(Topic ID: 307724)

Beginner EM Questions

By Skybug

2 years ago


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  • 74 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Garrett
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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There are 74 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 2 years ago

- Sometimes Game Over lights up, sometimes it doesn't. Is this a relay/contact problem (where would that be?) or maybe a dirty bulb socket?
- My score reel has some play in it moving left to right (number 9 in photo). How to fix? wedge something in there maybe to make it stand straighter? It is snapped in properly.

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#2 2 years ago

Game over light is lit from the game over relay in the bottom of the cabinet. You can slightly open the contacts one at a time by hand to see when the light goes out. Then make sure the contacts are clean and adjusted.

Score reel might have the slide broken or misaligned look at the other reels and see if something is different, broken or missing.

#3 2 years ago

Thanks! Is the game over relay labeled? I can't read schematics yet...

#4 2 years ago

It might still have its I.d label on it though they tend to fall off over time. If you dont have a schematic then you cant identify it by its wire colours. But, if you raise the playfield at ball 5 - carefully, without tilting the game - and simulate it draining, watch which relay fires as it goes to game over. Then check it, etc. Check also that the game over lamp socket is clean as it might just be a bad socket in need of cleaning or repair.

#5 2 years ago

The Instruction Manual for Klondike is on IPDB. https://www.ipdb.org/files/1388/Williams_1971_Klondike_Instruction_Manual_no_schematics.pdf

Take a look at it and find the diagram of the Game Over relay (p18). It is a latch/trip relay and should be located on the bottom component board in the main cabinet. Looks like switch 2A (make/break) is one you want to examine to ensure the contacts are clean and the switch is adjusted to make good contact in both states. The wire colors are provided in the diagram to help you find the correct switch.

Could be a dirty or loose lamp socket also. You could test by opening the back box at game over and manipulating or wiggling the socket to see if it flashes on and off. If the game over light comes on sometimes and not others, it is unlikely to be a bad bulb.

Lee

#6 2 years ago

Thank you. Yes I have the instruction booklet, as well as the schematics, but I don't know how to read them yet so thanks for your help! I will look for the switch.
BTW I have been cleaning my score reels and the switches on them, they are working well but it's hard for me to see if the contacts are open sometimes, to me they look like they're touching until I pass a business card through them and realize there's some space. Should they be further apart?

#7 2 years ago

One can gleen a lot of information from a Williams Instruction Manual. The diagram of the GO relay on page 18 refers you to section A-4 on the schematic where you will find that specific make/break switch illustrated and shows what wire colors (White/Orange, Blue, White) will be attached to the switch. The text also tells that the same switch sends current to the # match lights and Tilt lights.

When Game Over fails to light, do you notice that the # match fails to appear? If so, the issue most certainly lies with that specific switch... either not closing, dirty (non-conducting) contact faces, or perhaps a broken off wire or bad solder joint.

If the number match appears, but Game Over does not milluminate, then the issue is probably with the GO lamp socket or wire connections.

Lee

#8 2 years ago

I love referring to Ron’s videos from Joes Classic Video Games. He does a great job of explaining just enough to get you going.
He has SEVERAL videos demoing how to adjust switches and clean them in EMs. This video is for a 1973 Williams that should be almost identical under the hood as one of your games.
About 6 minutes in he gives some explanation. I recommend going down the rabbit hole on his channel and watch him fix a bunch of EMs. You’ll learn so much.

#9 2 years ago

I would also recommend getting and learning how to use a cheap multimeter and alligator clips. The multimeter to verify a switch is open or closed, and the alligator clips to grab into the wire on the leaves of the switch.

As your learning progresses, you will use the alligator clips in troubleshooting this and your future machines - Yes, once you get this one going, you will end up with more!

#10 2 years ago

Thanks, guys! I have lots to learn.

Eight years ago I brought Klondike back to life with the help of some very patient members of this group (@Pafasa, @Pin-it, @the4horse), then stuff happened and unfortunately I let my machines gather dust. I'm now re-doing my basement, and recently re-discovered my machines among the clutter.
So I feel like I'm starting all over. I guess it's like a language, if you don't use it, you lose it.

