PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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Post by lopezjm2001 » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 02:13

Weber wrote: I note that Maximum Solar are only the authorised reseller. The manufacturer is MPP Solar Inc, Taiwan.
I found a reseller in Australia on Ebay. The same unit is painted red and brand name is "GIANT".

GIANT Inverter

This guy imports them from Taiwan and claims to keep them in a warehouse in Queensland and he lives in Kellyville, Sydney. He even has a phone number listed on Ebay and I called him up and spoke to him.
Last edited by lopezjm2001 on Wed, 04 Feb 2015, 15:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 05:56

I want to collect and record the final design of the monolith here before scraps of paper start to get lost. I'll start with the framing. It is MetalMate brand 32 x 32 x 1.5 mm black slotted steel angle available from many hardware stores including Bunnings.

It's nice that it really is metric, when so many items sold in Australian hardware stores are not, 38 years after metric conversion. But just because it's metric doesn't mean it's accurate. Image The distance between slot centres is usually constant on any given piece, but it can vary between pieces, from 49.8 mm to 50.2 mm. This makes a repeatable design challenging, as there are of course only certain distances between bolts that are possible (using the slots) and the variation in slot spacing means the ranges that can be guaranteed to work get smaller as the distances get bigger.

Add to that my aesthetic (or obsessive) requirement that the outer dimensions be in the ratio 1:4:9, and that the shelves fit LiFePO4 cells of a useful capacity without needing any actual shelving, and that its width allow it to fit in the back of a Prius when fully assembled. Then the possibilities are fairly well constrained.

I allowed for 10 mm thick cladding on the top and three sides, and 5 mm thick cladding on the back (fibro against the wall). I also allowed 2.5 mm for bolt cup-heads, 1 mm margin for error between cladding and bolt-heads and 1 mm of height for the plastic feet.

I settled on overall dimensions of 225 x 900 x 2025 mm between outer faces of the cladding.

This resulted in cut lengths for the slotted angle of
2013 mm for the 4 long verticals,
863 mm for the 10 long horizontals,
194 mm for the 11 short horizontals, and
568 mm for the 2 short verticals either side of the PIP-4048MS.
There were also a few short pieces that completed the mounting of the PIP and the smaller of the 3 switchboards, whose precise lengths I did not record, but they were approximately 180, 100 and 100 mm. The two shortest required one side to be cut away so they are not angles but flats.

Because of the aforementioned variation in slot spacing, and the need for pieces to be symmetrical, all but the four long verticals should be measured by starting from their centre and measuring half their length in each direction. Their centre must be placed midway between two slots in all cases (not in the middle of a slot).

The long verticals should not have an open slot near the floor as this would be too weak and put too much pressure on the plastic feet, so these are just measured from their factory cut end, which results in an open slot at the top end.

You need two Starter Packs to get the 16 corner braces that are required, and one Add-on Pack to have sufficient additional nuts and bolts. http://www.rcr.com.au/metalmate/metal-m ... eel-system

Here's a view of the whole frame (with Coulomb working hard on software).

Image

Here's a closeup of the bottom of the PIP mounting, with a cutaway to clear cables and a flat horizontal for the lower PIP mounting bolt. Ignore the fly screen with casement-window portal in the background.

Image

The gap between steel angle and cladding was filled with black self-adhesive (one side only) 15 x 2.5 mm foam tape, to take up the thickness of bolt-heads and margin for error. I can't find this foam tape on the Bunnings website although that's where I bought it, along with the polycarbonate sheets. The label says "SUNTUF BACKING FOAM 20m For Single Use with Suntuf SUNLITE". The 20 m roll was just enough.

The cladding was cut from 2 sheets of 2400 x 980 x 10 mm Suntuf Sunlite solar grey twinwall polycarbonate. Don't bother trying to cut it with a knife (wanders like crazy) or a panel saw (jams like crazy). Use a jigsaw or sabre saw with a fine toothed blade.

Cut sizes of cladding were:
Front 2020 x 890 mm
Back (fibro) 2020 x 890 mm
Top 890 x 195 mm
Two Sides 2010 x 195 mm
[Edit: I think in future the two smaller dimension should be bumped up by 5 mm, to 200 mm and 895 mm given that more accurate cutting implements will be used.]

Vents were described and shown in photos in a previous post.

