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FinishLynx Version 11.00 Release & Time Trial Update

July 2020 – FinishLynx Version 11.00 has been released and is available to download from our FinishLynx Software & Downloads webpage. We encourage all FinishLynx users to update their software immediately to stay up to date with the latest features. The major feature with this version includes an update to the Time Trial plug-in. The Time Trial (TT) Plug-in will now be more flexible and give new options to help manage group (wave) starts. Keep reading below to find out more about the TT update plus other helpful updates included with 11.00.

Time Trial (TT) Plug-in Update

As we look forward to road races starting back up and cross country season, we expect many races will begin adopting new practices to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. One of these practices will be in the form of utilizing wave, or group, starts. In response to how to manage these wave starts, we’ve added flexibility to the Time Trial plug-in. You will no longer be limited to using the ID as the key field associated to a start signal. If a race is started with a wave for each team or school, select the Affiliation field and assign each start accordingly. Another option is to use the License or User3 field to pre-assign a wave to each participant. This will allow you to easily deal with last-minute changes before or even during a race. Watch the video for details on the updated Time Trial plug-in.

Lynx Wind Module Improvements 

With FinishLynx 11.00, the Lynx Wind Module will send readings back to the wind gauge when an event receives a reading, when a reading is selected from the list, and when a reading is manually entered. This is intended to allow controlling the wind gauge from FinishLynx and displaying the reading on a Gill E49821 & E49822 Countdown Timer in Wind mode connected to the Standalone Wind Gauge Controller using only 1 serial port.

Scoreboard Module Improvements

When the running time is in the Paused or Finished state, the scoreboard module will re-send the data if anything in the Event changes. This is intended primarily to allow a wind reading that comes in while in one of these states to be sent out immediately, but it will allow any Event data to be sent immediately.

Lynx Data Port (LDP) Plug-In

The Lynx Data Port (LDP) Plug-In is the latest addition to the FinishLynx plug-in family and gives a new solution for remote applications to access FinishLynx event data over the network. LDP is meant for programmers that have specific objectives such as streaming image frames or analyzing it using AI technology. If you’re interested in knowing more about he Lynx Data Port (LDP) Plug-In, contact Tech Support.

Downloads

View and download the complete release notes here.

Now Introducing: The LynxCube Gaming Console Plug-In

April 1, 2020 – Want to keep timing, but are stuck at home? LynxCube is our brand new camera plug-in that enables all Vision and Vision PRO cameras to be transformed into video game consoles. We know that times are tough right now with events getting cancelled and many people going stir crazy in their homes, but we believe that LynxCube is the perfect solution to stay safe while continuing to do what you love. We are happy to provide timers with a way to hone their FinishLynx skills from the comfort of their own couch.LynxCube April Fools-1LynxCube April Fools-2The goal of the LynxCube video game is to build your timing setup and successfully time various races in order to level up and become the best photo-finish timer that the world has ever seen! Some features of the game include customizing the race you’d like to time, choosing which equipment to use, and capturing & evaluating the results. The more accurate you are, the more points you will receive. As you receive more points, your character will level up. Each new level unlocks new backgrounds, races, and equipment that you can use for your virtual timing setup.  If you’d like a challenge, you can set your difficulty level to high. This means that anything could happen, whether the rain clouds decide to open up, or an angry athlete’s mother wants to give you a piece of her mind. It’s up to you to decide how  to handle each scenario. However, it’s important to note, if you leave your camera out in the rain with no cover, you may find that you received little to no points for that race.

LynxCube April Fools 3

You may be thinking: why should I care about points? Well, let us tell you. Since there aren’t many live races to be timed at the moment, we will consider the completion of this game as a certifiable Lynx training course. If you complete level 100, you will be honored with the title of Super Mega Ultimate Powerful Master of FinishLynx Timing (a rare honor). We will even send you a certificate in the mail! Imagine having that kind of title on your resume?

LynxCube April Fools-3

We have a feeling you may have already guessed, but APRIL FOOLS! We hope you enjoyed the post and encourage you to share it if you enjoyed it.

There is no denying that we are all going through difficult times right now. As a company, we realize that people are experiencing great amounts of uncertainty and fear, but we hope that in these dark times you are able to find pieces of light. That is why we are continuing with our annual April Fools tradition. The current state of the world is something to take seriously, which we can assure you that we’re taking every precaution necessary. As we have said before, we are facing this challenge together and will emerge even stronger than ever before because we will have faced it together as the Lynx family. We are thinking of you all and hoping that you are safe and well until we are able to get back at it and better than ever!

COVID-19 Update: Lynx Headquarters in MA Closed

April 30, 2020 – [UPDATE] The Massachusetts stay-at-home order and non-essential business shutdown has been extended through Monday, May 18, 2020. As stated below, Lynx is still offering Technical Support via email or phone and will be taking orders via email. Orders that can be processed electronically can be completed immediately, with all other orders shipping after the tentative new reopen date of May 18, 2020.