But I've saved those past threads which I am now reviewing as they contain tons and tons and tons of information for my machines! I'm so glad Pinside kept the posts after all these years, so very very helpful.
And I'll study my manuals and check out Ron's videos for some inspiration! Excited to learn!

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

Thank you. Yes I have the instruction booklet, as well as the schematics, but I don't know how to read them yet so thanks for your help! I will look for the switch.
BTW I have been cleaning my score reels and the switches on them, they are working well but it's hard for me to see if the contacts are open som

Thanks, guys! I have lots to learn.
Eight years ago I brought Klondike back to life with the help of some very patient members of this group (Pafasa, Pin-it, the4horse), then stuff happened and unfortunately I let my machines gather dust. I'm now re-doing my basement, and recently re-discovered my machines among the clutter.
So I feel like I'm starting all over. I guess it's like a language, if you don't use it, you lose it.
But I've saved those past threads which I am now reviewing as they contain tons and tons and tons of information for my machines! I'm so glad Pinside kept the posts after all these years, so very very helpful.
And I'll study my manuals and check out Ron's videos for some inspiration! Excited to learn!

Welcome back! I'm in a similar situation, was gone for years and couldn't believe my account and bookmarks were intact.

It's an addiction.

Sad news is it's really hard to find old EM's compared to 7-8 years ago.

#12 2 years ago

Hi @Garrett! I pretty much replied to your post with the same words!

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

One can gleen a lot of information from a Williams Instruction Manual. The diagram of the GO relay on page 18 refers you to section A-4 on the schematic where you will find that specific make/break switch illustrated and shows what wire colors (White/Orange, Blue, White) will be attached to the switch. The text also tells that the same switch sends current to the # match lights and Tilt lights.
When Game Over fails to light, do you notice that the # match fails to appear? If so, the issue most certainly lies with that specific switch... either not closing, dirty (non-conducting) contact faces, or perhaps a broken off wire or bad solder joint.
If the number match appears, but Game Over does not milluminate, then the issue is probably with the GO lamp socket or wire connections.
Lee

Thank you Runbikeskilee I can now understand by looking at the manual. Next is to look at the schematic (or maybe I'll just look for a relay with M-29 1000 on the label, as shown in manual).
I'm going to tackle this on the weekend. Just moved my Klondike so that there's more space around it for me to get in there.
The No. Match light doesn't light when Game Over doesn't light, so hopefully just some dirty contacts on that switch.

#14 2 years ago

One word of caution on adjusting switches. Go slow, start by only working on one problem at a time. I got a little overzealous on my em ‘fixing’ switch issues once and ended creating multiple problems.

Just cleaning contacts fixed the majority of issues on my em.

#15 2 years ago

I love referring to Ron’s videos from Joes Classic Video Games. He does a great job of explaining just enough to get you going.

Learned to read schematics by watching Ron's videos. They are the best pinball instructional videos.

#16 2 years ago

mrm_4

Quoted from mrm_4:

I love referring to Ron’s videos from Joes Classic Video Games. He does a great job of explaining just enough to get you going.
He has SEVERAL videos demoing how to adjust switches and clean them in EMs. This video is for a 1973 Williams that should be almost identical under the hood as one of your games.
About 6 minutes in he gives some explanation. I recommend going down the rabbit hole on his channel and watch him fix a bunch of EMs. You’ll learn so much.

I learned to read schematics watching Ron's videos, by far the best pinball instruction around.

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from jgreene:

One word of caution on adjusting switches. Go slow, start by only working on one problem at a time. I got a little overzealous on my em ‘fixing’ switch issues once and ended creating multiple problems.
Just cleaning contacts fixed the majority of issues on my em.

Thank you. For now, I will just be cleaning switches and hope that's all I have to do.

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from Flipsteen:

mrm_4

I learned to read schematics watching Ron's videos, by far the best pinball instruction around.

I started watching Ron's videos and they're great, I know I will find them very useful.

