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shapeshifter
26-12-2014, 08:11 AM
I'm looking to develop my own firmware and after eliminating all things Arduino, the OSTC range is looking like the best hardware option.

Does anybody here have any experience programming the OSTC sport?

David

nigel hewitt
26-12-2014, 08:36 AM
I did work on the OSTC2 and I'm trying to tool up to migrate my ideas to a 3.
However I admit the 3 won't compile loadably for me yet but I'll jump on it again after Christmas.

http://www.nigelhewitt.co.uk/stuff/ostc005.jpg

shapeshifter
26-12-2014, 08:46 AM
That's a nice looking pièce of work. I'm really hoping to use the sport though (purely for restons of price) do you know just how 'open' the sport is? I'm guessing it's programmed using some sort of gcc derivative, but I can't seem to find anything specific.

nigel hewitt
26-12-2014, 09:05 AM
No idea but the repository is here https://bitbucket.org/heinrichsweikamp/
and I see 2/3/DR5 but no sport

Rob Dobson
26-12-2014, 09:10 AM
The Sport isn't open in the way of the 2 series or the OSTC3. Otherwise there would be little stopping people from buying the Sport as a hardware platform and changing the firmware to support CCR and Trimix etc.

nigel hewitt
26-12-2014, 09:19 AM
The Sport isn't open in the way of the 2 series or the OSTC3. Otherwise there would be little stopping people from buying the Sport as a hardware platform and changing the firmware to support CCR and Trimix etc.
Why should that be a problem?
You sold a computer with X in it.
If I reprogrammed a 2 to be a hand gliding tool you still get to sell a computer. (I wondered but the pressure sensor isn't optimised for the job)

Rob Dobson
26-12-2014, 09:54 AM
Why should that be a problem?
You sold a computer with X in it.
If I reprogrammed a 2 to be a hand gliding tool you still get to sell a computer. (I wondered but the pressure sensor isn't optimised for the job)

Once you purchase something it is of course your property and you are free to do pretty much whatever you like with it. It doesn't mean that the manufacturer has to support it or make it easy for you. The OSTC, OSTC 2 series and the OSTC3 are intended as open platforms for others to develop for if they wish. The Dr5 was open to professional third party developers (RossH developed MultiDeco for it which was very good), but I don't think that it was ever fully 'open'. The Sport is the replacement for the 'frog' recreational dive computer and the 'frog' was never open.

I believe it is like this (but I do not speak for Heinrichweikamp):

Let's say you are a car manufacturer. You make a premium sport hot hatch car which is your core business. Then you use the same platform to make a budget car but in order to achieve economies of scale and reduce R&D and production costs it uses the same chassis, engine, interior etc etc. There are differences of course but there is significant overlap in the products; in order unlock the sports performance of the premium car all a local garage would need to do is re-map the engine. As the cars cost the same to produce but retail at different price points there is significantly less margin in the cheaper item. Why would the manufacturer facilitate users enabling the premium features on the cheaper model?

BTW the OSTC3 is set to drop in price in January and the OSTC Sport increase so the gap in price between the two feature sets is set to narrow.

nigel hewitt
26-12-2014, 10:14 AM
Once you purchase something it is of course your property and you are free to do pretty much whatever you like with it. It doesn't mean that the manufacturer has to support it or make it easy for you.
I was just interested in the business model that chooses not to sell to the market it set out to appeal to.

That, however, answers Mr. shapeshifter's question and the Sport is not suitable for his project.

I admit it would suit me to have a fellow coder working an alternative OSTC3 firmware so I'm not going to complain loudly.

If anybody wants my notes on how not to do it I'll put them up but I don't seem to be able to get a loadable version of the code yet.
Also I can't get the old tinybldWin to upload it so I might just try it all on the linux box.

shapeshifter
26-12-2014, 11:56 AM
The model for open source computers seems to be to make the money on the hardware and take a loss on the firmware whereas for closed source it's more take a loss on the hardware and make the money back on the firmware which the end-users are pretty much locked onto. The sport seems to bé HW's reponse to the xdeep so I guess they're forced into the closed source model by xdeep's pricing.

I'm more than interested in any info you have concerning coding for OSTC though.