March 31, 2020 – [UPDATE] The Massachusetts stay-at-home order and non-essential business shutdown has been extended through Monday, May 4, 2020. As stated below, Lynx is still offering Technical Support via email or phone and will be taking orders via email. Orders that can be processed electronically can be completed immediately, with all other orders shipping after the tentative new reopen date of May 4, 2020.


March 24, 2020 – With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to develop, Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker, issued all non-essential businesses to close their offices to all employees, customers, and the public beginning March 24, 2020 at 12pm EST through at least Tuesday, April 7th at 12pm EST. For this reason, Lynx has closed its headquarters in Haverhill, MA.

During this shutdown period, we will only able to complete orders that can be delivered via email (ex. Serial Numbers). However, we will still be offering Technical Support via email and over the phone, and all other orders will ship after our expected reopen date, April 8th, 2020.

Please be safe and well until we are all able to get back at it and better than ever!


How to Reach Lynx:

Technical Support

Email: support@finishlynx.com

Phone: (978) 556-9780

Placing Orders

Domestic Sales: domsales@finishlynx.com

International Sales: intlsales@finishlynx.com


 

 

FinishLynx Timer Spotlight: MichianaTiming

Something we really enjoy here at Lynx is getting to know the people who use our products. Just like our own business, each of our customers have their own story – how and why they started, the challenges they faced along the way, and so much more. That’s why we started asking our community for their stories. It’s so interesting to hear from people all around the world who may disagree on some things, but have one thing in common: they think FinishLynx is the best!  For our latest installment of the FinishLynx Timer Spotlight, we spoke with Don Passenger and Lindsey Wieck, the father-daughter timing team who went from timing races with Popsicle sticks and stop watches to using FinishLynx cameras to capture about 500 events every year.

MichianaTiming-Event

Name: MichianaTiming.com

Locations: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin

Number of Events: About 500 per year

Briefly tell us about your business.

MichianaTiming Cross Country
Cross Country Timing with FinishLynx

Our business, MichianaTiming.com, times about 500 events each year. Our primary areas are track, cross country, road races, and triathlons in the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The company was co-founded by Don Passenger (dad) and Lindsey Wieck (daughter). Lindsey is the owner of the company and handles all aspects of financial management.

What is one thing that makes your company unique?

We are re-sellers, or dealers, of FinishLynx equipment, so we sell what we use and use what we sell, which makes for good support for our Lynx purchasers.

MichianaTiming-Camera
EtherLynx Camera

How long have you been in business?

Ironically, nobody knows when or how our business started. We began by timing races with Popsicle sticks and stop watches and just kept automating more and getting better. Eventually, we bought our first Lynx camera about 11 years ago- used- and it is still in service today along with several dozen other cameras. We started chip timing ten years ago, and we just continue to grow in our knowledge and use.

Is there any advice you wish you had received when you first started out?

Respect the relationships others have built… and value the relationships you have built.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?

Timing at its core is really hard work and so the challenge is finding enough talented crew members to handle 6-10 events on any given day while maintaining the quality our customers deserve (which we view as including not just race directors/meet managers, but also coaches, participants, and spectators too). We are lucky to have about eight key people who help make our company grow and thrive.

What three words would you use to describe FinishLynx? 

Accurate, stable, awesome.

MichianaTiming-RadioLynx
RadioLynx Wireless Start

Which products and accessories are a part of your usual timing set up?

Are there any features you would like to see added to the system?

Don: I have shared my next goal with the Lynx engineering team and I think it will be amazing and revolutionary, but it is a secret.

Lindsey: A siren to scare people off who might inopportunely cross in front of your camera 🙂

What has been your favorite race so far and why?

We have several, but the Manistee National Cross Country Invite is maybe the best because of how well organized it is.

If you could time any type of race in the world, which would it be and why?

Don: The Olympics because as a child it was my goal to participate in the Olympics, but my athletic skills were just short of that standard.

Lindsey: I really love some of the amazing FinishLynx art I’ve seen created and would love to be in the right place with the right athletes to make some of my own!

What made you start timing? What keeps you going (favorite part of the job)?

We feel that we are giving back to a sport that gave us so much in life and helped make us who we are. We don’t really know how or when we started. It was just helping friends or timing events for teams we coached, but then we found we had a talent for it and it just kept growing.

Don at Lynx HQ in Haverhill, MA

Please feel free to share any other information that you think is interesting or relevant to the timing community.

One of our favorite parts of timing, which was enhanced by our opportunity to be a dealer, is the network of friends that we have nationwide. On any given day we may get a dozen or more calls ranging from former Olympians who time, to a first time mom and pop, or local school getting things clicking for the first time and missing one step. We enjoy problem solving and it gives us satisfaction to be able to assist others.

We are very thankful for Don and Lindsey for answering these questions for our Timer Spotlight Series. We loved hearing all about your company and what you’ve been through!