Corners were dressed with mitred 40 x 40 x 1.6 mm aluminium angle screwed to the steel angle, screwed only on the sides and top, by 6 gauge x 25 mm 316-stainless countersunk self-tappers. Photos in previous posts.
[Edit: The screws need 4 mm clearance holes in the aluminium and 3.17 mm (1/8") pilot holes in the steel for self-tapping. The holes in the aluminium were 10 mm from the edge, but should be 15 mm in future. They are spaced 450 mm or 500 mm apart.]
Last edited by weber on Sat, 07 Feb 2015, 10:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 19:26

A question going back to the suitability of the mega fuse, at half pack in your system (the intended position for this application)it would be 28v max, so well inside the 32v limit. That leaves the 2kA rating, would that be @ 32v or any voltage?

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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 19:32

This photo shows the detail of the two short pieces of slotted angle used to mount the 8-pole PV array switchboard above the 12-pole battery switchboard. The vertical piece (~180 mm) stops just short of the lower switchboard. The horizontal piece (~100 mm) is cut away to become a slotted flat.

Image



The way these Hager 12-pole surface enclosures (VS112) fit perfectly within the monolith, either side of the PIP, is the purest serendipity. As is the fact that they fit perfectly in the vertical gap between inlet and outlet vents in the side of the PIP. That's why the upper switchboard could only be 8-pole (VS108). It would otherwise block a PIP outlet vent.

The mounting holes for the switchboards do not align with the slots in the steel angle. In fact they only just overlap the edge of the steel. So their "holes" are merely 7 mm high by 7 mm wide [Edit: not "4 mm wide" as I first wrote] rectangular notches cut in the edge of the steel with an angle grinder, so the square collars on the cup-head bolts (of the slotted-angle system) engage with them and do not rotate.

It is important that any screws which penetrate the enclosure be doubly (or reinforcedly) insulated on the inside of the enclosure. The nuts and bolts mounting the EV200 contactor are covered with heatshrink which is filled with silicone. The screws mounting the circuit boards are arranged not to emerge out the back of the enclosure by self-tapping them into 3 mm polycarbonate blocks which are solvent welded to the inside of the thin PVC enclosure backing.

The mounting bolts for the enclosures themselves are a little too long, and the nuts too large, to allow the oval insulating caps to plug into their slots. So the nuts and bolts are covered in neutral-cure silicone, and the caps filled with more silicone and pushed onto them.

Earthing of exposed metal parts is an issue. There weren't meant to be any exposed metal parts in the original design, except perhaps a couple of screws or a padlock hasp on the top of the unit, out of reach of casual contact. Now we have the aluminium edge trim which is screwed to the inner steel skeleton. The inner steel skeleton is presently earthed only by virtue of being bolted to the PIP case which is connected to the incoming earth wire. But is this sufficient, given that the steel is painted? Perhaps it would be better to use the bare galvanised slotted angle in future.
[Edit: However that has different dimensions and would be more visible through the smoked polycarbonate. http://www.rcr.com.au/metalmate/metal-m ... eel-system]
Last edited by weber on Mon, 16 Feb 2015, 06:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 20:16

T1 Terry wrote: A question going back to the suitability of the mega fuse, at half pack in your system (the intended position for this application)it would be 28v max, so well inside the 32v limit.
Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. If there was a short across the whole battery, say between the outermost terminals, then that fuse, in order to break the circuit, would have to break at the full battery voltage of 50-something volts. One way to look at it is to ask what voltage would be measured across the fuse under that worst-case fault condition, if the fuse was already an open circuit.

So even if the prospective short-circuit current was only 2000 A (instead of possibly 6900 A based on Damien Maguire's experiment) then with a short across the 55 V terminals, that fuse would continue to arc, doing lots of damage, long after its fusible element had vaporised. In fact it would arc until the battery went flat or the fault was removed by other means (like a fireman's axe), or the arc was extinguished by other means (dumping dry sand on it is the only way I know).
That leaves the 2kA rating, would that be @ 32v or any voltage
Unless the manufacturer specifically gives higher interrupt ratings at lower voltages, one must assume it applies at all voltages (not greater than 32 V).
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 20:19

"
A question going back to the suitability of the mega fuse, at half pack in your system (the intended position for this application)it would be 28v max, so well inside the 32v limit. That leaves the 2kA rating, would that be @ 32v or any voltage?"

More than likely it would be a little more at slightly lower voltage but given its only 2ka at 32v I'm sure it would come up well short of the potential 6ka that might be needed.

I would think the ceramic style fuses that are filled with sand that melts around the Arc and snuffs it out would do A much better job of controlling several thousand amps flash and keeping it that way than a fuse marketed toward the low voltage smaller battery bank marine / Automotive industry.

