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Lectro Venue2/A1 Design Anachronism and Random Venue2 Block Switching Halted Production


jawharp
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1 hour ago, Johnny Karlsson said:

Dude, calm down. I think everyone here has tried to help you. A simple “thank You “ would probably work better if you think you may ever need advice again. Keep in mind we’re a discussion group, nobody here works in customer service, nor does anyone here owe you anything. This kind of comment just makes people wanna say things like “do your own homework “ or “read the fabulous manual.”

 

First off, the T-Swift thing was solid.  

 

Also I never said anyone here owes me anything, or that I wanted to start a discussion about feelings and seniority.  I asked a simple technical question and got a concrete answer from 2 of my peers.  I responded by saying I learned something, and thanked the people who actually answered me instead of trying to dazzle me with exciting tales of the screwdrivers and dials of old. 

 

All in all, people who wanted to respond responded, and I'm not really sure why me being pissed about being needlessly lectured to is so upsetting.  I feel like that's a pretty universal thing that pisses everyone off.

 

As far as I'm concerned this topic is closed cause my question was answered.  Thanks to those who helped!

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7 hours ago, Johnny Karlsson said:

This kind of comment just makes people wanna say things like “do your own homework “ or “read the fabulous manual.”

I always wondered what the F stood for in RTFM! Thanks.

 

There are just a couple quirks with the Venue 2 that I've learned to look out for. One of them goes like this:

I have my Channel 5 Tx setting set to B Band because sometimes I use a block 21 Tx, sometimes I use a block 22 Tx. My channel 6 Tx is set to block 21 only (narrow band) in the Venue. When I switch to ratio diversity mode and then switch back, I have to manually reset the channel 6 block settings because it has taken on the channel 5 block settings. Switching to diversity mode altered the channel settings even after you go back to switch mode.

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Am I the only one that agrees this is a stupid design? I’m not upset that the blocks overlap, it’s just annoying that you have to change your wideband pack from one “block” to the other, instead of just tuning it to a frequency and it just working. It’s annoying when setting stuff up in a rush. The packs should have absolutely no block settings — just a frequency range you can either to tune to or not. 
 

It’s the same annoyance when my Zaxcom Nova auto picks frequencies that I can’t even tune any of my transmitters to (lower 500s), except at least that can be changed by setting different bounds. 

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1 hour ago, BAB414 said:

I always wondered what the F stood for in RTFM! Thanks.

 

There are just a couple quirks with the Venue 2 that I've learned to look out for. One of them goes like this:

I have my Channel 5 Tx setting set to B Band because sometimes I use a block 21 Tx, sometimes I use a block 22 Tx. My channel 6 Tx is set to block 21 only (narrow band) in the Venue. When I switch to ratio diversity mode and then switch back, I have to manually reset the channel 6 block settings because it has taken on the channel 5 block settings. Switching to diversity mode altered the channel settings even after you go back to switch mode.

 

Also good to know, thanks.  I'm going to try and test today to see if the smart scan feature changes the block setting today when I get to work.  I'll let you guys know how it goes.

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I agree that it’s annoying, maybe even close to being a bug. I understand why this problem exists but if I were Lectro I would have considered using the same pilot tone signal or whatever so that block 470 and 19 could tune each other’s overlapping frequencies without any extra steps for the user. 

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5 hours ago, laurenbanjo said:

Am I the only one that agrees this is a stupid design? I’m not upset that the blocks overlap, it’s just annoying that you have to change your wideband pack from one “block” to the other, instead of just tuning it to a frequency and it just working

Well, it’s one way of looking at it, but otoh- I think it’s pretty cool that I can use my Block 19 SMVs with the SRC, and even DSQD receivers.

