best portable jump starters review

Best lithium-ion jump starters: Before you buy

Have you been searching for a lithium-ion jump starter? Yet still couldn’t make a decision?

There are hundreds of intricate models to choose from, which makes narrowing your search a daunting prospect without proper guidance.

This article presents you with the best lithium-ion jump starters available today. I will analyze, review, and guide you through the seven best products to find the perfect one for your car.

 BrandModelPriceVerdict
Timmy's choiceNOCOGB50$$$The best overall design, ease-of-use, and battery capacity. It hits the right balance between power output, cost, and portability.
Best battery longevityTACKLIFET8$$The manual “off” function helps make this jump starter last almost indefinitely. A must-buy if you're planning for a road trip that could last for months.
Most compactAudew1500A$$The smallest in term of both size and price. But it still packs enough power when your car needs it.
Best air compressorDeWaltDXAEJ14$$$Also features an air compressor that can help with flat tires.
Quite bulky in size
Longest cablesSchumacherDSR115$$$Designed for professionals: tow truck operators, automotive mechanics,...
Has an extra-long 6' 7" jumper cables.
Most DurableClore AutomotiveJNC660$$$A heavy-duty, high-performance jump starter with no extra fancy features.
An ideal unit for those who just want the basics and raw power.
Best all-in-oneBLACK+DECKERPPRH5B$$$$The fantastic all-round solution for your car problems.
Basically an upgrade from NOCO GB50 if you can afford the price.

What is a lithium-ion jump starter?

Lithium-ion battery

A lithium-ion jump starter is essentially a portable battery pack with jumper cables attached for you to start dead batteries quickly. Lithium-ion jump starters are also compact: you can store them in your vehicle’s glove box or trunk. When your auto’s battery is dead, you can use it to get moving again.

Back in the day, people relied solely on jumper cables and passerby’s kindness to start their dead vehicle. By attaching the cables to their cars, they would transfer energy from one battery to one another. Although a simple solution, jumper cables aren’t without problems. Incorrectly connecting the jumper cables to the battery terminals could lead to damage to both vehicles’ batteries. Furthermore, early portable jump starters are comprised of lead-acid batteries to boost a dead battery. Not only these systems were bulky, but they were also unreliable.

Gone are the days when you had to count on a stranger’s kindness and skill to start your car again without causing an accident – Image: Shutterstock

Lithium-ion batteries have been around for decades. We use them in various electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, etc. Unlike lead-acid batteries, you can recharge the lithium-ion one hundreds of times. They also have a higher density, higher voltage capacity, and a lower self-discharge rate than other types of rechargeable batteries. This means that they are safer to use, charge faster, last a lot longer while also remain smaller.

Benefits of lithium-ion jump starters

Most jump starters on the market today make use of lithium-ion battery technology. As a result, they have several benefits over jumper cables and other types of jump starters.

  • More functions

Not only can lithium-ion jump starters be used to start dead batteries, but they can also serve as power banks to recharge USB-connected electronic devices and other small electrical equipment. Among their features are high-powered LED flashlights with several lighting settings, air compressors, and power inverters.

  • More compact size

Size is essential in storing and carrying these jump starters. Manufacturers design them to be compact and lightweight to fit into a car’s glove box or trunk. Some can even fit into your handbag with ease. Others with multiple functions can be stored and carried easily with grab handles.

  • Better battery capacity

Jump starter’s battery size determines how many jumps it can complete before it needs to be recharged. Some models can jump-start ten vehicles, while others can manage 40 heavy-duty pickup trucks.

Lithium-ion jump starters can charge USB devices and other electronics. These batteries can store from 5,000 mAh to well over 20,000 mAh of energy.

  • Easier to use

With intuitive and straightforward displays and controls, lithium-ion jump starters can be used by anyone with no experience in a matter of minutes. These types of jump starters usually have a one-button operation for ease-of-use.

  • Safer to use

Last but definitely not least. Users of lithium-ion jump starters have no more worries should they incorrectly connect jumper cables to battery terminals. Manufacturers can now apply spark-proof technologies and reverse polarity protection on their products. These protections mean that lithium-ion jump starters won’t activate their electrical discharge should their jumper cables be incorrectly fitted to batteries.

