

Reaction with Bacterial Cell Membranes:

There is evidence that silver ions attach to membrane surface radicals of bacteria, impairing cell respiration and blocking its energy transfer system. One explanation is based on the nature of enzyme construction: Specific enzymes are required for a given biochemical activity to take place. Enzyme molecules usually require a specific metallic atom as part of the molecular matrix in order to function. A metal of higher valance can replace a metal of lower valance in the enzyme complex, preventing the enzyme from functioning normally. Silver, with a valance of plus 2, can replace many metals with a lower, or equal valance that exhibit weaker atomic bonding properties.

Binding with DNA:

Studies by C.L. Fox and S.M. Modak with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a tenacious bacteria that is difficult to treat, demonstrated that as much as 12% of silver is taken up by the organism’s DNA. While it remains unclear exactly how the silver binds to the DNA without destroying the hydrogen bonds holding the lattice together, it nevertheless prevents the DNA from unwinding, an essential step for cellular replication to occur.

How should one use colloidal silver?

Colloidal Silver may be taken orally or topically; applied directly to the skin. It can be used vaginally, anally, atomized or inhaled into the nose or lungs, and dropped into eyes. Liquid silver as well as new gel formulations, may be applied directly to the skin. A few drops on a Q-Tip or Band-Aid may be used to disinfect any wound or sore. Properly prepared, colloidal silver can also be injected into a muscle, a cancerous tumor, or into the bloodstream.

A extremely conservative approach would be to start with 1 or 3 teaspoons once or twice a day, however colloidal silver is not a posionous substance like drugs are and. therefore dosage is not critical-even for children. For colds and flu symptoms, one or two tablespoons 3-6 times daily frequently will speed recovery. Some individuals have reported drinking as much as 16 ozs in the morning and another 16 ozs in the late afternoon to knock down a cold or flu on the first day that symptoms start showing up. They claim that they have been able to completely abort the cold or flu on the first day of symptoms.

For mouth infections, frequently rinse the affected area for at least 6 minutes before swallowing. Overdosing should not be of concern, even if recommended doses are exceeded. If, after a few days of use, one experiences a de-toxification effect in the form of feeling sluggish or mild aches, increase water consumption to speed the elimination of toxins and taper back the silver dosage to match the rate of toxin elimination. It is safe for pregnant and nursing women and is known to aid the developing fetus in growth. It will not generate free radicals or interfere with enzyme activity. It has no reaction with other medications.

Are there any dangers or side effects?

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Poison Control Center reports no toxicity listing for Colloidal Silver. Regular ingestion of colloidal silver can act as a second immune system by assisting the body in the war against invading micro-organisms. Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotic which destroy beneficial enzymes, colloidal silver leaves these tissue cell enzymes intact.

Colloidal Silver, if used sensibly, is completely non-toxic and will not harm the immune system in any way. Critics of colloidal silver will often warn that regular consumption of colloidal silver might lead to Argyria, a bluish/ gray discoloration of the skin. Dr. Bob Beck debunks this statement as a scare tactic by pro pharmaceutical interests. Dr Beck has indicated that Argyria is caused by silver compounds, such as silver nitrate, silver sulfate, silver sulfadiazine, etc., and not micro particles of pure elemental silver. Apparently, silver colloids are mostly absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract, since colloidal silver does not seem to adversely affect friendly bacteria in the lower intestines. Silver can be toxic to nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, but is normally prevented from entering those areas by the blood-brain barrier. Silver has not demonstrated any evidence of carcinogenic activity.

The body eliminates excess silver via the metallothiones. These ubiquitous proteins, first characterized in 1957, have the property of binding with heavy metals, such as silver, into metal-thiolate-cluster structures which aid in transportation, storage, and elimination of nonessential trace metals which enter the body.

How much research has been done on colloidal silver?

Silver has been used as a germicide for thousands of years. Ancient texts, including Pliny the Elder’s great tome, Natural History, Book 23 (78 A.D.) discusses the extraordinary wound healing capacity of silver slag as an ingredient in plasters. The German obstetrician, Franz Crede, observed in 1884 that up to 79% of blind children in various orphanages and institutions were born to mothers who, at the time of the child’s birth, had venereal disease. He found that a 1% solution of silver nitrate dropped into the eyes of newborns, reduced the incidence of VD caused blindness to less than 0.2%. In 1988, colloidal silver was tested at the UCLA Medical Laboratory.