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6 hours ago, Johnny Karlsson said:

Well, it’s one way of looking at it, but otoh- I think it’s pretty cool that I can use my Block 19 SMVs with the SRC, and even DSQD receivers

Right, that makes sense, but the part I'm confused about is why the newer stuff that covers all the frequencies anyway is even dependent on a setting involving blocks.  It doesn't make any sense that an A1 receiver getting signal from an A1 transmitter even needs to deal with blocks.  All it does is create potential for this problem.  I don't see the benefit to having blocks matter on any wideband gear if it's not even dependent on blocks in the first place.

 

The only situation I can see that benefits from having 2 different versions of those frequencies on a receiver is if you were using both a block 19 and block 470 transmitter both set to one of the overlapping frequencies.  But even then, if they're each on a separate frequency, why does the block even matter?  Is it there in case they're both set to the same frequency, but on different blocks?  I can't think of any practical use for having 2 transmitters, one block 19 and one block 470, both set to the same frequency on different blocks.

 

 

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2 hours ago, jawharp said:

Right, that makes sense, but the part I'm confused about is why the newer stuff that covers all the frequencies anyway is even dependent on a setting involving blocks.  It doesn't make any sense that an A1 receiver getting signal from an A1 transmitter even needs to deal with blocks.  All it does is create potential for this problem.  I don't see the benefit to having blocks matter on any wideband gear if it's not even dependent on blocks in the first place.

 

The only situation I can see that benefits from having 2 different versions of those frequencies on a receiver is if you were using both a block 19 and block 470 transmitter both set to one of the overlapping frequencies.  But even then, if they're each on a separate frequency, why does the block even matter?  Is it there in case they're both set to the same frequency, but on different blocks?  I can't think of any practical use for having 2 transmitters, one block 19 and one block 470, both set to the same frequency on different blocks.

 

But this isn't newer stuff. You are working with a system (Digital Hybrid Wireless) and method (Frequency Blocks) that was introduced in 2002. Situations like yours are a side-effect of Lectrosonics' pretty incredible backwards compatibility throughout the years. You can use a transmitter from 2002 on the latest receivers from Lectrosonics, like the DSQD and the the DCR822, 20 years later and they sound and work great. That's pretty incredible and part of the reason why many of us like using their products. So the overlap is a side-effect of that, and does not appear to have a solution unless a receiver comes out that can sense and adapt to two different pilot tones.

 

However, when you update to their truly newer stuff, you can. All their D2 digital series do not use pilot tones anymore, and have no 470/19 overlap. So that might be the answer if the overlap is consistently too frustrating to navigate.

 

For reference: https://www.lectrosonics.com/the-wire-lists/877-wire-lists-27-advice-for-navigating-the-block-19-470-overlap.html

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4 hours ago, mlohninger said:

Situations like yours are a side-effect of Lectrosonics' pretty incredible backwards compatibility throughout the years.

 
But the overlap is not god-given. At some point they made the conscious decision to have a full block 470 which naturally overlaps block 19, because they wanted 470 to be 25mHz wide like the other blocks. They could also have chosen a crippled block 18 or whatever, but who would’ve paid for that? So it’s an error in their own system rather than something they couldn’t have avoided. And they decided to make the pilot tones block specific instead of frequency specific, which I‘m only guessing they could’ve done, too.

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On 9/9/2022 at 5:41 PM, jawharp said:

As far as I'm concerned this topic is closed cause my question was answered.

Said like you think JW is part of customer service. In all the time you have spent ranting here you could have used the Lectro white papers and 'solved' it all by yourself. Good luck moving forward - things are getting more complicated, not simpler. 

IMO JW is a great and generous resource for professionals 👍🏻

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38 minutes ago, Constantin said:

 But the overlap is not god-given. At some point they made the conscious decision to have a full block 470 which naturally overlaps block 19, because they wanted 470 to be 25mHz wide like the other blocks. They could also have chosen a crippled block 18 or whatever, but who would’ve paid for that? So it’s an error in their own system rather than something they couldn’t have avoided. And they decided to make the pilot tones block specific instead of frequency specific, which I‘m only guessing they could’ve done, too.