I think its always best to look at what is being used commercially in industrial applications.


Back to the monolith......

Boy that sure sounds like a lot of restrictions based on movie themes and delivery transportation choice....if you do a monolith V2 your welcome to borrow my ute/trailer to open up more size optionsImage

Kurt



Last edited by offgridQLD on Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 09:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 20:54

offgridQLD wrote:Back to the monolith......

Boy that sure sounds like a lot of restrictions based on movie themes and delivery transportation choice....if you do a monolith V2 your welcome to borrow my ute/trailer to open up more size optionsImage

Thanks Kurt. Image But I think it turned out to be a great format, for reasons other than those I began with.

Compare the Black Monolith's 225 x 900 mm footprint, and 2025 mm height, with the Bosch BPT-S 5 Hybrid's 700 x 600 mm footprint, and 1700 mm height. And that's 700 mm out from the wall, not 600 mm.

The monolith's front elevation is pretty much exactly that of a doorway. A doorway through hyperspace? A doorway into a future free of fossil fuels? OK I'm getting a bit carried away now. Image
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Post by weber » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 21:48

lopezjm2001 wrote:I found a reseller in Australia on Ebay. The same unit is painted red and brand name is "GIANT".

GIANT Inverter
Thanks for that. I was aware of that option, but others may not have been. Almost double the price (excluding shipping), but with double the warranty period, and local support.
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 05 Feb 2015, 22:01

The shop is on the sunshine coast a few min drive north of caloundra (walking distance from a charge point ev charging station at sunshine coast stadium to Image )

Was going to pop in one day just to see what they had and know about them.

Kurt
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Post by coulomb » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 03:00

A late remark on the metalwork. Don't be tempted to leave out any of the triangular bracing plates that are provided [ edit: by the second starter pack; see next post ]. Weber somehow convinced himself that the structure wouldn't need bracing in one [edit: two] of the three dimensions, perhaps due to the cross members, the PIP inverter, and so on.

But when it was time for the cut polycarbonate to be fitted, we found that the structure was embarrassingly skewed. It was one of my jobs on the last day to attach the last set of triangular bracing plates, using a spirit level to check that it wasn't being braced into a skewed orientation.

These are the plates I'm talking about:

Image

[ Edit: note that there are 8 plates there, sufficient for bracing one plane (two at the top, two at the bottom, and another 4 behind those four, for example. ]

BTW, that slotted angle system is pretty neat. The nuts and bolts don't need a washer by their design, and you can somehow get a spanner (open ended needed at times) where you need to, even though it gets pretty busy at times. The rails do bend a little under the weight of 8 180 Ah cells, but not badly, and not as much as I expected.

[ Edit: deflection not as much as expected. ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 08:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by weber » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 04:21

coulomb wrote: A late remark on the metalwork. Don't be tempted to leave out any of the triangular bracing plates that are provided. Weber somehow convinced himself that the structure wouldn't need bracing in one of the three dimensions, perhaps due to the cross members, the PIP inverter, and so on.

I fully endorse the spirit of these remarks, but just want to correct some details.

Not enough corner bracing plates are provided in the so-called Starter Pack, so you have to buy two starter packs, as I mentioned.

I convinced myself that it wouldn't need bracing in two of the three dimensions. It is still not braced in one of them. No horizontal plane is braced (the 225 x 900 mm faces and shelves), except by the stiffness of the vertical angles in that plane, and the friction with the floor and the underside of the blocks of cells, which are quite sufficient.

I initially braced it only in the planes parallel to the wall (the 900 x 2025 mm faces), which is the same direction braced by the PIP inverter.

I convinced myself it didn't need bracing in the vertical planes at right angles to the wall (the 225 x 2025 mm faces) because they would be locked up solid once the monolith was screwed to a wall. Indeed, now that it's installed, that bracing is redundant. But what I completely failed to understand, until the last moment, was that they are absolutely essential while cladding and transporting the monolith.

Many thanks to Coulomb for installing the extra corner bracing so rapidly on that last mad day before installation, so that none of the other work was held up by it.
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Post by weber » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 17:01

Reports from the customer after the first week are that the monolith and its PV array are performing flawlessly. The state of charge meter has never been below 90% any morning.

Of course a real test won't come until they get around to buying an electric fridge/freezer (currently gas) and a washing machine (currently by hand or laundromat) and they have an overcast week. Cooking will continue to be by gas. But they are very happy not to have to start the generator to do the vacuuming or ironing, and to be able to run a pressure pump for the tank water.

