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RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

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Old 06-20-2010, 06:47 PM   #1
DanWard
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Question New guy - Radio help please

Yep, still pretty new and I think I need some help with my radio.

If you have read any of my post you know I'm getting back into the hobby after 17+ years of kids. The needle in the arm is a Daredevil 3D that came with a radio, it works but AA batteries in the transmitter is a pain.

Once the addiction was back I wanted another plance so I built a Multiplex Acromaster. When I got to the radio purchase I stumbled.

Back in the day I just used a simple 4 channel Futaba AM radio in a Hots and it did everything I ever wanted.

Radios have evolved and I have a limited budget. I read, I learned, I read some more, I learned some more ... heck some of the radios seem to be so fancy and expenseive you get the idea they might fly the plane for you. I have no problem manually flying the plane, I don't need a radio that will auto mix this with that to compensate for what I love to do manually.

1. Radios can be expensive and I'm not sure my need called for the expense.

2. If I used to have great luck with an AM radio FM is bound to be a step better.

3. I make my living with computers which means the last think I thought I needed was a computer radio to try and program (trim pots are nice if you just spent the last week programming the control for a potatoe chip line).

4. Never has servo limits and dual rates back in the day so why need them now (boy I wish I had them now for my Acromaster)

I ended up buying a Heitec Laser 4 channel FM radio on channel 45 with the Heitec Micro O5S (or is it O55?) receiver.

So the Acromaster flys great but while I might be able to fly my Daredevil in the park behind my house and spot land it on a basketball half court the Acromaster seems to want a much longer landing (approach is longer and it floats forever, doesn't bleed speed or altitude and when I flare for landing it just climbs unless it is real slow).

So this has me going to a club field for the 1st time in 17 years. Seldom ever is anyone there. I like to fly in the morning before the wind and heat comes up. When i do find someone there it is usually in the afternoon heat, wind blowing gang busters, and it is almost always the same guy flying with a beer in his hand (I sort of find the combination odd ).

But I'm getting off track. I've had several occasions where I have had radio interference. Always north of the field. Always in about the same spot, same altitude, etc (of course it is on final approach to land). It only last for a second (like today plane darn near went knifedge) and then it is gone and plane returns to stable level flight.

The 1st time it happened I thought it was nerves and my twichy fingers, 2nd time I wasn't so sure about my fingers, but now by the 6th time on the 6th seperate day...

So this has me interested in radio transmitter and receiver choice that I made. I've done some reading (again). I think some of the 2.4 radio hop back and forth between 2 set frequencies and other skip between them all and never on one for more than a split instant. I think if you had 10 people all flying with 2.4 radios they are all on the same frequency at some time or another but the big difference is now a days the transmitter sends a data packet that begins with a unique address that only its receiver listens to. Sort of like a Modus adress on a modbus network.

This is getting very long and for that I am sorry. Obviously I need some guidance or help.

I'm surpised by my new radio. This is the same field I flew at years ago with AM and never had problems. I thought FM would be better.

Is there an affordable solution that I could purchase (TC & RX) and move to 2.4 in an effort to get away from interferance? Is there any that are simple? I read manuals all week long for work computers and the thought of a big think manual to program my RC radio..well I guess I could if I had to. For example I think many come with the ability to remeber planes (trim setting, etc). In my case I wouldn't need a bunch. At most if I converted my Daredevil as well maybe 4 and that would be 100% more planes that I have now.

Again, I'm sorry for being so long winded. And thanks to any and all in advance for any help or suggestions.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:02 PM   #2
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I think that basically boiled down to you thinking of getting a 2.4GHz radio and asking for recommendations. Is that right ?

If so it would help if you gave some hint what "affordable" means to you. Also your location because different countries have different rules about which radios can be used.

2.4GHz radios range in price from around $30 to over $3000. I'd probably recommend something like the Spektrum DX6i as having enough features for you, plenty of model memories for now and reasonable pricing and availability. But I have no idea if that's available where you are or within your price range.