 

Well, hindsight is everything and I'm sure there is some regret at Lectrosonics, because it does cause some confusion in today's wide-band world, but that is the nature of keeping things backwards compatible. They could have fixed this at any time, and broken the backwards compatibility, so I would say – pick your poisons.

 

Regarding the use of block specific pilot tones – it keeps intermod products from unwanted un-squelching on neighboring block receivers. It is generally a good thing, and it does have a reason.

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4 hours ago, Constantin said:

 
But the overlap is not god-given. At some point they made the conscious decision to have a full block 470 which naturally overlaps block 19, because they wanted 470 to be 25mHz wide like the other blocks. They could also have chosen a crippled block 18 or whatever, but who would’ve paid for that? So it’s an error in their own system rather than something they couldn’t have avoided. And they decided to make the pilot tones block specific instead of frequency specific, which I‘m only guessing they could’ve done, too.

The pilot tones were chosen by the hex switch setting on the much older equipment (200 and 400 series). If the two 16 position switches were set at A-12 on any block, the pilot tone for A-12 was chosen. To be specific A-12 on block 21 would have the same pilot tone frequency as A-12 on block 22. This didn't cause problems because the carriers of the blocks were separated by at least 25.6 MHz. Choosing the pilot tone based on the hex switch settings saved lots of memory, which early on was in short supply. Block 470 introduced problems since identical carrier frequencies on overlapping blocks had different hex switch settings. With newer Lectro gear covering multiple blocks this became a "Gotcha".  Today with new processors with LCD displays and more memory, we wouldn't have done it that way. I do think we could have made better decisions about block 470 even with the old gear. However, once we screwed up, continuing compatibilty forced us into living with it. "RTFM" is not really really an excuse for a poor decision but there you have it. 

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

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16 minutes ago, LarryF said:

The pilot tones were chosen by the hex switch setting on the much older equipment (200 and 400 series). If the two 16 position switches were set at A-12 on any block, the pilot tone for A-12 was chosen. To be specific A-12 on block 21 would have the same pilot tone frequency as A-12 on block 22. This didn't cause problems because the carriers of the blocks were separated by at least 25.6 MHz. Choosing the pilot tone based on the hex switch settings saved lots of memory, which early on was in short supply. Block 470 introduced problems since identical carrier frequencies on overlapping blocks had different hex switch settings. With newer Lectro gear covering multiple blocks this became a "Gotcha".  Today with new processors with LCD displays and more memory, we wouldn't have done it that way. I do think we could have made better decisions about block 470 even with the old gear. However, once we screwed up, continuing compatibilty forced us into living with it. "RTFM" is not really really an excuse for a poor decision but there you have it. 

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

Thank you for posting a real answer! Makes it a lot less frustrating understanding the real reason behind it. 

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10 hours ago, chris_bollard said:

Said like you think JW is part of customer service. In all the time you have spent ranting here you could have used the Lectro white papers and 'solved' it all by yourself. Good luck moving forward - things are getting more complicated, not simpler. 

IMO JW is a great and generous resource for professionals 👍🏻

Since when is calling out one person for acting like a chode a rant?  Is it cause I curse a lot?  I'll admit I was and am pretty pissed that I now have to babysit my transmitters to make sure they're not screwing themselves up.  This also lowers my trust in the Smartscan feature.  I really liked how I could just set it and forget it while I prepped the rest of my stuff, but now I have to babysit that too to make sure it's not screwing anything up. 

 

You're right, the whitepapers probably would have had the information I needed, but don't pretend like the explanation to this problem would have been on the first page in bold lettering.  It's kind of hard to sift through whitepapers at work. 

 

Regardless, the fact that this problem exists is stupid.  The guy who made the damn things said it himself.  I'm not being unreasonable just because I say "fuck" a lot.

 

Again, thanks to everyone who helped answer my questions.  And for anyone I made feel icky by using the devil's adjectives, I don't really know what else to tell you besides you can always just stop reading my posts.