How to pick the best lithium-ion jump starters

Choosing from the top brands

Which are the top lithium-ion jump starter brands on the market? There are hundreds of different ones, but the most recommended in independent reviews and tests are from these top brands:

NOCO

The best-seller of jump starters. This American company specializes in creating automotive- and battery-related products and accessories over the past 100 years. Their head offices are in Cleveland, Ohio, and they distribute their products across the globe. Their biggest seller in recent years has been their NOCO Boost range of products.

NOCO’s Genius Boost series is well-known for its slick designs, ease of use, and good customer service. This is the go-to brand if you’re a first-time buyer, in my opinion. Something like a NOCO GB50 should be on your radar.

DeWalt

DeWalt is an American maker of power tools for the construction, manufacturing, and woodworking industries. This company is a subsidiary of Black & Decker Inc., based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and their products are sold across international markets.

You probably already saw their logo on a hammer drill or an impact driver somewhere. They are good at making tools, and jump starters are no exception. You should look into their products, namely a DeWalt DXAEJ14, if you need some extra functions for your jump starters.

Black+Decker

The mother company of DeWalt. In 2010, Black+Decker also merged with Stanley Works – another popular jump starters maker. And as you can expect, these companies do live up to their parental standards, pun intended.

Black+Decker always applies the latest technologies to their products, and they certainly pay off. Their jump starters are incredibly versatile and should be on your list if you’re looking for an all-around tool in your garage. And the BLACK+DECKER PPRH5B model is certainly one of those.

Schumacher

Schumacher Electric Corporation is best known for their battery chargers. They have specialized in battery-related products and services for the automotive industry for more than 60 years. Their head offices are in Mount Prospect, Illinois, USA.

As a brand that is also associated with a racing team – Don Schumacher, they know what they’re doing with car-related products like jump starters. If you drive a heavy tow truck, 18-wheels, or an automotive mechanic, I strongly recommend Schumacher DSR115 for your consideration.

TACKLIFE

Founded in 2015 as a subsidiary of China’s massively successful Aukey Technology Co., TACKLIFE is best-known for producing power tools for automotive, outdoor, and home use. Their head offices are in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. TACKLIFE also distributes their products throughout the world.

Chinese products have improved quite a bit over the year while still selling at a competitive price. And TACKLIFE is no exception. If you are tight on budget, I recommend TACKLIFE’s jump starters, especially the T8 Newer Model.

Audew

Another Chinese multinational corporation that manufactures and sells consumer electronics. Similar to TACKLIFE, you can expect a good price from Audew while still don’t have to compromise quality.

Audew 1500A is one of the most compact jump starter out there and suitable for cars with small storage.

Clore Automotive

Founded in 2001, Clore Automotive designs and develops automotive equipment not only for professionals but also consumers. Their jump starters, especially the Jump-N-Carry series, are well-recognized and regarded. If you’re looking for raw, hard American power with no extra fancy features, then something like a JNC660 model is definitely your jump starter.

Looking at the important aspects

Portability

One of the key features of a lithium-ion jump starter is that they are portable. Some are as large as smartphones, while we can easily store others in a vehicle’s trunk or toolbox. Being small and lightweight means that they are easier to handle and take up far less space than lead-acid battery jump starters and even jumper cables sets.

Power capacity

Depending on the jump starter’s power capacity, they can start batteries of small hatchbacks and diesel- and gasoline-powered heavy-duty trucks up to 8-liters and 6-liters, respectively. The biggest lithium-ion power capacity is 2000 amps, enabling it to jump start up to 40 vehicles on a single charge. The smallest lithium-ion jump starter packs 500 amps to jump-start 20 small hatchbacks before it must be recharged.

Battery life

Some lithium-ion jump starters can keep up to 70 percent of their battery capacity for 12 months. To maintain the battery’s peak performance, they recommend it to recharge them after every jump. The smallest lithium-ion jump starters require about 3 hours to fully recharge, while the largest units would require 10.

