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 Post subject: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Jul Thu 25, 2019 12:13 am 
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I have a candidate to restore. I have not found any information from the usual sources. Anyone here have a manual to share?

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Jul Thu 25, 2019 12:57 am 
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Any chance of a photo? I wasn't aware Dumont made test equipment other than oscilloscopes.

ETA
Wow, the specs according to radiomuseum.org are fantastic!
2mV to 1000V DC with 120Mohm; AC from 50Hz to UHF; 0 to 500Mohm in eight resistance ranges

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Mar Sun 08, 2020 3:33 pm 
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Here's the ad for the Dumont 405 VTVM from the June 1, 1957 issue of Electronics magazine:
Attachment:
Dumont 405 VTVM.png
Dumont 405 VTVM.png [ 470.67 KiB | Viewed 2839 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 09, 2020 4:08 am 
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I was unaware Dumont made VTVM's either. The price is up in HP territory.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 09, 2020 3:12 pm 
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CurtisL wrote:
The price is up in HP territory.

As is its performance. Better than HP, at least as far as sensitivity - 100 mV range on both DC and AC!

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 09, 2021 8:54 pm 
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I am also now searching for a manual for the DuMont 405 Voltmeter. I have the rack-mount version on the way. Here's some of the eBay photos:

Image

Image

Image

Image
If anyone has information on or a photo of the probes, I'd appreciate it. It looks like mine is going to be missing parts of the probes.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 10, 2021 11:16 am 
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I almost purchased that Dumont 405, but the missing probes were a concern. I meant to ask the seller if the probes might be inside the compartment, but events intervened and it slipped my mind. I’ll be very interested to learn what you find when you receive the meter.

My first oscilloscope with triggered/synchronised sweep was a Dumont 401AR rack-mount model, which I still have decades later, and which naturally is a sentimental favourite. The Dumont 405 is a perfect match in styling, so I am very keen to obtain one. Perhaps Mike Kent would consider parting with his 405. I’d pay a good price.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Apr Wed 14, 2021 10:03 pm 
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My 405R came yesterday. It's serial number 118.

Sadly, there were no probes hiding in the probe compartment. It wasn't clear in the eBay photo, ...
Image
... but the two cables exiting the probe compartment are both terminated in BNC connectors. There aren't any markings to indicate which cable is for DC and which is for AC. Even the non-rack-mount version has a probe compartment, so the photos in the DuMont ads don't show any probes.

Steve Rosenfeld pointed me to the library at the InfoAge Museum. They have a manual for the DuMont 405 and will sell you a copy of it. The museum library supports itself through their copying service, so please don't ask for a scan of my copy. The price will vary depending on the cost of postage to your location, so contact info@infoage.org for a price quote and payment options. Ask them for a copy of the manual for the DuMont 405 Vacuum Tube Voltmeter.

I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy of the manual. I hope it has enough information on the probes so that I can make reproductions. I don't like for the instruments in my collection to be shelf queens.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Apr Thu 15, 2021 11:02 am 
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I thought those looked like BNC connectors with rubber covers. Somehow, I had previously had the impression that the Dumont 405 had a vacuum tube diode in the probe. But looking again at the photo of the probes—
Attachment:
File comment: Dumont 405 VTVM Probes
Dumont-405-VTVM-3.jpg
Dumont-405-VTVM-3.jpg [ 788.36 KiB | Viewed 1702 times ]

—the RF probe looks like a crystal diode type, so it should be much easier to replicate.

Normally, I am not keen on rack-mount versions of VTVMs. But I’ll keep an eye out for another one of these, since it occurs to me that I could install one in a table-top rack cabinet, along with the matching oscilloscope.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Apr Thu 15, 2021 12:26 pm 
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Thanks for the photo of the probes. I can make a reasonable facsimile of the probe bodies, so that’s good news.

I wish you success in finding another DuMont 405. I’m not wedded to the rack mount format, so if you find a cabinet model, I’d be happy to trade. (You’d keep the original probes, obviously.)

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 23, 2021 5:13 am 
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Image
In 1957, DuMont introduced their “400 Series” of test equipment, including the Type 405 VTVM.

As I noted above, the InfoAge Museum can provide photocopies of the manual for the DuMont Type 405.

Image
The manual included some interesting photos. Though it’s hard to see in the scanned photo, the DC probe on the right is shown without a tip.

Image
DuMont provided a set of interchangeable probe tips that screw into the AC and DC probes.

Image
They are similar to the Elwyn military test lead sets sold on eBay.

Image
Image

On the non-rack-mount model, the DC probe is permanently attached, but the AC probe has a male BNC connector that mates with an RG-58A cable from the meter. It turns out that the DuMont Type 405 achieves its wide AC frequency and voltage range by using three different AC probes.