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Old 06-20-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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Default Clarification

OOps all of that and I still missed some details

I live and fly on the east side of Houston Texas.

Affordable? Well I don't drive a lamborgini nor a 1968 VW. I have just a good Dodge truck. I've been looking and I didn't see any 2.4 in the $50 range and $3k is like lamborgini pricing in my world.

But I've already made one bad purchase and don't want to make a second bad purchase. If $100 get a good (maybe not top notch) tx and rx that I don't have to feed it AA batteries then point me to it please. But if it needs to be $200 then let me know. I need basic features but don't think I need or can afford to pay for frillies that I'll never use. I've bought some stuff before (picture in picture on my TV comes to mind) that I paid good money for and have never used.

I think I've seen receivers for 2.4 can get pricey as well, some more than others. If I get one and it support multiple planes then as times goes along prhpas I can get a rx for my Daredevil.

And if there is a good internet site to buy from, here again the info would be appreciated.

I'm also asking if this propblem I'm expereincing is typical of FM? Or do you think I have a radio problem? If so it is brand new and maybe I should look into getting it fixed.

There is a world of propiganda out there and I've read a bunch of it. What I don't have is any flying buddies with rubber meets the raod experience. Feedback based on expereince is what I need. Or at least it feels like that is what I need so I can make a purchase.
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:42 PM   #4
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Fortunately, all the major brand 2.4GHz systems are quite good, i.e. Airtronics, Futaba, Hitec and Spectrum/JR. If you are planing one joining a club, it is often best to use what most of the guys do as that will give you more chances of getting good advice and help when and if you need it. IMHO, the Airtonics system is probably the best buy for your money right now but Hitec is close. However, if you want to got to the "Bind and Fly" route that many manufactures are making special buys on, then you are limited to the Spectrum/JR brand. But, as I first said, you will probably be quite satisfied with any of the major brands as all are quite good. As an electical engineer with quite a bit of experience in instrumentation and RF, I think the FASST systems (Futaba, Hitec and Airtronics) are slightly more reliable from RF interference, especially in heavy use areas, than the other type systems are. However, you can find arguments against that too.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:04 PM   #5
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in general:

FM will get less interference that AM
FM with PCM will lock the signal very well
Berg FM RX lock onto the signal 'signature' and are very good/similar to a PCM system.

2.4 technology uses a lot bigger data stream with a lot more error correction, so hit very VERY rarely will manifest themselves as a glitch, so it's great technology. This is true of all manufactures, is part of the spread spectrum technology.

As for a good value on a better radio, I'd suggest looking for a used DX7, it's a fantastic radio. If you really don't want to spend that, look for a used DX6i.

Remember however, the core of this whole hobby is based on the radio, limit yourself there, and you limit what you can do and how far you can go.

I've seen some really really nice 72 mhz radios go for cheap, like $150. but if you really want to 'bullet-proof" your RF link, embrace the new 2.4 technology. I use both 72 and 2.4 equally currently, I trust my 2.4 more.

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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Default DX6i clarification

So then since I already have heitec (2) HS-85BB and (2) HS-55 servos installed I could purchase a SPM6600 like this and my servos would work with it?

http://www.spektrumrc.com/Products/D...ProdID=SPM6600

And I have often looked at the Parkzone bind and fly, one might be fun for here at home. So if I bought this I'd be in good shape for any of the bind and fly.

Hmmm...and my local hobyy shop can get me transmitter and receiver for $180. I might NEEEEED one of these
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DanWard View Post
So then since I already have heitec (2) HS-85BB and (2) HS-55 servos installed I could purchase a SPM6600 like this and my servos would work with it?

http://www.spektrumrc.com/Products/D...ProdID=SPM6600

And I have often looked at the Parkzone bind and fly, one might be fun for here at home. So if I bought this I'd be in good shape for any of the bind and fly.