Rob Dobson
26-12-2014, 12:43 PM
I was just interested in the business model that chooses not to sell to the market it set out to appeal to.

As we are talking about the OSTC Sport it is a direct replacement for the frog, and the market that the frog set out to appeal to was OC divers who utilise up to 3 gas mixes (nitrox - O2) and want to be able to use GF Bühlmann to calculate deco. Basically it was squarely aimed at recreational divers who wanted the displays of the OSTC but had no need for CCR, Trimix or the sometimes bewildering configuration & customisation options on the OSTC. To put it another way: nice screen without the £££ of the full blown computer.

The frog hit issues when a required component stopped being available and that left a gap in the Heinrichweikamp product offerings. So rather than redesign yet another computer from scratch it seems as though HW have taken the sensible decision to make use of the platforms that are already in production.

Thinking about the development costs for a moment, creating just a custom casing for a dive computer is expensive; either creating a custom injection mold or CnCing from an alloy block. In the last 7 years HW have produced the following computers; each model using different cases and hardware:

OSTC
OSTC MKII
Dr5
frog
OSTC 2n
DRX
OSTC3
OSTC 2c
OSTC sport
OSTC cR

For such a small company who use the same hands that write the code to also design the PCBs, assemble the units, produce the materials, write the manuals and support the customers that is a huge outlay in casings alone. When some of those products never hit the market (DRx) or are prematurely withdrawn due to the supply chain letting you down (frog) it is completely understandable IMO that they look gain maximum leverage from the work and investments that they have already made.

The new OSTC cR seems to be based on OSTC3 internals housed in a modified OSTC 2c case and the OSTC Sport seems to be frog functionality running on a modified OSTC3 platform in a modified OSTC3 housing.

They are different computers aimed at very different users but by leveraging existing offerings they can get them to market quicker whilst exposing the company to less financial risk should things conspire against them.

nigel hewitt
26-12-2014, 03:49 PM
I was agreeing with you right until you used the word 'leveraging'.
Now I have to kill you.
Nothing personal mind you, it just part of the Grammar Purest Rules.

If I can get my OSTC3 code to compile I'll probably forgive you.
I'm spending a while revising that at the moment.

Rob Dobson
26-12-2014, 05:33 PM
I was agreeing with you right until you used the word 'leveraging'.
Now I have to kill you.
Nothing personal mind you, it just part of the Grammar Purest Rules.


My sincere apologies Nigel. In my defence I was never taught grammar at school. I was part of the generation where for some reason that deemed unnecessary so therefore I don't really understand why 'leveraging' has offended you; I'll simply endeavour to not use it again in that context :)

Paul Evans
27-12-2014, 06:10 AM
As we are talking about the OSTC Sport it is a direct replacement for the frog, and the market that the frog set out to appeal to was OC divers who utilise up to 3 gas mixes (nitrox - O2) and want to be able to use GF Bühlmann to calculate deco. Basically it was squarely aimed at recreational divers who wanted the displays of the OSTC but had no need for CCR, Trimix or the sometimes bewildering configuration & customisation options on the OSTC. To put it another way: nice screen without the £££ of the full blown computer.

The frog hit issues when a required component stopped being available and that left a gap in the Heinrichweikamp product offerings. So rather than redesign yet another computer from scratch it seems as though HW have taken the sensible decision to make use of the platforms that are already in production.

Thinking about the development costs for a moment, creating just a custom casing for a dive computer is expensive; either creating a custom injection mold or CnCing from an alloy block. In the last 7 years HW have produced the following computers; each model using different cases and hardware:

OSTC
OSTC MKII
Dr5
frog
OSTC 2n
DRX
OSTC3
OSTC 2c
OSTC sport
OSTC cR

For such a small company who use the same hands that write the code to also design the PCBs, assemble the units, produce the materials, write the manuals and support the customers that is a huge outlay in casings alone. When some of those products never hit the market (DRx) or are prematurely withdrawn due to the supply chain letting you down (frog) it is completely understandable IMO that they look gain maximum leverage from the work and investments that they have already made.

The new OSTC cR seems to be based on OSTC3 internals housed in a modified OSTC 2c case and the OSTC Sport seems to be frog functionality running on a modified OSTC3 platform in a modified OSTC3 housing.