Jumper cables

Ensure that the jump starter you’re looking to buy is constructed with copper wires because these are the best conductors of electrical energy. The jumper cables’ wires are graded according to their electrical conductivity. The larger the AWG (American wire gauge), the smaller the wire’s physical size. Jump starting a small hatchback requires wire grading of at least 10 AWG or 8 AWG. For a heavy-duty pickup truck, a 2 AWG or a 1 AWG jumper cables are vital.

But it isn’t only the jumper cables’ wires that matter. The jumper cables’ length also plays an important role. The longer the jumper cables, the lower the power output. Lithium-ion jump starters usually feature short jumper cables (average of 5-feet) to maximize power output. A set of jumper cables are rarely shorter than 12-feet to connect two vehicles’ batteries safely. And this doesn’t allow for optimal energy transfer.

Air compressor

You can purchase lithium-ion jump starters with built-in air compressors/tire inflators such as the DeWALT DXAEJ14 and BLACK & DECKER PPRH5B jump starters. However, built-in air compressors add extra bulk and cost to these devices. Some lithium-ion jump starters feature 12-volt power outputs for users to connect standalone air compressors and tire inflators.

Extra features

Lithium-ion jump starters can serve more than one function. Manufacturers equip them with USB ports to enable them to be used as portable power banks for electronic devices such as smartphones, action cameras, tablets, and earphones. Most feature LED flashlights with several light modes. Some models also pack 12-volt power outputs for electrical accessories.

Best lithium-ion jump starters review

Timmy’s choice: NOCO GB50

noco gb50
NOCO GB50
4.7
GB50 hits the right balance between power output and cost. The features available on this unit offer the greatest value to buyers. If you just want the best, this is the one for you

Pros

  • Safety features and one-button operation make it easy to use
  • Compact size for easy storage and portability
  • Rugged design with dust- and splash-resistance port closures
  • Spark-Proof Technology and Reverse Polarity Protection preserve device’s life

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a wall charger
  • Jumper cables are sometimes too short (23″)

The clear winner of this product review is NOCO Boost XL GB50 – which I have exhaustively reviewed before. It packs a hefty punch with this 1500-amp battery capacity, rugged and durable design, and smart safety features. This compact lithium-ion jump starter weighs just 2.45 lbs but is rated to jump start dead batteries of vehicles with gasoline engines up to 7.0-liters and diesel up to 4.5-liters. It can jump-start 30 dead batteries on a single charge – and requires just 5 hours for a full recharge.

The NOCO Boost XL GB50 jump-starts not only dead car batteries but can also recharge smartphones, tablets, and other USB-powered devices. It can charge an average smartphone twice with its 1500-amp battery capacity.

They develop this device with safety and ease-of-use at its center. It features spark-proof technology and reversed polarity protection. If you incorrectly connect the jumper cables, the device will not activate and alert you of your error.

They package it with a 12-volt charger and a MicroUSB charging cable to enable you to recharge your jump starter even while on the go.

Extra features of the NOCO Boost XL GB50 is a 200-lumen LED flashlight that comprises seven light modes. The device’s power outlet ports and power inlets feature closures with an IP65-rating for dust and splash resistance.

Verdict

The NOCO Boost XL GB50 presents the best overall design, ease-of-use. Its battery capacity versus price value makes this a clear Timmy’s Choice winner today. It hits the perfect sweet spot of power output vs. cost, even in NOCO’s own standard. The features available on this unit offer the greatest value to buyers.

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Best battery longevity: TACKLIFE T8 (yellow model)

tacklife t8
TACKLIFE T8 Yellow
4.8
T8 model has a manual “off” function. This makes the jump starter last almost indefinitely. A must-buy if you’re planning for a road trip that could last for months.