#19 2 years ago

I had almost the same issue when I got my Klondike regarding the Game Over light. The game would end fine but the Game Over light would not light up. The same was true for the Tilt light.

I started trying to adjust the Game Over relay in the very right corner towards the back of the cabinet. To make things even more difficult and confusing, I found some switches that were actually in different locations on that relay which really screwed things up when I did switch adjustments. It was recommended that the cabinet relay board in the bottom of the cabinet be removed so that access to that switch for adjustment would be easier. That suggestion was worth its weight in gold. The access to the Game Over relay with the cabinet relay board still in the machine is difficult.

The thread where this was discussed can be found here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/klondike-game-over-relay-switches#post-6387738

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from flb_gulfstream:

I had almost the same issue when I got my Klondike regarding the Game Over light. The game would end fine but the Game Over light would not light up. The same was true for the Tilt light.
I started trying to adjust the Game Over relay in the very right corner towards the back of the cabinet. To make things even more difficult and confusing, I found some switches that were actually in different locations on that relay which really screwed things up when I did switch adjustments. It was recommended that the cabinet relay board in the bottom of the cabinet be removed so that access to that switch for adjustment would be easier. That suggestion was worth its weight in gold. The access to the Game Over relay with the cabinet relay board still in the machine is difficult.
The thread where this was discussed can be found here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/klondike-game-over-relay-switches#post-6387738

OMG Thank you!!!!!

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

I started watching Ron's videos and they're great, I know I will find them very useful.

About a month ago I happened to be in Rockhill, SC on business and made a point to drop by the shop. Both Joe and Ronnie were there and were super nice. That shop is nowhere near as big as it appears on the videos! Long and narrow.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from JRC6000:

About a month ago I happened to be in Rockhill, SC on business and made a point to drop by the shop. Both Joe and Ronnie were there and were super nice. That shop is nowhere near as big as it appears on the videos! Long and narrow.

Wow would love to take a trip down there. Years ago I emailed Joe about a startup issue I was having and he was very generous helping me to fix the problem. Becoming proficient reading schematics with Ronnie's videos has been a life saver. They are both great guys.

1 week later
#23 2 years ago

My 1969 Bally Joust has metal skirts for the pop bumpers. Will this scratch the ball?

#24 2 years ago

And where can I find a good video on restoring chimes in an EM? (Gulfstream)

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

My 1969 Bally Joust has metal skirts for the pop bumpers. Will this scratch the ball?

No.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

And where can I find a good video on restoring chimes in an EM? (Gulfstream)

I don't know about a video but taking apart a Williams chime unit and putting it back together is pretty straightforward.

I purchased a "rebuild kit" from Marco Specialties (https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/C-7507-1-CUK3). To replace the wire clips that hold the bars in place, I purchased 3/32" copper music rod on Amazon that I cut and bent to match the original clips. One of my chime bars wore to the point where it had a hole in it where the plunger hit it so I just bought some aluminum flat bar that had the same width and thickness as the original chime bars. I laid the old bars on the new flat bar so I could mark the lengths and hole locations. Then I cut and drilled new chime bars. I really only needed one but I replaced all of them.

If you look on the Marco Specialties site, they list complete chime assemblies for sale but they are out of stock. I used the photos from the listing (https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/C-7507) to guide me when I installed the parts from the rebuild kit.

I hope this helps.

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from flb_gulfstream:

I don't know about a video but taking apart a Williams chime unit and putting it back together is pretty straightforward.
I purchased a "rebuild kit" from Marco Specialties (https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/C-7507-1-CUK3). To replace the wire clips that hold the bars in place, I purchased 3/32" copper music rod on Amazon that I cut and bent to match the original clips. One of my chime bars wore to the point where it had a hole in it where the plunger hit it so I just bought some aluminum flat bar that had the same width and thickness as the original chime bars. I laid the old bars on the new flat bar so I could mark the lengths and hole locations. Then I cut and drilled new chime bars. I really only needed one but I replaced all of them.
If you look on the Marco Specialties site, they list complete chime assemblies for sale but they are out of stock. I used the photos from the listing (https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/C-7507) to guide me when I installed the parts from the rebuild kit.
I hope this helps.