Hmmm...and my local hobyy shop can get me transmitter and receiver for $180. I might NEEEEED one of these
DX6i is a great radio, but still quite limiting IMHO. Any standard hobby servo will work with all the hobby class recievers, so current Hitec, Futaba, JR, Spectrum, Airtronics, Ace, Hyperion, GWS, Align, Hobbico, Diamond, etc etc. all use the same connector, pin out, and signal. Some have a variance in acceptable voltage, but the standard is 4.8V to 6v (4 cell nickel or alkaline batteries)

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:06 PM   #8
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IMO Best value with most features for the $ is the Hitec Optic6 & Sport (link includes Manuals, Tutorial & Comparison Charts) . These 2.4GHz units incorporate telemetry features, e.g. receiver voltage feedback.
The Module on the Optic 6 can be swapped between the Spectra Pro 2.4Ghz and the Standard 72mhz Modules to work with any other FM RX held.
A more expensive option at upper end
Aurora A9, Spectra Pro & Optima - FAQ & Undocumented Features - Mixes, Setups, Tips. {Individual Links often updated}

Reviews and independent comment on other 2.4Ghz systems

With regard to glitches in existing system, refer to sub Section "Glitches & Jitter in Receiver, Servo & ESC - causes and cures " under
"Radio Systems, Accessories, Alterations and FAQ." at:
Alan's Hobby, Model & RC FAQ Web Links

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Old 06-21-2010, 07:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DanWard View Post
So then since I already have heitec (2) HS-85BB and (2) HS-55 servos installed I could purchase a SPM6600 like this and my servos would work with it?

http://www.spektrumrc.com/Products/D...ProdID=SPM6600

And I have often looked at the Parkzone bind and fly, one might be fun for here at home. So if I bought this I'd be in good shape for any of the bind and fly.
Yep your HITEC servos will work with Spektrum receivers.

Although there are other good makes of 2.4GHz gear only Spektrum gear will work with the Parkzone/EFlite BnF models so that limits your choice. It still looks like a DX6i is the one .

Steve
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:50 AM   #10
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Default New guy - DX6i learning curve begins, connecting servos

Well I ended up chosing the DX6i. I've seen the bind and fly Park Zone planes and thought one would be nice for front yard flying some day.

Instructions and the lack there of, I'm amazed at the thing that I guess people are just supposed to know.

On the Heitec receiver they marked the channels 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. But no reference to throttle aleron, rudder, etc. But at least they did mark which pin on the channels were what. For example black -, red +, yellow signal. This was before I found groups like this so I called Heitec to figure out which was what.

Now on the DX6i Reciever AR6200 they marked them gear, rudder, throttle, etc but give absolutly no indication which way to orient the servo or esc plug. I swear I could plug them in either way. I see nothing like mechanically having two of the three pins on the connector closer together than the 3rd so it would only plug in one way. I've read 75 pages of the manual and unless I missed a page not a one mention of how to plug a servo into the receiver.

So, is a guy just supposed to know? Does it not make a difference? Is this just part of being new? Anyone with AR6200 / DX6i experience. I don't think it matters but I have Heitec servos.

I'm hoping someone will once again help out the new guy?

So exacly how long does the learning curve in this hobby last?
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:23 AM   #11
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The servos will only work if you plug them in the right way. Plug them in, and if they don't work, turn the plug around. And they will work.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DanWard View Post
Well I ended up chosing the DX6i. I've seen the bind and fly Park Zone planes and thought one would be nice for front yard flying some day.

Instructions and the lack there of, I'm amazed at the thing that I guess people are just supposed to know.

On the Heitec receiver they marked the channels 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. But no reference to throttle aleron, rudder, etc. But at least they did mark which pin on the channels were what. For example black -, red +, yellow signal. This was before I found groups like this so I called Heitec to figure out which was what.

Now on the DX6i Reciever AR6200 they marked them gear, rudder, throttle, etc but give absolutly no indication which way to orient the servo or esc plug. I swear I could plug them in either way. I see nothing like mechanically having two of the three pins on the connector closer together than the 3rd so it would only plug in one way. I've read 75 pages of the manual and unless I missed a page not a one mention of how to plug a servo into the receiver.