Image
Here are the specs on them.

Image
The probes use a DR313 semiconductor diode. I presume that’s a DuMont type number. I can’t find any specs for it. The VHF and UHF probes are rated for a max of 30 Volts AC, so that’s similar to a 1N34A. The UHF probe gets its higher frequency range by using a smaller input capacitor that has less inductance than the larger capacitors used in the VHF probe. They are otherwise identical.

Edit: Replace "In August 1957, DuMont introduced" with "In 1957, DuMont introduced".

DuMont advertised the 404 Pulse Generator in the January 1957 issue of Electronics magazine. They had a two-page line art ad for the full 400 Series line in the March 1957 issue, mentioning they would all be on display at the New York I.R.E show. They advertised the 403 oscilloscope in the May 1957 issue and the 405 VTVM in the June issue. The August issue had two-page photo advertising spread for the full 400 Series line, mentioning that they would be on display at the WESCON show.

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Last edited by stevebyan on Apr Sun 25, 2021 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 24, 2021 10:50 am 
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Steve, thanks for the new images and information. They make me more keen than ever to acquire a Dumont 405.

It does seem that the Dumont test lead and tip set is essentially a slight variant of the excellent military set made by Elwyn. One could simply stencil the “DUMONT” logo on the pouch of an Elwyn set, and call the job done.

The versatility of the 1N34 germanium diode is quite remarkable. Although there exist special diodes for UHF and microwave frequencies, the 1N34 itself will reach considerably higher than the 405’s rating. I have a Chek-Mate relative R.F. field strength meter with the classic circuit that consists of a 1N34A detecting the signal from a telescopic aerial, across a choke of about 2mH, followed by a high-gain D.C. amplifier and meter. This unpretentious little instrument responds strongly to the 2.4gHz signal from a Wi-Fi router.

The DR313 is indeed a germanium diode, but its specifications differ a bit from the 1N34A. You can down-load a data sheet of Germanium diode specifications, which includes both diodes, here:

http://www.datasheetbank.com/datasheet/AAC/DR313.html

This diode equivalents guide—

https://worldradiohistory.com/UK/Bernar ... -guide.pdf

—states that the DR313 is equivalent to the OA95, a common type in Britain and Europe in the 1960s, and still easily available to-day, though a look at a data sheet for a Panasonic OA95—

https://datasheetspdf.com/pdf-file/1044 ... nic/OA95/1

—will show that they are not identical.

These OA95 specifications from Philips—

https://www.rf-microwave.com/en/philips ... iode/oa95/

—are likely close to “new old stock” OA95s from English or European sources.

It is likely that a little experimenting with germanium diodes will readily find one that causes the 405 to read correctly. A great many types of Germanium diodes are available on-line on eBay and elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 24, 2021 8:50 pm 
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Philip, thanks for the information on the DR313 diode and possible replacements for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 12, 2021 9:58 pm 
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Here are the pages on the 405 from the 1960 DuMont Instrument and Accessories Catalog.

Attachment:
DuMont 405 VTVM catalog page 1.png
DuMont 405 VTVM catalog page 1.png [ 671.33 KiB | Viewed 924 times ]


Attachment:
DuMont 405 VTVM catalog page 2.png
DuMont 405 VTVM catalog page 2.png [ 665.54 KiB | Viewed 924 times ]


The price list has the bench model 405 selling for $265, and the rackmount model selling for $315.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Sep Fri 17, 2021 2:45 pm 
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Many thanks, Steve for posting a source for the 405 manual! I have purchased a DuMont 405, and just sent to InfoAge for a copy of the manual.

I think that the A.C. probe in the photo I posted above is the attenuator type. The VHF probe is more slender:
Attachment:
File comment: DuMont 405 VTVM Probes
DuMont 405 DC & VHF Probe.jpg
DuMont 405 DC & VHF Probe.jpg [ 588.48 KiB | Viewed 464 times ]

And I would guess that the UHF probe is similar in physical appearance.

I wonder if any-one has a current source for the Elwyn military test lead sets? These were readily available on eBay until relatively recently, but appear to have disappeared. I have a good set that I can devote to the 405, but I would like to find more.

I’ll order some of the Oldaker sets Steve has mentioned here—

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=401623

—but note that the tips are not compatible with the DuMont 405.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Sep Fri 17, 2021 5:02 pm 
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Congratulations, Phillip, on finding another DuMont 405! I'm looking forward to hearing the details.

I'm very glad Steve Rosenfeld was able to dig up the manual at the InfoAge museum.