They are different computers aimed at very different users but by leveraging existing offerings they can get them to market quicker whilst exposing the company to less financial risk should things conspire against them.

VR had the right idea with the crabsmasher and its pin number system to up grade.

nigel hewitt
27-12-2014, 07:00 AM
VR had the right idea with the crabsmasher and its pin number system to up grade.
It was an interesting business model.
We put everything in the basic model but we will lock you out of some of the functionality until you pay us more money.

I see it with machine tool controllers.
You buy the 'upgrade' and it consists of the field engineer keying numbers into the panel.
Is it just me that is just a little uncomfortable with this?

Ron MacRae
27-12-2014, 08:04 AM
It was an interesting business model.
We put everything in the basic model but we will lock you out of some of the functionality until you pay us more money.

I see it with machine tool controllers.
You buy the 'upgrade' and it consists of the field engineer keying numbers into the panel.
Is it just me that is just a little uncomfortable with this?
That's how mainframe computers have been sold since the 70's. It's cheaper than multiple production runs.

Paul Evans
27-12-2014, 08:24 AM
It was an interesting business model.
We put everything in the basic model but we will lock you out of some of the functionality until you pay us more money.

I see it with machine tool controllers.
You buy the 'upgrade' and it consists of the field engineer keying numbers into the panel.
Is it just me that is just a little uncomfortable with this?


Bosch did it with the CC100 Series CNC controller, you bought extra memory to load more NC code in with pin numbers... But the chips were there all the time.

Its done for exactly the reasons Rob mentioned above and I don't see a problem with it apart from technology moving to fast (when mechanical and physical changes need to take place) or the company stop supporting it and there are no more codes sold, as you know both of these things happened with the VR3........

This may not be so bad with the OSTC's most recent range, as the case is as small as it can be to be operated and seen by us podgy fingered apes.....:rofl:

In theory its a great idea because you use less natural resources making things....Alas in practise we all seem to like shiny new toys :P:

Tim Digger
29-12-2014, 10:38 AM
It was an interesting business model.
We put everything in the basic model but we will lock you out of some of the functionality until you pay us more money.

I see it with machine tool controllers.
You buy the 'upgrade' and it consists of the field engineer keying numbers into the panel.
Is it just me that is just a little uncomfortable with this?

Not really its just like licensing music uploads, just since they have to have the technical bods to look after the hardware why not have them talk to the beast and make it learn new tricks. Its much easier to control and charge for. We had this with the Drager ITU ventilators (and other makes I'm sure) the housing valves hardware ect were all the same if you wanted it to do more tricks you paid more money. The trick from the company point of view is the longevity of the product, too long and you market remains saturated and does not renew as expected just upgrades. That decision must require a lot of knowledge of the technical side of the product, where its going in the market place and what the users expect/like/are able to afford re replacement. Plus a lot of crystal ball gazing, it's not surprising they get it wrong quite often. Sometimes with disastrous consequences for the company.

Baron015
30-12-2014, 11:40 AM
It was an interesting business model.
We put everything in the basic model but we will lock you out of some of the functionality until you pay us more money.

I see it with machine tool controllers.
You buy the 'upgrade' and it consists of the field engineer keying numbers into the panel.
Is it just me that is just a little uncomfortable with this?

Consider the alternative.

They use a common hardware platform, since that's sensible to contain costs and efficient assembly. But then the software is open source.

So you can buy a cheap "frog" style model and simply download the more sophisticated full trimix software from the open source site, voila you have transformed it into the more expensive model, neatly bypassing any profit margin for the developers.

VR simply controlled this with PIN unlock. HW are doing the same by compromising the single hardware platform and having different casings, etc.

Which world is more appealing ?

notdeadyet
30-12-2014, 06:56 PM
It isnt new. The old Aladin Sport was exactly the same board, display and case (different colour) as the Pro. The Sport just had the full deco function switched off.

Long John Silver
31-12-2015, 10:14 AM
I had the opportunity to get a second hand OSTC Sport but reading the manuals I was not able to understand two key things for me:

- The sport is depth rated 70m. What's happen if I bring it at 100+m? The case seems to be the same as OSTC 3. Maybe depth sensor is limited?
- Can be used as bottom timer? It has an apnea mode and a stop watch and resettable avg depth but I did not understand what's the difference from a proper gauge mode.