So, is a guy just supposed to know? Does it not make a difference? Is this just part of being new? Anyone with AR6200 / DX6i experience. I don't think it matters but I have Heitec servos.

I'm hoping someone will once again help out the new guy?

So exactly how long does the learning curve in this hobby last?


Servo pinouts are not that tricky - just look athe wire colors. Yes, not all servos are RED/WHITE/BLACK which would be too easy - but the variation is slight enough to still maintain a universal 'code' Red is always +, Brown or Black is Negative, and the White, Orange or Yellow is the Signal (Boo Airtronics, hiss). For Spektrum Rx, the signal is closest in to the label. If that makes sense.

Not sure if its on the 6200 but if you look closely at most other Spektrum Rx' you will actually see a polarity indication on the right side when looking at the label - with a square-wave symbol shown as the signal. Easy-Peasy Taiwaneesy.

Pic Illustrates.


Cheers.

GRU


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Old 06-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DanWard View Post
Well I ended up chosing the DX6i. I've seen the bind and fly Park Zone planes and thought one would be nice for front yard flying some day.

Instructions and the lack there of, I'm amazed at the thing that I guess people are just supposed to know.

On the Heitec receiver they marked the channels 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. But no reference to throttle aleron, rudder, etc. But at least they did mark which pin on the channels were what. For example black -, red +, yellow signal. This was before I found groups like this so I called Heitec to figure out which was what.

Now on the DX6i Reciever AR6200 they marked them gear, rudder, throttle, etc but give absolutly no indication which way to orient the servo or esc plug. I swear I could plug them in either way. I see nothing like mechanically having two of the three pins on the connector closer together than the 3rd so it would only plug in one way. I've read 75 pages of the manual and unless I missed a page not a one mention of how to plug a servo into the receiver.

So, is a guy just supposed to know? Does it not make a difference? Is this just part of being new? Anyone with AR6200 / DX6i experience. I don't think it matters but I have Heitec servos.

I'm hoping someone will once again help out the new guy?

So exacly how long does the learning curve in this hobby last?
If you're lucky - it never ends

I think I need a signature.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:27 PM   #14
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That was a really good explanation from GRU!
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:09 PM   #15
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Default New guy - DX6i learning curve begins, connecting servos Part#2

Thanks for the input.

I have been all over the AR6200 and I don't see any indications or markings of any kind for which pin is which.

Since the 6200 pins are arrange similar to the 6100 picture someone posted I'll use that as a go by and if it doesn't work no harm, no foul, I'll just turn it around.

Now for my next question that I should have included in last nights post.

I have looked at the sockets in the receiver and I see there are bevels on one side of the socket so a plug could only go in one way.

Everything I own is less than 9 months old and none of my plugs have matching bevels. For example my speed controller plug has square corners all the way around. It appears Hietec servos plugs and the plugs on the servo extentions I have are all missing this bevel as well.

I don't want to force and honestly forcing feels like something would break.

So what do I do? Is this saying I have troubles or can I just put a bevel on the plugs with a file, or sandpaper, or dremel?
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:15 PM   #16
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Never had issues with the small difference of the plug bevels of my servos. If you push it carefully to the pins, you should have the contact you need for operation. Have you tried to connect your gear to the receiver? I think now is the time to plug it all together, and try if you can make it to work.
It is not the plastic on the outside of the plug that matter, bevel or not.
If you have connection on all the three cables in the plug, you will see it coming to life. And the fun have just begin.
Tell us what happen when you have a closed circuit with all your gear, and battery.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:47 PM   #17
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Do the connectors fit either way? Futaba plugs had a little tab that stops them from fitting in a JR slot but all you have to do is cut that tab off and they work. JR style connector are considered to be universal and fit either style.

Hope that makes sense, Mike

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Old 06-27-2010, 07:54 PM   #18
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Maybe this will help, this is the JR style.(Universal)


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Old 06-27-2010, 07:55 PM   #19
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This is the Futaba Style, notice the tab on the left side.