Pros

  • Manual “off” setting extends battery’s charge to 12 months
  • Wall charger makes for quick recharging
  • Has a 2-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Dual USB ports enhance practicality
  • Compact size makes it a viable portable power bank

Cons

  • Jumper cables are somewhat short at 21″ long
  • Clamps’ bulky sizes make connecting to smaller battery terminals difficult

The TACKLIFE T8 packs 800 amps in battery capacity to jump-start 30 small-to-medium cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks. And yet, it requires only 4.5 hours to recharge fully. They rate it for vehicle engines up to 7.0-liters for gasoline and 5.5-liter diesel. That battery capacity allows it to serve as a portable power bank for electronic devices, thanks to its 18,000 mAh power capacity. TACKLIFE T8 is also equipped with two USB ports: one 5-volt/9-volt Quick Charger port and one power-out port for 12-volt/10-amp.

With a function to manually turn the device “off,” you can slow its battery self-discharge. This means that the battery will keep its charge for 12 months before you must recharge it fully. The LCD screen becomes inactive until you turn the device “on” again.

Another feature of TACKLIFE T8 is an LED flashlight with three light modes: SOS light, strobe function, and flash setting. On the front panel of the jump starter is a built-in compass.

They also equip this jump starter with a clever safety feature: Smart Jump Clamps Indicator. If you incorrectly connect the jumper cables to the car’s battery, the Indicator will flash an alert light. This will prevent unintentional damage to your car’s battery and the jump starter device.

Verdict

The TACKLIFE T8 has great battery capacity and price in terms of its value proposition. That manual “off” function helps to make this jump starter invaluable in the times you least expect when your car’s battery is actually dead. For those who’ll store it in their vehicle’s glove box or trunk until needed, this is a fantastic buy.

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Most compact: Audew 1500A

audew 1500a
Audew 1500A
4.6
Audew offers the smallest jump starter in this list, both in term of size and price. But it still packs enough power to kick your car’s battery back to life.

Pros

  • Compact size is comparable to an iPhone for excellent portability
  • Small but still can boosts up to 30 vehicles
  • 8 safety systems for users and device protection

Cons

  • Jumper cables are WAY too short at only 14″

Smallest and lowest in price, the Audew 1500A portable lithium-ion jump starter is rated for gasoline engines up to 8.0-liters and diesel up to 6.0-liters. It packs a 500-amp power output and a 20,000mAh battery capacity to start 35 dead batteries on a single charge.

When your Audew 1500A jump starter’s battery is dead, it will take just 4 hours to recharge fully. They ship it to buyers with half a charge (or more). By plugging it into a 120-volt wall outlet, it will charge to full in 1 hour. The 20,000 mAh battery capacity means it can power your smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices for 2.5 charge cycles. For this, they equip it with 2 USB ports, of which one is a 5-volt/9-volt Quick Charger.

It also features a bright LED flashlight with three settings: an SOS light, a strobe, and a normal emergency mode. Other safety features built into this jump starter are reverse connection protection, overcharge protection, over-discharge protection, short-circuit protection, and high-temperature protection. These keep your device safe and prevent damage to batteries, too.

On the front panel is a built-in compass, a battery level indicator, and an on/off switch for a fuss-free design that’s rugged.

And most importantly, Audew 1500A measures 6.6″ x 3.5″ x 1.3″. Its compact size makes it easier to store in your vehicle’s glove box or trunk, or even in your pocket or handbag as a portable power bank.

Verdict

It may be the smallest and the most affordable model in this review, but it is not to be underestimated. In fact, it is one of the most powerful jump starters you can find. Quality, performance, and affordability in one attractive package. In short, this is a great product.

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Best air compressor: DeWalt DXAEJ14

DeWalt DXAEJ14
DeWalt DXAEJ14
4.5
Even though it’s quite bulky in size, DXAEJ14’s air compressor is definitely worth it. This unit will help you jump start your battery and inflate your tires at the same time!

Pros

  • 120-volt wall charging reduces recharge time to 6 hours
  • Air compressor’s SureFit nozzle is compatible with ANY air nozzles
  • Alternator Check helps to assess the condition of the vehicle’s battery
  • Voltage Check matching power rate transfer to car battery’s state

Cons

  • Not suitable for storage in small trunks
  • AC wall charging cable is not included
  • Needs to be recharged every 30 days regardless of usage

DeWalt DXAEJ14 is not only a lithium-ion jump starter but also a portable air compressor. This one device can help two of driving’s most common problems: dead batteries and flat/under-inflated tires. The product’s overall design makes it easy to carry, simple to operate, and straightforward to function as either a jump starter or an air compressor. Despite weighing 18 pounds, it is compact, and the carry handle makes it easy to transport.