When I told the customer, while we were standing back looking at the monolith, that I had planned to paint the aluminium framing black too, but ran out of time. He thought for a second and said, "I don't think it needs it".
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Post by Adverse Effects » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 17:12

weber wrote:that I had planned to Paint the aluminium framing black too, but ran out of time. He thought for a second and said, "I don't think it needs it".


it depends on if you want to to disappear or be a accent pice i like the shiny outline

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Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 06 Feb 2015, 17:41

Having recently had to acquire a new set of white goods for our Off Grid home. I did a lot of research before selecting each product. It really is amazing how the consumption can vary so much between product of the same capacity and how it can all add up if your make the wrong choice.

I settled on Electrolux ETM5200S as the fridge/freezer 517lt and only 356kwh/pa (large freezer section to) Though the even more frugal Electrolux ETM 4200S 417lt at just 318kwh/PA would be a good pick for practical small home fridge/freezer.(Nextdoor off grid house has this model 2 adults)

The 2nd big consumer the washing machine. I picked the ASKO W6444 7kg at just 180kwh pa. Usually a expensive brand but this basic model they offer is affordable and is actually there most efficient offering.

After the two big consumers mentioned above the returns on efficiency became less apparent. Though It didn't stop me going nuts trying to find a 40" led tv that used less energy than a typical 19" computer monitor. Lighting was another area, particular lighting my shed.

Anyhow just thought if there in the market for a new fridge freezer and a washing machine. The above mentioned to models was the best I could find that's easily available in retail stores. I found the best price online in Melbourne and just had a local retail store match it (at a significant discount)

Kurt

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Post by weber » Sun, 08 Feb 2015, 01:33

I agree, Adverse. Thanks for that, Kurt. I'll pass it on.

Just a few more details about the frame construction. In particular the three battery shelves.

The lowest shelf is bolted through the third slot up from the floor. This is to allow for the possibility that skirting board may have to be left in place and the case cut around it. In that case the rear legs would step in by 50 mm below the lowest shelf and would be braced with more corner plates.

Shelves are 400 mm (or rather 8 slots) apart vertically. The short horizontals have their bolts pushed to the bottom of the slots in the verticals and the long horizontals sit on top of the short horizontals (but also bolt only to the verticals).

The framing around the top is a bit like an upside down version of a battery shelf except the longs still sit on top of the shorts.

Each actual shelf has a third short horizontal bolted upside-down under its middle, to stop the long horizontals from twisting or spreading under the weight of the cells. The cells end up sitting on top of the 2.5 mm high cup-heads of the bolts holding this middle cross-tie, but the slight bow in the shelf means that the clamped block of cells does not rock on them.

When bolting up the frame you need to adjust the dimensions between the outsides of the verticals to match the inside of the cladding minus the bolt heads and minus 1 mm clearance/margin-for-error. So that's 873 mm and 204 mm horizontally.

With the plastic feet in place, the distance from the floor to the highest parts of the frame (the top of the highest long horizontals) should be set to 2014 mm if there will be no aluminium framing on the floor (framing the polycarbonate), and it should be set to 2015.5 mm if there will be aluminium framing on the floor.

Here's some detail of the 7 x 7 mm notches needed for mounting the switchboards. Those height markings are 150 and 280 mm (up from the horizontal below them).

Image

BTW, Here's how 17 Suntech 195 W PV modules fit in the back of a Prius. Note that they are very thoroughly restrained, but I drove, and braked, very conservatively so as not to have to test the restraints. Image

Image

Image

Image
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Post by weber » Sun, 08 Feb 2015, 02:15

I've been thinking about how I might fit two PIP-4048MS inverters inside the standard monolith, since there's an optional paralleling comms board that allows them to work together as a single 8 kW inverter with a single battery, and a single AC in and AC out, but different PV array MPPT inputs.

They would have to go side-by-side with a space between them, and the switchboards would have to go below them, except for the 8-pole which could fit between them.

To make more height available for the switchboards, battery shelves could be lowered, and be spaced only 7 slots (350 mm) apart instead of 8 slots (400 mm). And the PIPs could be raised by one or two slots. A PIP is 300 x 140 x 540 mm.

The top and sides of the case would have to be pretty much all vent. Of the 145 x 245 mm louvred vents, we'd need 3 in the top and 6 or 7 in each side. Or fan-force the vents themselves.

The original ventilation method planned for the monolith assumed it would be placed indoors, which is why it had to look like a piece of modern sculpture in the first place. In this scenario it would need to be mounted against the inside of an outside wall and the ventilation and conduits would all pass through the wall. The shutdown button would be on the outside wall and the state of charge meter would be wireless.