Basically I was looking for a nice oled/lcd bottom-timer for my trimix dives without spending a fortune on it. I had a terrible experince wiat an XDeep BT and now I'm again on my ancient Uwatec BT.

Why I have to buy a full fledged computer to use it just as BT? Currently all available BTs cost like a DC.
I think a ldc/oled BT with a fair price would be a killer product. XDeep BT story is a clear demonstration of this. Now they removed from offering it because there were no margins or alt least not enough margins for them. So my question is where they get money from; HW or SW?

Bye

nickb
31-12-2015, 10:42 AM
Nothing personal mind you, it just part of the Grammar Purest Rules.Oh dear!!

Ian_6301
31-12-2015, 10:49 AM
The XDeep bottom timer was a solution looking for a problem. In was too small to read easily, the buttons were terrible and kept pressing themselves and frankly if it has been withdrawn from sale, it's no skin off my nose.

However, I've heard nothing about it being withdrawn...

Not sure what you're getting at with the rest of your post?

An OSTC2n can be had for approx £350 secondhand at the minute, either here or on eBay. It does gauge mode or vpm or gf deco, full trimix, closed circuit, the lot.

The depth limit is 130m, based on the depth sensor.

I'm not aware of any collusion between manufacturers to push the XDeep off the market, but tbh it's appeal was very niche to start with, so I'm not surprised if it has failed to thrive.

The reason why an OLED dive timer such as the liquivision offering costs the same as the full mix computer is probably because the components and manufacturing costs are the same. The only difference is that the software in the computer is more complex and the processing power is higher.

In all honesty, the cost difference between chips will be negligible compared with the tooling costs that need to be amortised. The software difference will be an implementation of a bit of code that's already out there, but needs tweaked to fit. A few days / weeks work at best for a guy that costs say £400 tops. Less than £4k. Recover that at £1 per unit over the first 4000 units or £10 over the first 400.

Still not expensive. It's the designing, the refinement, the development and the setup costs that will drive up cost price and these are very similar for a dive timer Vs a computer. Add a percentage margin on top (because otherwise why bother) and there you have your pricing.

So in short, either you can stop whinging, put your hand in your pocket and buy an OSTC or a Shearwater, or you can stick with your uwatec timer up there on the moral high ground.

Uwatec timers are cheap because they are a very basic design. Low cost components, one shot battery, fully potted and the design and setup costs all occurred about 20 years ago, so we're recouped long long ago. Uwatec can afford to slash the retail price and still make the percentage margin they want because their overheads are low for this design. Further, they can shift a shit load of them because they are cheap and have universal appeal. There was one on the club set of regs I used on my first Novice Diver lesson in 1995 and there's one on my wrist for trimix dives now. There were another three between then and now and when this one finally dies, I'll buy another one to replace it because they are simple, cheap, tough as old boots and a superb fire and forget backup timer.

The XDeep could never come close to that IMO, and there's the rub.

Long John Silver
31-12-2015, 11:37 AM
The XDeep bottom timer was a solution looking for a problem. In was too small to read easily, the buttons were terrible and kept pressing themselves and frankly if it has been withdrawn from sale, it's no skin off my nose.

However, I've heard nothing about it being withdrawn...


BT was discontinued because net revenues were too low. Then the entire DC line was sold to another company: http://www.genz.pl/en/black-starts-his-own-story-nd-1.html



Not sure what you're getting at with the rest of your post?
So in short, either you can stop whinging, put your hand in your pocket and buy an OSTC or a Shearwater, or you can stick with your uwatec timer up there on the moral high ground.



Thank you for your warm welcome

Rob Dobson
31-12-2015, 06:02 PM
- The sport is depth rated 70m. What's happen if I bring it at 100+m? The case seems to be the same as OSTC 3. Maybe depth sensor is limited?
- Can be used as bottom timer? It has an apnea mode and a stop watch and resettable avg depth but I did not understand what's the difference from a proper gauge mode.



I can answer these for you.

The Sport is limited to 70m in software; the depth sensor is identical to the OSTC3. It's a recreational OC nitrox computer so 70m is actually way deeper than is sensible (what the hell is anyone doing at 70m on air?).