It's too bad the Elwyn probe kits have dried up on eBay. However, since you do appear to have at least some of the original probes, note that the Elwyn probes use the standard phone tip 1/4-32 thread. So the H. H. Smith models 124, 125, and 127 threaded phone tip plugs will fit them, and so will also presumably fit the DuMont probes. A while back, Newark had a sale on their inventory of #124 phone tip plugs.
Attachment:
96F9062-40.jpg
96F9062-40.jpg [ 4.44 KiB | Viewed 454 times ]

I greatly regret not buying a substantial stock of them at that time. Newark does seem willing to order them from Abbatron/H.H. Smith, in 100-piece quantity:
https://www.newark.com/abbatron-hh-smit ... dp/96F9062

At worst, if you only need a few, you can remove them from the H. H. Smith model 200 phone tip plugs, which are still stocked by some distributors, including Newark.
Attachment:
39F852-40.jpg
39F852-40.jpg [ 5.9 KiB | Viewed 454 times ]

https://www.newark.com/abbatron-hh-smit ... /dp/39F852

H. H. Smith also had the model 128 phono needle tip and chuck probe tip, also threaded 1/4-32. I noticed a pair of them in the set of tips shown in the manual. Electronics Goldmine has a supply of them at a reasonable price.
Attachment:
G21843B.jpg
G21843B.jpg [ 74.55 KiB | Viewed 454 times ]

https://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/ ... ber=G21843

Sadly, I don't know of a source for the H. H. Smith models 135 and 145 1/4-32 threaded banana plugs, other than the Elwyn test lead sets:
Attachment:
HHSmith-125-135-145.png
HHSmith-125-135-145.png [ 361.99 KiB | Viewed 454 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 2:30 pm 
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Steve, I’ll post about the 405 when I receive it and commence work. Have you tried out your rack-mount 405? Most VTVMs don’t look very good in rack-mount versions, but that one is beautiful and deserves a bench-top rack cabinet.

Your post just above is an excellent record of information on the H.H. Smith threaded pin/phone tips. I thought that I would like tips specifically for the two probes in the 405, so using the H.H. Smith model numbers you provided, I found and purchased on eBay a packet of #125 screw-in probe tips:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/123929699567

The seller appears to have a large stock of these.

I like the phono needle probe tips, and have a number of test leads with them on the probes, but will order some separate tips from the Goldmine. Many thanks for all of this very useful information.

The ¼-32 thread size is an excellent standard for probes. Interestingly, the attenuation and R.F. demodulator tips of the Don Bosco Stethotracer—

https://www.stevenjohnson.com/donbosco.htm

—are of this size, clearly derived from the H.H. Smith #124 threaded pin tip plugs, which is the plain tip for the Stethotracer and Mosquito injector. But alas, since they are co-axial, they wont work in the Elwyn or DuMont probes, which would short-circuit them.

I’d like to find a small supply of #124 plugs, at a reasonable price, for making special probes. Although they can be separated from the insulated collar of the #200 phone tip plugs, as you suggest above, it is not in my nature to do that. And those #200s are very useful in their own right.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 7:14 pm 
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Philip Colston wrote:
Have you tried out your rack-mount 405?

Not yet. Other projects have precedence at the moment.

Philip Colston wrote:
Your post just above is an excellent record of information on the H.H. Smith threaded pin/phone tips.

Here's a larger extract from the 1953-4 Radio's Master 18th edition showing the full line.
Attachment:
HHSmith-phone-tip.png
HHSmith-phone-tip.png [ 725.63 KiB | Viewed 405 times ]

interestingly, the General Cement listing in that catalog shows that their version of the type 128 needle tip and chuck probe tip uses a 1/4-20 thread instead of H. H. Smith's 1/4-32 thread.


Thanks for the tip on the eBay seller with the type 125 phone tip plugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Sep Fri 24, 2021 2:47 pm 
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I received the DuMont 405 VTVM yester-day. It was in excellent original condition, but covered in decades of surface filth.

The initial session was devoted mostly to cleaning. Once that was done, I thought I would take a chance and try out the instrument. The original mains cord must have been wrapped on the rear cleats for ages, for when I carefully unwound it, I could hear the petrified insulation of the internal conductors cracking. Never the less, I plugged in the 405 and turned it on, whereupon the lights in the meter and the DuMont badge came on, and nothing seemed amiss.

I found that the A.C. voltage and resistance functions were working, but the D.C. voltage function would respond only when using Input #2 at the BNC jack on the panel. Clearly, the D.C. probe was faulty. Opening it, I found that the 10-megohm ½ % resistor was disconnected from the probe end connector, though the resistor itself was still within tolerance. This was easily corrected with a little pigtail.

I didn’t have time to check the calibration for high accuracy, but everything in this initial session seemed spot-on. I did try the resistance function through the ranges, with a General Radio precision resistance decade, and the readings were exceptionally accurate.