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, mlohninger said:

They could have fixed this at any time, and broken the backwards compatibility, so I would say – pick your poisons.

 No of course, backwards compatibility is more important, I totally agree with that. 
 

11 hours ago, mlohninger said:

Regarding the use of block specific pilot tones – it keeps intermod products from unwanted un-squelching on neighboring block receivers. It is generally a good thing, and it does have a reason.


Well, as Larry gracefully explained, the pilot tones are not really block specific and they are kind of, but not really, frequency specific. Although I do agree with you that generally speaking, pilot tones are a good thing. 

7 hours ago, LarryF said:

The pilot tones were chosen by the hex switch setting on the much older equipment (200 and 400 series). If the two 16 position switches were set at A-12 on any block, the pilot tone for A-12 was chosen. To be specific A-12 on block 21 would have the same pilot tone frequency as A-12 on block 22. This didn't cause problems because the carriers of the blocks were separated by at least 25.6 MHz. Choosing the pilot tone based on the hex switch settings saved lots of memory, which early on was in short supply. Block 470 introduced problems since identical carrier frequencies on overlapping blocks had different hex switch settings. With newer Lectro gear covering multiple blocks this became a "Gotcha".  Today with new processors with LCD displays and more memory, we wouldn't have done it that way. I do think we could have made better decisions about block 470 even with the old gear. However, once we screwed up, continuing compatibilty forced us into living with it. "RTFM" is not really really an excuse for a poor decision but there you have it. 

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher


yes, thanks a lot for your explanation and honesty! I agree with Doug: the respect I have for the fanatics (retired or not) is boundless 

21 minutes ago, jawharp said:

And for anyone I made feel icky by using the devil's adjectives, I don't really know what else to tell you


 It’s not really about the adjectives, it’s more about the attitude. like Chris said it feels a bit like you’re treating this site like customer service. Although I be lt if had actually called customer service you would’ve been more polite and would’ve gotten an answer too.
 

 And why do you care so much if someone wants to regale us with stories from the past? There’s no harm in that and it may serve as a mnemonic device for others or whoever to remember the block 470/19 issue by. 

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1 hour ago, Constantin said:

Well, as Larry gracefully explained, the pilot tones are not really block specific and they are kind of, but not really, frequency specific. Although I do agree with you that generally speaking, pilot tones are a good thing. 


Yes, I misunderstood that slightly. They are specific to each combination within each frequency block.


“256 pilot tone frequencies are used across each 25.6 MHz block within the tuning range of the system. This alleviates erroneous squelch activity in multichannel systems where a pilot tone signal can appear in the wrong receiver via IM (intermodulation).“

 

- Per the always excellent manual.

 

This makes a lot of sense and a good system to keep intermod products from messing things up. Larry’s explanation of the 19/470 overlap is great and it makes perfect sense.

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1 hour ago, Constantin said:

 t’s more about the attitude. like Chris said it feels a bit like you’re treating this site like customer service. Although I be lt if had actually called customer service you would’ve been more polite and would’ve gotten an answer too.

At what point did I give attitude to anyone who was actually trying to help me?  I called one guy's unrelated comments about theorized set politics a "weird flex," and pointed out how the story about dials and screwdrivers had nothing to do with what anyone was talking about.  Never in this entire thread did I give "attitude" to anyone trying to help me or talk about this problem.

 

This whole customer service thing is confusing the hell out of me.  How was I supposed to start this discussion besides asking for help?  "Colleagues and friends, I hope my internet forum post finds you well.  I was hoping to assess your thoughts and pontifications regarding a conundrum I've been having in regards to my shit not working."  

 

I never demanded anything from anyone and only expressed my frustration and asked if anyone had any input that might help me with the problem I was having.  Because that's usually when I post here.  When I have problems I think my peers can help me figure out.  I'm sorry I don't enjoy spending my afternoons blowing smoke up other sound mixer's asses or sucking up to the manufacturers of these things like it's going to get me free shit some day.