The louvred vents through the wall, top and bottom, could be of the kind used for clothes driers. http://www.bunnings.com.au/exhaust-clot ... f_p0813594 and would need to be fan forced.

But before I get too carried away with such ideas, I need to provide some schematics, as promised to Plan B some weeks ago.
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Post by offgridQLD » Sun, 08 Feb 2015, 02:32

I'm just thinking with two PIP4048's that would be 2 x idle consumption. 2.4kwh a day befor they make any AC power.

Would there be a way to have one PIP always on to keep the devices that need 24/7 power happy and then have the other one in power saver mode and it just kicks in when you need it.

Or do you just throw another PV panel on and be done with it?


Kurt
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Post by weber » Sun, 08 Feb 2015, 18:40

offgridQLD wrote: I'm just thinking with two PIP4048's that would be 2 x idle consumption. 2.4kwh a day befor they make any AC power.

Would there be a way to have one PIP always on to keep the devices that need 24/7 power happy and then have the other one in power saver mode and it just kicks in when you need it.

Or do you just throw another PV panel on and be done with it?
It is a scary thought, and I don't know the answer to your first question, although I suspect there is no way. In south-east Queensland it requires about 300 watts of PV to supply the standby power of one PIP-4048MS.
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Post by weber » Mon, 09 Feb 2015, 08:02

Let's start with a block diagram that lists major components and wire sizes.

Image
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Post by PlanB » Thu, 12 Feb 2015, 23:10

I'm confused. Does anybody know the difference between 'Total output active power' & 'AC output active power'?

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Post by weber » Thu, 12 Feb 2015, 23:14

PlanB wrote: I'm confused. Does anybody know the difference between 'Total output active power' & 'AC output active power'?

Some context would be useful. Where is this coming from?
[Edit: Punctuation]
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Post by PlanB » Fri, 13 Feb 2015, 02:01

Pages 11 & 12 of the manual. Value K AC output active power & value S total output active power.

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Post by weber » Fri, 13 Feb 2015, 04:41

PlanB wrote: Pages 11 & 12 of the manual. Value K AC output active power & value S total output active power.

Is your middle name "Terse" or what? Fortunately I took a course in advanced mind-reading and so I immediately understood that you meant the Protocol Manual and not the User Manual.*

So now I can confidently answer that R, S and T are the "Total" counterparts of J, K & L respectively. In other words, I haven't a clue.

OK. I lied. I do have a clue. The clue is that this "QPGSn" command (where n is the parallel machine number, 0..5) is called "Parallel Information inquiry". So presumably these two sets of numbers will be different only when you have multiple PIP-4048MS operating in parallel, as described in the Parallel Guide.

*I lied about that too.

[Edit: Added links to the three manuals]
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Post by PlanB » Fri, 13 Feb 2015, 14:08

That makes sense actually Dave. For 2 in parallel load sharing equally I was planning on doubling the AC output active power of the one the Pi is on to get the total but maybe they share load data & total output active power is the sum?

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Post by weber » Fri, 13 Feb 2015, 18:38

PlanB wrote: That makes sense actually Dave. For 2 in parallel load sharing equally I was planning on doubling the AC output active power of the one the Pi is on to get the total but maybe they share load data & total output active power is the sum?

Yes. That's my guess.

While we're on the subject of interpreting that protocol manual (and I use the term loosely), I should report what Mike and I learned about another command after much agony and wasted time, while staring down a looming deadline.

The command described on page 13, first as

"PE<XXX>/PD<XXX><CRC><cr>: setting some status enable/disable"

and then 3 lines later described as

"PExxxPDxxx set flag status. PE means enable, PD means disable"

followed by a table indicating that each "x" may be replaced by various uppercase letters for various control (not status) settings,
is in fact two completely separate commands

PE<xxx><crc><cr>
and
PD<xxx><crc><cr>
where <xxx> can be replaced by only one character, which must in fact be lower case.

Their use of angle-brackets suggested they were using some dialect of EBNF to describe their command syntax. But after struggling in vain to divine what it is -- is the slash a literal character that we must include or is it equivalent to the vertical bar as used in most EBNFs, and if so, have they omitted some parentheses, etc etc -- I can tell you it seems more like a Cargo Cult EBNF where the angle-brackets are akin to coconut headphones.

They didn't even need to use EBNF, if they had just given one example of a valid form of this command ...
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).

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