The UCLA report stated that ” The silver solutions were antibacterial for concentrations of 1 million organisms per ml of Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus [which in now resistant to Vancomycin, the strongest pharmaceutical antibiotic available] , Neisseria gonorrhea, Gardnerella Vaginalis, Salmonella Typhi [responsible for salmonella food poisoning and Typhus], and other enteric pathogens; and fungicidal for Candida albicans [the common yeast infection, in vaginitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome], Candida globata, and M. Furfur.”

Dr Robert Becker, M.D., author of The Body Electric and Crosscurrents found that silver caused cells to dedifferentiate and re-differentiate in the process of regenerative healing.

“What we had actually done was rediscovered the fact that silver killed bacteria, which had been known for centuries…when antibiotics were discovered, clinical uses for silver as an antibiotic were discarded.” Becker said in a 1995 interview with Bio/Tech News.

Dr Becker conducted extensive research into the healing properties of silver for many years at the Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. The experiments concluded that silver works on a wide range of bacteria, without any known side effects or damage to the cells of the body. Becker discovered that the silver was doing something more than just killing disease causing organisms: He said it was also causing major growth stimulation of injured tissues. Dr. Becker concluded that the presence of the silver ions may help to regenerate tissue, eliminate old or cancerous cells, and other diseased or abnormal tissue conditions.

Dr. Henry Crooks (author, Use of Colloids in Health Disease) found that silver in the colloidal state is highly germicidal, quite harmless to humans and absolutely non-toxic. From his bacteriological experiments with silver he concluded, “I know of no microbe that is not killed in laboratory experiments in six minutes.”

Dr. Bjorn Nordenstrom, of the Larolinska Institute, Sweden, has successfully used silver as a component in his cancer treatments for many years. Dr. Leonard Keene Hirschberg, A. M., M. D. (John Hopkins) states, “Speaking generally, the colloidal metals are especially remarkable for their beneficial action in infective states.” Dr. Richard L. Davies, executive director of the Silver Institute, which monitors silver technology in 37 countries, reports: “In four years we’ve described 87 important new medical uses for silver. We’re just beginning to see to what extent silver can relieve suffering.”

Finally, Peter Lindemann reports in his 1997 article, Colloidal Silver, A Closer Look that a study conducted in part by the Institute of Microbiology in Rome, Italy and published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Dec. 1992), stated that “Pure electro-colloidal silver out- performed silver nitrate, silver chloride, and silver sulfadiazine as a broad spectrum germicide. For all classes of bacteria, fungus, and mold samples tested, pure electro-colloidal silver worked better, and at much lower concentrations. They concluded that any additives reduced the effectiveness of the pure silver ion; the silver salts being as much as 100 times less effective.”

What is the FDA’s standpoint on colloidal silver?
Since colloidal silver was in common use as an antibiotic prior to 1938 when the FDA was created, its use was grandfathered-in and not subject to FDA approval. Many promoters of colloidal silver had ballyhooed a 1991 letter authored by the FDA which they said (at the time) that they would not attempt to control colloidal silver as long as its uses were confined to pre 1938 published protocols. However, the growing popularity of colloidal since 1991, has created pressure from threatened pharmaceutical interests to get the FDA to regulate the availability of colloidal silver.[Update: Feb 2001 the FDA now claims jurisdiction over the sale of colloidal silver and will not allow any “medical claims” be made in association with the sale of colloidal silver.]

As a result, today the FDA is attempting to subvert the grandfather clause and is seeking to gain approval status over the use and production of colloidal silver on the outrageous premise that since colloidal silver has proven to be such an effective broad spectrum germ fighter in its ability to cure new strains of bacteria (not in existence in 1938), that its use should be subject to their jurisdiction! It’s clear to anyone who examines the subject, that the FDA is a champion for the pharmaceutical industry and on their behalf attempts to suppress the use of cheap, non-patentable, natural, alternative therapies at every opportunity. Silver, after all, is merely a metal. It’s a harmless element of Nature.
What business does the FDA have in attempting to regulate its use?

Bill’s comment: Make no mistake… Colloidal silver is a KILLING WEAPON, not a nutritional adjustment. I only use SOVEREIGN SILVER(www.natural-immunogenics.com) because I am confident that they are telling the truth about their product’s safety, and because SUCH A TINY AMOUNT of product is so effective. If and when I can no longer simply go to the health food store or buy this product online, I will damn sure make my own colloidal silver and use that. It’s super easy to make homemade colloidal silver, but the homemade version can be dangerous! Use common sense – drinking particles of metal requires careful consideration. I’ve been using Sovereign Silver for 10 years plus, and can’t seem to turn myself blue with it! Research Paul Karason if you want an example of the possible dangers of HOMEMADE colloidal silver. Peace….