 

1 hour ago, Constantin said:

 And why do you care so much if someone wants to regale us with stories from the past? There’s no harm in that and it may serve as a mnemonic device for others or whoever to remember the block 470/19 issue by. 

Because his story had nothing to do with anything I was talking about, and was clearly a lame attempt at trying to belittle my problem without providing any sort of explanation or information that might help me or others with the same problem.  If you know any reason why someone would share that specific anecdote in this thread, I'm all ears.

9 hours ago, LarryF said:

The pilot tones were chosen by the hex switch setting on the much older equipment (200 and 400 series). If the two 16 position switches were set at A-12 on any block, the pilot tone for A-12 was chosen. To be specific A-12 on block 21 would have the same pilot tone frequency as A-12 on block 22. This didn't cause problems because the carriers of the blocks were separated by at least 25.6 MHz. Choosing the pilot tone based on the hex switch settings saved lots of memory, which early on was in short supply. Block 470 introduced problems since identical carrier frequencies on overlapping blocks had different hex switch settings. With newer Lectro gear covering multiple blocks this became a "Gotcha".  Today with new processors with LCD displays and more memory, we wouldn't have done it that way. I do think we could have made better decisions about block 470 even with the old gear. However, once we screwed up, continuing compatibilty forced us into living with it. "RTFM" is not really really an excuse for a poor decision but there you have it. 

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

 

That all makes complete sense, I just never would have guessed it was a thing.  I may be starting my upgrade to the newer digital Lectro stuff sooner than I thought.

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2 hours ago, jawharp said:

At what point did I give attitude to anyone

Pretty much the whole time. The title of your initial rant for one, then the nature at which you were ungrateful that the members here aren’t specifically here to serve you. 
 

You are being paid to know your equipment as a technician and expert in your field. If you do not agree with this statement, then bow out and retire. But since you take money for this service, you should have at the very least read the documentation that it came with. Because you didn’t do that, you were the “victim” of basically the very reason why one should read said manual. Instead of contacting the manufacturer for clarification, you came to a forum and slung mud about in a fury. Then became upset when people called you out. 
 

I will admit that I don’t have every frequency block completely memorized, but I do have a general idea of where they start and stop. With that general knowledge, I knew that there was an overlap in blocks 470 and 19. So when I purchased my first A1 product, I was curious about how Lectro handled that overlap, and learned about it right away. Anybody that does this basic level of research about their equipment would have likely followed a similar path. What you have shown all of us is that you do not. I feel sorry for anybody that hires someone this ill prepared. 

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Being familiar with esoteric software workflows created for compatibility reasons is unfortunately a reality of working with digital technology, and something you'll run into very quickly if you start working with programming languages. Making digital devices + software continue to be interoperable for several decades is really hard! Personally, I would have appreciated the compromise if I already owned gear in 470/19 when they came out with the new stuff.

 

I actually ran into this issue for the first time yesterday, after over a year of owning my SRc. Immediately noticed something was up, because the pilot tone was blinking on the SRc and I wasn't receiving audio. Luckily, I was able to swap to a different receiver in the moment, then do some googling. Sometimes you need to be reminded of a gotcha the hard way.

 

If I may suggest an easy firmware fix: if a user manually selects a frequency within the overlap range, create a popup dialogue confirming which block is intended. 

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6 hours ago, JonG said:

I feel sorry for anybody that hires someone this ill prepared. 

Good lookin' out.  I'm gonna go write "knows about the Lectrosonics block 470/19 overlap and it's effect on A1 transmitter frequency selection" on the bottom of my resume.

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12 hours ago, jawharp said:

At what point did I give attitude to anyone who was actually trying to help me?