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Old 06-27-2010, 08:27 PM   #20
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Thanks group. Seriously, THANKS!

I have no experience and no flying buddies. This group makes all the difference.

After seeing the post and knowing I couldn't get the speed controller plugged in as it was I took a nail file to it, created my own bevels, and things seem to be working.

I've got it bound, and yep forgot to remove binding plug before power down so I got to do it again. Practice equals experience

I've been through the initial setup programming. My old radio didn't support a servo in each wing so I used a wye cable. But this one does support a servo in each wing. No more wye cable! I have it configured.

Right now I'm learning about dual rate and expo settings.

Thanks again! I'm not in the air yet but I think I'm moving forward.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:42 PM   #21
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Thats good to read! Looking forward to the maiden of your model. Looks like you got it all right now.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:32 PM   #22
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Hope someone with expertise still looks at this thrd. I am new too but have a little exp flying with already set-up planes. now I'm building my own. Inspite of all the info on WattFlyer I still dont understand setting servos on initial setup.
Here are my questions: ( assuming I have selected my models memory )
1. When I turn on my Spektrum DX6i and then plug battery into ESC with all servos connected, do the servos automatically center, regardless of front panel trim levers, OR is THAT how I center them?

2.AFTER the above, IF I install servo arms, keeping them at as near 90 Deg as possible (limited only by splines), and install pushrods so that control surfaces are as near neutral as possible, am I thoeretically going to have the max flexibility in trim adjust by front panel levers ?

3. When do I start programming sub trims in this sequence and do they stay only with THIS model and are subtrims used for trimming in flight rather than front panel trim levers ?

4. What exactly is the relationship between front panel trim controls and programmable subtrims?

Anyone who can clarify this, please help. I have 4 planes built now and 2 have been flown by an expert. The other two have not been flown. One of those flown has been trimmed in flight using only front panel levers. How do I know if I NEED to program subtrim

Many, many thanks to anyone who can give me a simple >:<) explanation.
Fly
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:13 PM   #23
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Flywhat2,

Here ya go:

1. When I turn on my Spektrum DX6i and then plug battery into ESC with all servos connected, do the servos automatically center, regardless of front panel trim levers, OR is THAT how I center them?

They will find the center if your trim levers are centered. You will center the servo, then attach the arm.


2.AFTER the above, IF I install servo arms, keeping them at as near 90 Deg as possible (limited only by splines), and install pushrods so that control surfaces are as near neutral as possible, am I thoeretically going to have the max flexibility in trim adjust by front panel levers ?

Yes. Now is the time to use the programmable trim to find 90 deg if necessary.

3. When do I start programming sub trims in this sequence and do they stay only with THIS model and are subtrims used for trimming in flight rather than front panel trim levers ?

Sub trims allow you to 'center' the control surface, and keep the front trim's at 'center', to give you the most trim. You do that first.


4. What exactly is the relationship between front panel trim controls and programmable subtrims?

Programmable sub trims are to allow you to get a 'static trim' where everything is centered via your eye, on the ground. Front panel trim is for in flight adjustment.



When setting up a radio/airplane, put all trims panel and programmable at zero, or center. Attach arms at 90 deg. Install control rods and adjust to maintain center as close as possible. Fix any surfaces to neutral with programmable trims. In flight, make any fine trim adjustments at the front panel.

THEN... after the flight if you are real picky, same as the static trim, notice the trim positions, if you prefer, move the programmable sub trims to those positions and center the front panel trims so your static trim is now where the flight trim was.

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Old 06-03-2011, 12:26 AM   #24
Flywhat2
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Default 1,000 thanks!

I can't thank you enough. NOW I understand the trims. As soon as you said front panel trims are for in-flight trimming I GOT IT! The sequence you gave ( I suspect) results in the most effective use of both trim controls. I'm confident now I can get all my planes trimmed before I hit age 85.
I do appreciate the help, Fly
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