Powdercoated Slingshot v3 Rotary by Special Technique

Murdered-Out Slingshot v3 Rotary by Special Technique

Special Technique Rotary Machines’ first in-house powdercoating! This remix of the Slingshot version 3 has a powdercoated brass tube vise and hardware, plus a powdercoated welded key thumbscrew from our friend Dennis Miller. This machine has a 3.5mm stroke, medium-to-soft hit, and the same drive train as in the Workhorse Irons rotary. It’s priced at $450 and you can buy it here. PROS IN SHOPS ONLY PLEASE.



Cartridge Rotary Oneoff Build on Seth Ciferri Walker Frame by Special Technique

Cartridge Rotary Oneoff Build by Special Technique on Seth Ciferri Frame

This installation of the Cartridge Rotary on a Seth Ciferri Walker frame features polished brass hardware and the 3.5mm stroke we’re putting on the first run of machines. It has just a slight amount of dampening or give, so the hit is quite firm. We put copper layered brass binders on it which match the frame finish great and will age nicely. Motor and drive train guaranteed for one year, and the parts are very easy to get. This Cartridge rotary oneoff is Sold.

Cartridge Rotary Oneoff Build by Special Technique on Seth Ciferri FrameCartridge Rotary Oneoff Build by Special Technique on Seth Ciferri Frame



The Cartridge Rotary – Collaboration With Seth Ciferri and Special Technique

Seth Ciferri and Special Technique present The Cartridge… A rotary device for your historical and sentimental machine frames you haven’t got around to restoring. Long stroke and medium hit, good for many tattoo tasks. No cutting or drilling of your frame is required. Basic tools will turn your frame into a Special Technique rotary. Shown here are a couple examples of Cartridges installed on frames, and a row of Cartridges before the guts were installed. All the Cartridges to be sold by themselves are gone. Future cartridges will be built on a frame with powdercoating or other finishes. Stay tuned!
Example of a Cartridge Build - Frame Not Included
4 Raw Cartridges In A Row
Example of Cartridge Build on Quidgeon Frame(not included)


Copper Direct Rotary no. 1 of 4 – by Special Technique

Copper Direct no. 1 - Steampunk Rotary by Special Technique

This week in the Special Technique lab, we’re having a bit of fun making direct-rotary tattoo machines. It’s the simplest of rotary mechanisms, so we can spend a little more time making them pretty, yet still keep the price down. Copper Direct no. 1 is decked out in gears and clock parts. These machines will all have a 3.5mm stroke, a Workhorse Irons cnc tube vise, and a beefy and solid 5 volt motor from our builder friend Dan Kubin that has just the right speed and torque for fun tattooing. Ugly Bill’s comment: I personally tattooed with this machine(no. 1) for around an hour. It put in color with a loose 9 round and a 7 magnum, fast and effortlessly. It’s a fun ride. The Copper Direct no.1 is priced at $325. It’s sold, but there are a few more on the workbench like it. Want one? Email director@specialtechnique.net and we’ll make it happen. We sell to licensed professionals only.

Copper Direct no. 1 - Steampunk Rotary by Special Technique



True – The Peacemaker of Special Technique – San Diego 2012 – Drum & Bass Mix

This is my favorite kind of mix. It has a warm, organic, intimate feel to it. “True” is fun, it’s sexy, it’s rowdy, it’s deadly. And, it’s long. Play it twice, and it’ll almost be time for lunch. Once I get it mastered, I’ll probably re-upload it and make a big deal about it all over again. Available for download on my soundcloud here:



Tin Tzat To Chung Pills

Tin Tzat To Chung Pills are a Chinese herb ‘patent formula.’ This means that they are not specifically formulated for one person – anyone can take them. The spelling of this product’s name is a romanization of the Cantonese dialect. Romanized from Mandarin, it’s spelled ‘Tian Qi Du Zhong’ pills. If you go to a Chinese herb store to look for this product, just bring them a printout or call the image up on your phone. You’re not gonna get the pronunciation right the first few times, but you need the product.

Tin Tzat To Chung Pills

Tin Tzat To Chung Pills are extremely beneficial to the heart and kidneys, but their main purpose is to heal sore and cramped muscles, especially in the back, and especially in the LOWER back. However, any soft tissue in the body will heal incredibly fast from using this formula. Tin Tzat To Chung Pills adjust the body’s energy, and also feed blood and nutrients to soft tissues in the body.