Sure, you were ok with those „actually trying to help“ you, but with those who you decided didn’t try to help you, you were attitudinal (if that’s a word). That’s not how a discussion group works, though, and it’s not up to you how this group works. To others reading this, it may be entertaining, or educational, or both. 
But even the title of this topic oozes attitude. You start immediately by blaming the manufacturer of your gear for a production delay, even though - as we have now learned - you were both to blame. I bet a few people already turned off by that. 

Maybe the problem is that you only come here when you have a problem. Again, makes it feel like you’re confusing this with customer services. Maybe you, too, could help others with their issues or entertain us with stories from the past or by not directly answering a question. You can do all that without any kind of blowing or sucking. 
Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I‘m sure you won’t take this to heart and that’s fine. 
 

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Now that it has been determined that backwards compatibility is not "Nonsense". Could the OP kindly change the title of this thread? If it is left as is, it implies the manufacturer has done something wrong which is clearly not the case. 

 

And then there is this…From 2017...

Block 470/19 Frequency overlap explained

 

 

image.pngimage.png

 

Lectrosonics took the time to create these colorful press releases to explain this exact issue. 

 

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10 hours ago, JonG said:

Pretty much the whole time. The title of your initial rant for one, then the nature at which you were ungrateful that the members here aren’t specifically here to serve you. 

Come on man, you're only responding to part of what I said and you took it out of context.  I still can't figure out why it's such a mystery that someone might be irritated if instead of trying to answer a question they were asking, they instead got an earfull of someone sound-splaining something completely off topic just for the sake of hearing their own voice.

 

54 minutes ago, Constantin said:

Maybe the problem is that you only come here when you have a problem. Again, makes it feel like you’re confusing this with customer services. Maybe you, too, could help others with their issues or entertain us with stories from the past or by not directly answering a question.

I feel like I've helped as many people as I could have in the time I've been a member here.  I helped them by answering their questions if I had something to add, adding to a discussion if I had something relevant to say, and by keeping all of my humble brags about screwdrivers to myself.  Maybe it's just my personality.  Anyways, I apologize for not being more eloquent and riveting when the devices I've spent a house's worth of money on fail when I need them to work the most due to an obscure design limitation.

 

11 hours ago, JonG said:

You are being paid to know your equipment as a technician and expert in your field. If you do not agree with this statement, then bow out and retire.

 

Gentlemen, Colleagues, and Friends,

 

It is with bowed head and heavy heart that I come before you today at this, my darkest hour.  I will be ending my endeavors into the world of production sound mixing.  Verily, my career, if one can label it as such, has been nothing short of a farce.  I was a fool to believe that I too could become the spitting image of a perfect sound man.  I still hear his voice in the darkness, beckoning me with his siren song: "I lost picture," he cackles.  "You know which bathroom we can use?" he whispers to me in the dark of night.  But I can no longer pay him heed.  For I have sinned against god, country, and every man, woman, and child with a pair of headphones and a ponytail.  I have overlooked the Lectrosonics Block 470/19 overlap and its effects on A1 frequency selection via the Venue2's menus.  Even seeing it now, written on this bare scrap of parchment, I can't believe it with my own eyes.  How could I have been so daft?  I do not deserve to sip from the cup of mixers.  The shadows will be my home.  I shall exist along side the murders, rapists, and Steadi G.  There I will remain, fetching coffees and changing batteries for the rest of my days.  It is as the Mariner warned the Wedding Guest, "...and a thousand thousand slimy things/lived on; and so did I." 

 

As for the future, not all is lost.  There's no way of knowing what god planned for me back when he birthed the cosmos all those millennia ago on his ancient hex screws in the sky.  But heed my warning: beware the Lectrosonics Block 470/19 overlap and its effects on A1 frequency selection via the Venue2's menus.  I would not wish this horrible existence on even my worst of enemies.  

 

Godspeed,

The Boy Who Dreamed

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  • jawharp changed the title to Lectro Venue2/A1 Design Anachronism and Random Venue2 Block Switching Halted Production

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