OK here's what I have going on in the chimes department. The first one seems fine (although I have nothing to compare it to). I can see old rubber rings under 1 and 2, but not under 3 which is...why is it anchored against the wall? Cuz the top rod broke? Ugh. Well, considering I don't have metal cutting equipment, perhaps I can buy the middle chime from PBR and then fashion new rods for the top? I wonder if a wire hanger would work...

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

OK here's what I have going on in the chimes department. The first one seems fine (although I have nothing to compare it to). I can see old rubber rings under 1 and 2, but not under 3 which is...why is it anchored against the wall? Cuz the top rod broke? Ugh. Well, considering I don't have metal cutting equipment, perhaps I can buy the middle chime from PBR and then fashion new rods for the top? I wonder if a wire hanger would work...

That extra bracket was probably put there because the vertical tab (that comes up through the chime bar) has been ripped through so it no longer holds that end of the retaining wire on top. When I was a newbie I actually put a bracket just like it on my Grand Prix which had that issue ( — it still works like that, but I hope to fix it better eventually).

Clay Harrell’s website, pinrepair.com, has an explanation of a better repair for a Williams chime box. Here’s the link to that discussion:

http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#chimes

Also, I highly recommend reading the entire electromechanical section of that website. It sure helped me out.

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

Well, considering I don't have metal cutting equipment, perhaps I can buy the middle chime from PBR

A few years ago I bought this 1-1/2” x 1/8” aluminum bar at Home Depot to make a replacement Williams chime bar, which still works great. Just used a hacksaw and a drill. And there’s plenty left over if I ever need to make any more.
image (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpg

#30 2 years ago
Quoted from wolverinetuner:

A few years ago I bought this 1-1/2” x 3/8” aluminum bar at Home Depot to make a replacement Williams chime bar, which still works great. Just used a hacksaw and a drill. And there’s plenty left over if I ever need to make any more.[quoted image][quoted image]

Thank you!! What is the length of the middle bar, and how could mine have been mangled like that?
Thank you for the link. There is so much to read on pinrepair.com, and I'm watching Ron's videos, and I'm reading my pinball repair book, and I'm reading my games manuals, the other day I discovered a Bally's 1969 catalog online and was scrolling through that too! There's a lot of stuff to reference!

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

Thank you!! What is the length of the middle bar, and how could mine have been mangled like that?

I just measured a Williams middle chime bar at 6-3/8”.

Your guess is probably as good as mine as to how yours ended up like it is.

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from wolverinetuner:

A few years ago I bought this 1-1/2” x 3/8” aluminum bar at Home Depot to make a replacement Williams chime bar, which still works great. Just used a hacksaw and a drill. And there’s plenty left over if I ever need to make any more.[quoted image][quoted image]

Skybug, note that in the wording it says 3/8" thick aluminum bar but it is actually 1/8" bar (see the photo in wolverinetuner's post). I also used 1/8" thick bar when I made my replacement chime bars. I can't remember which big box store I bought it from but the brand I bought was Hillman, so if wolverinetuner got his at Home Depot, I might have purchased mine at Lowes. Nevertheless, it is readily available and any cheap hacksaw with a fine toothed blade will easily cut this aluminum bar.

Also the link that wolverinetuner shared is very good.

If you end up making new clips out of music rod, I made the loop at the end by holding the piece of rod with needle nose pliers and then I just wrapped the rod around the nose of the pliers.

Have fun with the project.

#33 2 years ago

Thank you! Sounds do-able. Yes I saw on the label that it's 1/8 inch thick.