I found that the 405 seems to warm up and settle down considerably faster than most. The zero and resistance adjustments worked smoothly and the settings were stable. The function and range switches worked perfectly.

This is remarkable performance for a vacuum tube instrument made over sixty years ago, and left neglected and unused for a long time. Based upon what I know about the 405, and my impressions of this example, it must be classified amongst the top laboratory grade VTVMs. It is a very thoughtful design, offering extra low voltage ranges, a choice of D.C. measurements with or without a resistance probe, and off-ground measurements. There is a little door on the rear of the cabinet that permits access to all of the calibration controls, as well as to an output jack, to which external devices, such as chart recorders, can be connected. The 405 is physically very robust, and rather heavy as such instruments go—the official weight is twelve pounds.

I didn’t have time yet to remove the chassis from the cabinet, and I am still awaiting the copy of the manual.

The line between service and laboratory grade VTVMs can be hazy. Some service grade instruments come extremely close to laboratory grade. Three features that seem to be consistently associated with the latter are top-quality precision resistors that tend to remain within tolerance over time, regulated power supplies, and internal power supplies, rather than batteries, for resistance measurements.

Thanks, Steve, for posting that excellent page of H.H. Smith probe tips. The #125 screw-in tips fit the 405 probes perfectly. The plastic probe ends are internally threaded to accept them, and contact is made by brass rods that enter the holes in the bases of the tips.

It would not be difficult to replicate the 405 probes. I can provide information, and of course the precise physical layout need not be replicated.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumont 405 VTVM instructions/service manual?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 30, 2021 7:49 pm 
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Here are some photos showing the construction of the DuMont 2651 VHF probe for the 405 VTVM:
Attachment:
File comment: DuMont 2651 VHF Probe Open
DuMont 405 VHF Probe 1.JPG
DuMont 405 VHF Probe 1.JPG [ 230.03 KiB | Viewed 226 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: DuMont 2651 VHF Probe Parallel Input Condensers
DuMont 405 VHF Probe Component Detail 2.JPG
DuMont 405 VHF Probe Component Detail 2.JPG [ 311.8 KiB | Viewed 226 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: DuMont 2651 VHF Probe Diode, Ceramic Condenser, and 1K Resistor Connected To Brass Boss Ground
DuMont 405 VHF Probe Component Detail.JPG
DuMont 405 VHF Probe Component Detail.JPG [ 600.18 KiB | Viewed 226 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: DuMont 2651 VHF Probe Germanium Diode DR313
DuMont 405 VHF Probe DR313 Germanium Diode.JPG
DuMont 405 VHF Probe DR313 Germanium Diode.JPG [ 620.45 KiB | Viewed 226 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: DuMont 2651 VHF Probe Welwyn Precision 10 Megohm Resistor
DuMont 405 VHF Probe 10 Megohm 0.5%  Resistor.JPG
DuMont 405 VHF Probe 10 Megohm 0.5% Resistor.JPG [ 253.56 KiB | Viewed 226 times ]

The outer black plastic sleeve slips over the grey plastic chassis, and is secured by a fillister screw on the side, which threads into a rectangular brass boss in the middle. The boss is secured to the chassis by a countersunk flathead screw, and also serves as the ground connexion point. There is a hole on the side of the sleeve and chassis, opposite to the fillister screw, where the short ground lead is to be screwed in.

I found this excellent book of reference tables for germanium and silicon diodes as of 1961:

https://ia800308.us.archive.org/4/items ... %20VII.pdf

The DR line of diodes were produced by General Instrument Corporation. The DR313 is a germanium diode with a maximum working voltage of 100, and a maximum forward current of 100mA. The maximum reverse current is quite low, at 2.5μA. The table that lists diodes in order of forward working voltage and maximum current shows a few diodes with characteristics similar to the DR313, but they also appear to be hard to find. It will be interesting to find out if any available diodes can produce good results in the 405 VTVM.

I have received the excellent copy of the 405 manual from InfoAge. As higher level VTVMs go, the 405 is somewhat conventional in circuitry, though the quality of the design and construction are excellent.

Some other laboratory grade VTVMs were more innovative. The General Radio 1806-A was perhaps the most innovative, with its unique hybrid amplifier.

Generally, VTVMs with vacuum tube diode probes for A.C. and R.F. are more convenient for that function. As Steve pointed out above, the 405 needs three separate crystal diode probes to cover the entire range of frequencies and voltages, and still isn’t quite as versatile, due to the frequency limitations of the attenuator probe needed for the top two voltage ranges. This points up just how good well-designed vacuum tube R.F. probes can be.

Still, the 405 is an excellent, accurate, attractive, and very useful VTVM. My example is extremely stable, and settles down quickly, which is a great virtue in VTVMs.


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