It does not have a bottom timer mode. Apnea mode is not the same thing as gauge. Close but not the same. No resettable average depth.

HTH

Becky9
05-01-2016, 10:12 AM
I can answer these for you.

The Sport is limited to 70m in software; the depth sensor is identical to the OSTC3. It's a recreational OC nitrox computer so 70m is actually way deeper than is sensible (what the hell is anyone doing at 70m on air?).

It does not have a bottom timer mode. Apnea mode is not the same thing as gauge. Close but not the same. No resettable average depth.

HTH


Have to say when I had a play with the Sport I liked what I saw. I've had a couple of Xdeep BT, just weren't reliable for me. Liquivision XEN ticks the boxes, but I do think the battery compartment/wiring is fragile and with its new ownership I fear for the long term. I'd be switching to a Sport if it had a proper BT mode, and a few of us that saw it felt the same. Some of us thought about the SDK and doing it ourselves, but I can't imagine out of the box it would be a lot of work. x

Becky9
05-01-2016, 10:16 AM
Basically I was looking for a nice oled/lcd bottom-timer for my trimix dives without spending a fortune on it. I had a terrible experince wiat an XDeep BT and now I'm again on my ancient Uwatec BT.


Until the Sport has a BT mode, get a XEN. x

notdeadyet
05-01-2016, 10:55 AM
Spending 70 quid on a Uwatec and going diving with the other 300 quid would be my choice.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk

Becky9
05-01-2016, 11:08 AM
Spending 70 quid on a Uwatec and going diving with the other 300 quid would be my choice.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk

Maybe, but the amount of people that spent £235 on an xdeep would show theres mileage in something nicer. x

notdeadyet
05-01-2016, 12:06 PM
Maybe, but the amount of people that spent £235 on an xdeep would show theres mileage in something nicer. x
I'm happy for them. Different people have different priorities. It reads depth and time and is incredibly reliable. They're 65 quid in Decathlon at the minute. I can live without a coloured display for that kind of money.

I like minimalist kit. I'd rather spend the money on diving.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk

shapeshifter
05-01-2016, 04:17 PM
I probably couldn't do it for 65 quid but if anybody has a broken OSTC that I could recover just for the case I bet I could get a colour bottom timer working for under a hundred. I'd even throw in bühlmann plus gradient factors for free.

shapeshifter
05-01-2016, 06:10 PM
Actually, I'm not joking about the broken OSTC. If anybody has one I'd be pleased to take it off their hands.

Rob Dobson
06-01-2016, 01:58 PM
Actually, I'm not joking about the broken OSTC. If anybody has one I'd be pleased to take it off their hands.

Good luck finding a broken OSTC out there doing naff all. Most people send them in to swap or part ex for a new one.

Garf
07-01-2016, 05:17 PM
Good luck finding a broken OSTC out there doing naff all. Most people send them in to swap or part ex for a new one.

Given that mine shrugs off the abuse I throw at all my kit I'm genuinely surprised there are many failures at all tbh. It's on the list of my kit I suspect will be diving after I call it a day.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

johnnyblaze
07-01-2016, 05:38 PM
The charging port on mine stopped working after about 4 or 5 years. I sent it back and they gave me a new one for less than half price. I'm sure others have had the same experience.

Sent from my Mi 4i using Tapatalk

Garf
07-01-2016, 06:35 PM
The charging port on mine stopped working after about 4 or 5 years. I sent it back and they gave me a new one for less than half price. I'm sure others have had the same experience.

Sent from my Mi 4i using Tapatalk

There's no charging port on mine - it's got that fancy induction charging mystic sorcery.

Long John Silver
11-01-2016, 03:08 PM
Have to say when I had a play with the Sport I liked what I saw. I've had a couple of Xdeep BT, just weren't reliable for me. Liquivision XEN ticks the boxes, but I do think the battery compartment/wiring is fragile and with its new ownership I fear for the long term. I'd be switching to a Sport if it had a proper BT mode, and a few of us that saw it felt the same. Some of us thought about the SDK and doing it ourselves, but I can't imagine out of the box it would be a lot of work. x

XEN would be perfect but it's ridiculously expensive and I have the same thought as you. All of my friends had to send it back for display problems after two years.
For the moment I'll stick with my Uwatec BT and a Suunto Viper in my pocket as data-logger. A colour display would realy be helpful to check dive data while filming at depth. But I can live without it.