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from flb_gulfstream:

Skybug, note that in the wording it says 3/8" thick aluminum bar but it is actually 1/8" bar (see the photo in wolverinetuner's post). I also used 1/8" thick bar when I made my replacement chime bars. I can't remember which big box store I bought it from but the brand I bought was Hillman, so if wolverinetuner got his at Home Depot, I might have purchased mine at Lowes. Nevertheless, it is readily available and any cheap hacksaw with a fine toothed blade will easily cut this aluminum bar.
Also the link that wolverinetuner shared is very good.
If you end up making new clips out of music rod, I made the loop at the end by holding the piece of rod with needle nose pliers and then I just wrapped the rod around the nose of the pliers.
Have fun with the project.

Thanks for the thickness correction, I fixed my post. The only reason I know mine came from Home Depot (and not Lowe’s) is the end of the label on the bar saying “HOMEDEPOT.COM”, so I’m guessing that Everbilt is a Home-Depot-only brand.

#35 2 years ago

Skybug, here is the post when I had a chime bar failure. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-chime-bar-failure#post-6125383

It looks like I never went back and stated I ordered the Williams rebuild kit and made new bars and clips. The only reason I replaced the clips was because one was getting thin near that loop on the end.

When you remove the chime bars, be sure to look at the plungers in the coils. They are supposed to have nylon nubs on the end to strike the bar. If you don't see a lot of metal shavings around your chime box, your plungers probably still have the nylon nubs.

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from flb_gulfstream:

Skybug, here is the post when I had a chime bar failure. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-chime-bar-failure#post-6125383
It looks like I never went back and stated I ordered the Williams rebuild kit and made new bars and clips. The only reason I replaced the clips was because one was getting thin near that loop on the end.
When you remove the chime bars, be sure to look at the plungers in the coils. They are supposed to have nylon nubs on the end to strike the bar. If you don't see a lot of metal shavings around your chime box, your plungers probably still have the nylon nubs.

Very helpful link, thank you! Yes I read about that nylon tip on the plunger on the pinrepair site.
After reading your link, I now understand what happened to my middle chime bar. See my video above? It looks like the plunger blew a hole in mine as well, and somebody just reversed the bar to reuse it.
Referring to your link, I'm not going to borrow the plunger from my knocker because I like it! I have Match unit On so it gives me extra balls, even with the Add-a-Ball set up. The knocker sounds with each extra ball. Fun!

#37 2 years ago

Skybug,

After getting my chime box "refurbished", I eventually ended up getting a new plunger to install in the knocker assembly.

When I got my Gulfstream, the knocker did not work. I assumed it was because of my settings (free play, add-a-ball, etc.). I got my Klondike a little over a year after getting the Gulfstream. The knocker on the Klondike worked and that game was set to free play, add-a-ball, etc. so I went to work getting the knocker working on the Gulfstream.

With the help of a few people on pinside.com, I re-established the knocker on my Gulfstream and, like you, I like it.

#38 2 years ago

Another question:
Why do people buy new leg levelers? Do they tend to rust or get stuck over time?
Mine are stuck so I guess I have to spray them with WD-40 or something...

#39 2 years ago

I replace them due to rust- especially on the bottoms. I don’t want rust stains on carpet or whatever a machine is placed on.

If a machine is on a route where they mopped the floors, the bottoms will rust.

#40 2 years ago

Where can I find the degree angle that the game should be set at? I can't seem to find it in the manual...

#41 2 years ago

It’s not in the manual. It’s personal preference, anywhere from 5 - 7 degrees. The key is level left and right, and being able to flip the ball to the top of the playfield. Too low of slope, it will play pretty slow. Too steep, it may play too fast.

Experiment to find what you like best.

#42 2 years ago

Thank you!

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

Where can I find the degree angle that the game should be set at? I can't seem to find it in the manual...

Most of mine are set with the (3 inch) leg levelers screwed in all the way in the front, and the back ones are screwed in 1/2 inch to 1 inch, leaving the back legs about 2 to 2 1/2 inches higher than the front. Works for me, but you may want to experiment with different angles and see what you like best

#44 2 years ago

Thank you! My three machines vary from 2° to 4°, if I am reading the clinometer app correctly. Looking forward to faster games!

#45 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

Thank you! My three machines vary from 2° to 4°, if I am reading the clinometer app correctly. Looking forward to faster games!