The two main ingredients are Tian Qi or Tin Chut–also known as pseudoginseng or notoginseng, and Du Zhong or To Chung–rubber tree bark. Like all herbs, these two can cause imbalances if taken alone, so they are combined with 6 other herbs to alleviate side effects and make sure they find the right path in the body. Tian Qi increases circulation, and Du Zhong is a natural muscle relaxer.

The pills are small, as is common in Chinese medicinal formulas, so you can easily adjust the dose. Follow the directions at first so your body can get used to the formula, taking 5 pills at a time with water only. Don’t eat or drink anything else for an hour before and 30 minutes afterwards.

Once your body is used to the herbs – after a few doses – you can increase the dose and frequency to suit your needs. Remember, these pills are food, not drugs!

Examples of ailments that can be remedied by these pills are: sore muscles from working out, strains and sprains that don’t heal easily, back muscle soreness/spasms caused by injuries/stress/illness/diet/depleted sexual essence, job/stress related neck and shoulder pain, and old injuries that don’t heal well because they are inside areas of poor circulation such as bones or cartilage.



Axis Rotary 2012 – Pirate Radio Edition – by Ugly Bill of Special Technique

Axis Rotary Pirate Radio Edition

The Axis rotary 2012/Pirate Radio Edition is a custom oneoff tattoo machine with a long 5mm stroke and soft-to-medium hit. It’s set up for clipcord use and features the same drive train as in the Workhorse Irons Rotary. The side plate is made from two pieces of printed circuit board that are glued and screwed together. All the important hardware has nylon washers underneath for dampening, so the pcb won’t crack. It’s a fun art project made from pcb, plumbing parts, clock parts, and raw metal. The aluminum disk on the thumbscrew has been removed, buffed, and put back in.

The Axis Pirate Radio Edition is SOLD.
Axis Rotary Pirate Radio Edition
Axis Rotary Pirate Radio Edition



Shipping, Warranty and Contact Info

Special Technique makes equipment for PROS IN SHOPS ONLY. We check, every time. Please make it easy on us and tell us what shop you tattoo in.

Building machines is our craft and art medium. Most of our machines take a long time to build. Also, we are committed to your satisfaction, and helping you have more fun tattooing. That’s why we started this project in the first place.

If you have detailed questions, READ THROUGH OUR SITE. If you have questions beyond that, you can email us at director@specialtechnique.net.

WARRANTY INFO: In many of the machines we have made in 2011 and 2012, replacing the motor and other mechanical parts is extremely easy and intuitive. We guarantee that all the moving parts in our rotaries will work correctly for a year. If you have a problem before a year passes, we will mail you parts or ask you to send us the machine. This doesn’t happen often, so we have no problem with doing free repairs or mailing out free parts in these cases. If you are not the original owner of the machine, or if it’s been longer than a year, we’ll fix your machine for a small fee, or send you parts as needed. We will charge you cost plus shipping on any parts shipments.

Our older machines often require some sorcery to replace the parts. If you have one of our machines from 2009 or 2010, please email us a photo of the machine, and we’ll decide whether we can send you parts or if we have to replace them ourselves.

To order a handbuilt custom rotary from Special Technique, please email us at director@specialtechnique.net.

Unending thanks to the tattoo industry! You have given our lives meaning and satisfaction…


THE LENZ Steampunk Rotary by Special Technique

This machine is called The Lenz. It’s full of clock parts, hand milling and brazing, and pivots on a skateboard bearing. There is also a glass lens crimped into a brass tube, the origin of which is unknown. The Lenz has a long 5mm stroke and a firm hit – it’s a great color packer.
The Lenz Steampunk Rotary Machine by Special Technique
The Lenz Steampunk Rotary Machine by Special Technique
The Lenz Steampunk Rotary Machine by Special Technique

The Lenz Rotary is SOLD.


Sextant Axis Rotary Tattoo Machine by Special Technique

The Sextant Axis rotary tattoo machine by Special Technique features sextant parts, turntable parts, clock parts and plumbing parts. This machine has a long 5mm stroke, and the same drivebar and motor as the Workhorse Irons rotary. The motor cover has a Canadian coin with a ship on it. Hand milling by Ugly Bill. Finish work by Ugly Bill and T. Hawkins. This machine is of course a oneoff and won’t be repeated. Sextant Axis Rotary by Special Technique

The Sextant Axis is SOLD.


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