This unit’s jumper cables are neatly and cleverly stowed in the machine’s flanks, while the rear panel houses the air compressor’s SureFit nozzle and hose. The front panel hosts the controls for both the jump starter and air compressor functions, along with dual USB charging ports.

It can jump-start most vehicles, including those with larger V8 petrol and diesel engines. They rate the battery capacity at 21,000 mAh to jump-start around 30 dead batteries and recharge an average smartphone 2.5 times before the unit needs recharging itself.

A brilliant addition to make this a more practical device is that it has built-in Alternator Check and Voltage Check functions. This Alternator Check can be carried out on any vehicle, and the Voltage Check test can be used on any 12-volt battery type.

The LCD screen and its menu are easy to read, easy to understand, and offer clear alerts and icons for safe use. It allows the DeWalt DXAEJ14 to display whether the jumper cables are correctly connected to a battery’s terminals and alerts the user to reverse polarity errors and alternator faults.

Verdict

Dewalt jump starters DXAEJ14 air compressor tire inflator
No more worry about dead batteries or deflated tires. DeWalt DXAEJ14 is the 2-in-1 insurance for your car – Image: DeWALT

DeWalt DXAEJ14 is the best portable power station on the market. It represents excellent value with a powerful air compressor, jump starter, power bank, and sports technology such as Alternator Check and Voltage Check to ensure your car’s battery is in good health.

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Most extended jumper cables: Schumacher DSR115

Schumacher DSR115
Schumacher DSR115
4.5
Schumacher specifically designed this unit for tow truck operators, 18-wheels drivers, automotive mechanics,… It also comes with extra-long 6′ 7″ jumper cables.
Nothing makes you look like a professional more than whipping a Schumacher DSR115 out of your trunk.

Pros

  • Extra-long jumper cables are 6′ 7″ in length
  • So powerful it can jump-start semi-trucks
  • 2-amp external automatic charger prevents overcharging
  • External on/off switch for jumper cables
  • Jumper cables’ jaws are replaceable

Cons

  • Incredibly heavy
  • Needs up to 12 hours to recharge fully

Heavy-duty batteries require heavy-duty jump starters. And in this case, the Schumacher DSR115 4400 Amp jump starter takes the cake. It is the most powerful jump starter in this lineup, with 4400 peak amps and 750 crank amps to bring almost all dead 12-volt and 24-volt batteries to life again.

It features a 12-volt DC power outlet for powering power tools and other electrical devices, a USB port for charging smartphones and other electronic gadgets. Its jumper cables are 6′ 7″ long to reach even the most challenging spaces. Those jumper cables might be long, but the manufacturer has constructed them with 2AWG copper wire to minimize the power loss because of the length of the jumper cables.

The case of this jump starter is also rust-proof to ensure the machine is durable for long service life, but that comes at the cost of weight: this one weighs 13.3 lbs.

In terms of safety, it offers a reverse connection warning and a 2-amp external automatic charger that prevents overcharging. This also serves as a fast-charger. The first charge requires a 36-hour charge cycle. It usually takes 6 hours to recharge fully. The battery capacity remains optimal for three months, and then self-discharging occurs.

Verdict

They aim the Schumacher DSR115 4400 Amp jump starter at professionals: tow truck operators, automotive mechanics, truck fleet managers. As a result, they build it tough to withstand the hard life of starting big batteries. And the extra-long 6′ 7″ jumper cables also help transfer the electrical energy efficiently. This is a dependable tool for use in an emergency.

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Most Durable: Clore Automotive JNC660

Clore Automotive JNC660
Clore Automotive JNC660
4.7
A heavy-duty, high-performance jump starter with no extra fancy features.
An ideal unit for those who just want the basics and raw American power!