Gottlieb's tend to suggest a 3.4°-3.8° angle.

With old EM's that have severely cupped inserts (most Williams EM's) a low angle may lead to the ball getting stuck in cupped inserts. A higher angle will alleviate this issue.

Table angle is a matter of preference. As the angle changes so does the ball behavior on the table. This may lead to ball draining less or possibly more, experiment with it.

With a paly field that is in good shape and minimal insert cupping, you don't need a high angle for snappy game play. If a game is using 24VAC on the pops and flippers it will not play as fast as a 24VDC set up found in later EM's on the same flat surface. And I'm not suggesting people hack the EM's to 24VDC pops either. I like to leave the games as originally designed.

I recently picked up a Gridiron and at some point someone installed a 24VDC rectifier on the pops. The pop bumpers had never had the spoons cleaned and still has the original and dirty metal coil sleeve. The inserts all had some slight cupping typical of Gottlieb's. And to top it off the playfield was about as dirty as they come and never been cleaned either.

My point is, they tried to improve ball speed rather than simply doing the basic maintenance. The flatter and smoother the table, the faster the ball speed will be.

Personally, I don't like an EM over 4°.

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from Garrett:

Gottlieb's tend to suggest a 3.4°-3.8° angle.
With old EM's that have severely cupped inserts (most Williams EM's) a low angle may lead to the ball getting stuck in cupped inserts. A higher angle will alleviate this issue.
Table angle is a matter of preference. As the angle changes so does the ball behavior on the table. This may lead to ball draining less or possibly more, experiment with it.
With a paly field that is in good shape and minimal insert cupping, you don't need a high angle for snappy game play. If a game is using 24VAC on the pops and flippers it will not play as fast as a 24VDC set up found in later EM's on the same flat surface. And I'm not suggesting people hack the EM's to 24VDC pops either. I like to leave the games as originally designed.
I recently picked up a Gridiron and at some point someone installed a 24VDC rectifier on the pops. The pop bumpers had never had the spoons cleaned and still has the original and dirty metal coil sleeve. The inserts all had some slight cupping typical of Gottlieb's. And to top it off the playfield was about as dirty as they come and never been cleaned either.
My point is, they tried to improve ball speed rather than simply doing the basic maintenance. The flatter and smoother the table, the faster the ball speed will be.
Personally, I don't like an EM over 4°.

Thank you! I thought my Gulfstream / DC power was pretty fast already at 4° and I have been cleaning contacts and waxing the playfields for better action. But yes sometimes the ball gets stuck on my AC machines causing me to tilt, and it takes its time coming down from the arch, so I will raise the other two machines incrementally to see what happens.

#47 2 years ago

Both my Gulfstream and Klondike are set at 4.5 degrees. I can't remember where they were set exactly when I got them but they were extremely slow (and not fun). Both play fine at 4.5 degrees and the flippers are capable of getting the ball to the top of the playfield.

As Billc479 said, left-to-right level is important so make sure to check that.

#48 2 years ago

Thank you!! I need to lift the machine, correct? In order to deal with the leg levelers?

#49 2 years ago

They are easier to adjust when there’s no weight on them. If you’re going to replace the levelers, I do one end at a time. I lift the machine and rest it on a short bar stool, screw out the old one, and screw in the new one.

If you have different length levelers, put the longer ones at the back of the machine and the shorter ones at the front, since they are most likely to be screwed all the way in.

#50 2 years ago
Quoted from Garrett:

Gottlieb's tend to suggest a 3.4°-3.8° angle.
With old EM's that have severely cupped inserts (most Williams EM's) a low angle may lead to the ball getting stuck in cupped inserts. A higher angle will alleviate this issue.

A simple fix for those cupped inserts are invisible Mylar insert stickers. They install in seconds and do not damage any of the inserts or playfield, in fact it protects them. Very inexpensive and worth the $5. Improves the gameplay, and if you wanted to go steeper with the playfield, you wouldn’t have the noticeable curving of the ball due to cupping.

TheEMScoreKeeper.com has multiple sizes.

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