ROb exaplained that the Sport is 70 m limited. Too shallow for my diving. Anyway used OSTC devices are not so easy to find.

Bye

Neil H
12-01-2016, 03:56 PM
Actually, I'm not joking about the broken OSTC. If anybody has one I'd be pleased to take it off their hands.

If you can get a sport for a good price, I'll swap for my Mk2 (rechargeable battery, and piezo electric buttons version), wouldn't sell, but as I have no plans to use trimix now, I could downgrade to a sport. It's in good condition and had screen protector from new, so apart from the usual dinks and scratches on the hard plastic is perfect.

shapeshifter
12-01-2016, 09:33 PM
I guess sports are still too new to be able to pick them up cheap but that's a very kind offer.

I emailed back and forth with Grade Equipments in Malta but it turned out that I really couldn't square what they had with what I needed, so now I'm talking to another manufacturer who may be able to work out something with a casing from one of their older models.

greatwhite
02-07-2016, 09:17 AM
Is the OSTC sport a good computer for the normal recreational and nitrox diver? How does it compare for example to the suunto d4i computer etc? (I know the OSTC is £100 more). For the £450 can you buy anything better than the OSTC? Thanks

Rhys
02-07-2016, 09:29 AM
Is the OSTC sport a good computer for the normal recreational and nitrox diver? How does it compare for example to the suunto d4i computer etc? (I know the OSTC is £100 more). For the £450 can you buy anything better than the OSTC? Thanks

I have had a Suunto D4 for around 6 years and an OSTC Sport for 2 years. I dive with them both now, the OSTC is a far better computer. Mainly due to the screen, far easier to read particularly in poor visibility. Also allows more customisation on deco settings, and has a few more features like the compass. The D4 I find is just a bit too small for UK diving, hard to use the buttons with gloves on.

I think it is well worth the extra £100, provided you don't plan to move to trimix/ccr at some point. I'm coming to the stage where I'll be looking to sell mine soon in order to get something for trimix. The D4 will be kept to use as a bottom timer.

greatwhite
02-07-2016, 09:41 AM
My friend has commented that the strap looks flimsy! To me it does not. What is the strap like please?

Rhys
02-07-2016, 02:46 PM
My friend has commented that the strap looks flimsy! To me it does not. What is the strap like please?

On the OSTC its just bungee cord, nice and simple. Does the job perfectly and is dirt cheap to replace if needed, which I haven't had to do yet

Ian_6301
02-07-2016, 10:32 PM
Bungee cord is absolutely fine. Generally people set it up to have two none-joined loops, such that you'd need to cut both you lose the thing.

There are no buckles to go wrong, no moving parts to fail and I have never heard of anyone losing a computer to bungee failure. Strap failure or watch strap type ones failing or sliding off must be a pretty regular thing though, judging by the number of divers using those lanyard things as backup...

Rob Dobson
03-07-2016, 06:45 AM
The other advantage of bungee over a strap is its 'depth compensating' for those users of neoprene suits.

ziggi
03-07-2016, 07:07 AM
I have actually found a disadvantage of bungee but I hope it's user error and can be resolved.

I use a hollis dx300 suit which has a kind of diamond weeve stitching which I assume is just cosmetic, the bungee on my ostc is causing this to fray quite a lot, it's getting a little untidy.
Bungee too tight for this material perhaps?

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

Rob Dobson
03-07-2016, 06:33 PM
Bungee too tight for this maerial perhaps?

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

Perhaps.... It shouldn't be overly tight but then again if it was so lose that it was moving around on your wrist I can imagine that also causing a problem.

There is an optional padded style of bungee strap; I can't remember what it's called - sport strap or something. It might be worth trying that.

ziggi
03-07-2016, 06:36 PM
Perhaps.... It shouldn't be overly tight but then again if it was so lose that it was moving around on your wrist I can imagine that also causing a problem.

There is an optional padded style of bungee strap; I can't remember what it's called - sport strap or something. It might be worth trying that.
Thanks
I'll have a look for that, I guess I could also get some neoprene armband or something similar, just haven't got around to looking into it.

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