Pros

  • Tough and sturdy case
  • Built-in AC charger makes for easy recharging
  • Automatic charger prevents overcharging
  • 12-volt socket makes for easy charging of electrical appliances
  • Long jumper cables easily reach battery terminals

Cons

  • No safety measures
  • No USB ports

The Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC660 jump starter was designed and developed for fleet vehicle maintenance, dealerships, and other professional automotive-related industries and needs. This one boasts 425 cranking amps to spin the car’s starter motor with a dead battery to bring it back to life. It can jump-start dead batteries in vehicles diesel – and gasoline-powered vehicles up to 6 cylinders in size. That power is transferred from the powerful lithium-ion batteries to the car’s battery via 46″ long 2AGW copper wires for optimum performance. The jumper cables also feature industrial-grade clamps and jaws for the best contact on any sized battery terminals.

This jump starter’s battery capacity allows you to perform 10-30 starts from a single charge. The results vary because of the size of the vehicle’s battery being started. Recharging this machine takes from 12 to 36 hours.

When charging this jump starter, it features an analog battery status gauge for a precise voltage of the onboard lithium-ion battery cells. Clore recommends recharging this jump starter after each use, and you should charge it every three months. This will help self-discharge the lithium-ion cells and pack the power back into the cells to extend the battery’s life.

Verdict

For those seeking a heavy-duty, high-performance jump starter with no accessories or other features such as a built-in compass, LED flashlight, and such, this is the ideal unit for you. It does the basics, and it does them perfectly.

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Best all-in-one: BLACK+DECKER PPRH5B

BLACK DECKER PPRH5B
BLACK+DECKER PPRH5B
4.2
The fantastic jack of trades solution for your car problems. PPRH5B is basically an upgrade from NOCO GB50 – if you can afford the price.

Pros

  • A 3-in-1 unit: jump starter, battery charger, air compressor
  • Offers reverse polarity protection
  • Built-in 120-volt AC wall charger with overcharge protection
  • Power inverter runs any 12-volt electrical device

Cons

  • VERY heavy
  • Requires 40-hour charge before first use

They aim the BLACK+DECKER PPRH5B jump starter at professionals. This jump starter provides functionality in a 3-in-1 package thanks to its 500-Watt rated power inverter and 120 PSI air compressor. PPRH5B’s high-powered lithium-ion battery also can jump-start even the most powerful vehicle engines.

It features a 17,000 mAh battery capacity to serve as a handy portable power bank to keep your electronic devices fully charged while on the move between construction sites and such. The 500-Watt power inverter can be used with its two onboard electrical power outlet sockets to run all 120-volt appliances and electrical devices.

You can monitor the 120 PSI air compressor with a back-lit air pressure gauge while you inflate your vehicle’s tires. They store the hose and nozzle inside the jump starter’s tough casing.

Other features you’ll find handy for this jump starter are its LED flashlight and dual USB ports. It also has a storage compartment.

Verdict

black decker PPRH5B all in one jump starter power bank
Nothing says “all-in-one” better than this photo. It can jump-start cars, charge devices, and essentially become a portable power bank – Image: BLACK+DECKER

The best all-in-one jump starter: this BLACK+DECKER PPRH5B is powerful, functional, and value-packed. It certainly offers a fantastic all-round solution for three standalone tools in the garage.

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Final takeaways

Lithium-ion jump starters are essential for all vehicle owners and offer peace of mind during unfortunate events when these devices will prove their worth and value.

  • For those seeking the best lithium-ion jump starter, the NOCO Boost XL GB50 definitely takes the cake. Not only it is compact and powerful, but it also presents impressive power at an unbeatable price point, making this the most value-packed model for your money.
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  • Size does matter. And Audew manages to squeeze 20,000mAh and 500-amp power into a 6.6″ x 3.5″ x 1.3″ package. As a result, Audew 1500A is ideal to be stored in your vehicle’s glove box, trunk, toolbox, or handbag for emergencies.
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  • DeWalt DXAEJ14 is the most versatile jump starter. Firstly, it jump-starts 30 large-engined vehicles 30 times over on a single charge. Its built-in air compressor is also rated to 120 PSI to inflate even large tires. In addition, DXAEJ14 features an LCD readout, which helps you inflate those tires with maximum precision.
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