Interested in being a part of our Q&A? Please send an email to: marketing@finishlynx.com

To learn more about MichianaTiming: Click Here

To learn more about photo-finish timing systems: Click Here

Lynx Logo

Waking FinishLynx from Hibernation

New year, new goals! You don’t need 2020 vision to see that the accuracy and reliability of FinishLynx timing equipment is essential at any track meet at every level. Soon enough it will be the spring track season, and if you’re honest with yourself, are you ready for that? Get your camera off the shelf and on the track! Don’t worry, we’re here to help. 

Follow these steps to become a FinishLynx wiz for this track season:

1. Take your camera off the shelf.Photo-Finish Camera for Track

This may seem obvious, but we feel as though it needs to be said. Whether you are a seasoned Lynx user, or a novice learner, now is the perfect time! We understand that everyone comes from different backgrounds and levels of timing experience, so we have numerous resources available for users to become more familiar with their equipment. That is why we are presenting you with every resource we have available, all on one page.  Speaking of, that leads us into our next step…

2. Start the learning process or refresh your brain with our online resources.

Quick Start Guides – Lucky for you, we have a QSG for every product that we ship! There should be one included with the equipment you purchased, but they are also located on our website for any time that you may need to take another look. These documents are essential for learning how to use FinishLynx systems. We provide step-by-step instructions on how to set up the technology and get it up and running for your race.

Online Manual – Another go-to resource for becoming a FinishLynx master is our online, searchable, mobile-friendly software manual. This manual is provided to help first time users set up and run FinishLynx so that it will become as familiar and easy to use as a computer. You can begin with the “Getting Started” section, or you can look up more specific topics if you’re having trouble with a particular piece of equipment or system. This manual stays up-to-date and new information is added each time the FinishLynx software is updated. 

YouTube Tutorial Videos – More of a visual learner? Not a problem. Our YouTube channel has plenty of technical support videos from the basic hardware setup to more advanced functions within the FinishLynx software. We even have a playlist called “New User FinishLynx Timing System Setup“. Head over to our channel and break out the popcorn to start learning the ins and outs of preparing your hardware and software for your next meet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Since we have quite a bit of experience providing technical support for FinishLynx products and accessories (28 years to be exact), we have put together some of the more common questions that our tech support team has run into over the years. This includes topics about purchasing FinishLynx, Camera Setup, FinishLynx Software & Networking, and more. Fore more detailed information on how to set up your timing system, you should refer back to our Quick Start Guides, or, as always, our technical support team is just one phone call away.

3. Get to know our technical support team.

FinishLynx Technical Support

Call or Email – Speaking of technical support, here’s how to get in contact with them! We pride ourselves on our ability to help customers in unlocking the full potential of FinishLynx technology. We have 24/7 support via our main line: (978) 556-9780. The team can also be reached by emailing support@finishlynx.com.

Technical Support Training – Still stumped? Lynx does offer on-site group training for new FinishLynx users. Please submit a form here and a member of the Lynx training staff will be in touch shortly.

4. Get Social!

Over the many years that Lynx has been around, we’ve watched as the community of timers and operators has grown. On Facebook, we even have a FinishLynx Sports Timers group where members can post technical questions or brag about their latest race (we love the photos- please keep them coming!) You may even be able to get in touch with a Lynx user in your area who could train you on how to use your system or just give some helpful tips. 

In addition to Facebook, you can also connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Every Friday, we tweet a timing tip of the week, which can be helpful for timers to discover specific resources we have online or practical tips that they wouldn’t have known about otherwise. On Instagram, we love re-posting our customers’ content, so once you figure out your system and are ready to show off a little bit, be sure to tag us or use the #FinishLynx hashtag!
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Lynx Year-End Review- 2019 Milestones

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As we approach the end of 2019, we can’t help but think about all that we have achieved this year. Lynx continues to provide the quality and support that you, our community, need and deserve. Reflect on the past year with us by taking a look at what happened over the course of 2019.

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6/2019 New Balance Nationals (Greensboro, NC)New Balance Nationals Display Board

In June, two Lynx tech support team members traveled down to Aggie Stadium in North Carolina with Flash Results. At this event, the nation’s best high school runners, jumpers, throwers, walkers, and relay crews competed for an exciting four days that marked the 28th year of the New Balance Nationals Outdoor competition. Even more exciting, our IsoLynx player tracking technology was implemented alongside FinishLynx equipment! By combining IsoLynx with FinishLynx, the event displayed the speed and estimated finish times of the racers. This is just a sneak peek of what this new system has in store for the sports technology industry!

8/2019 Pan American Games (Lima, Peru)

Once again, a tech support team member traveled to work alongside Flash Results, but this time it was for the 2019 Pan American Games. 747 athletes from 41 countries across the globe participated in the Athletics portion of this event. There were several 3-sided Lynx LED displays positioned throughout the field, displaying information to the entire crowd. Want to see the action? View the full Facebook Album here.

10/2019 Office Updates (Haverhill, MA)

Upgrading our headquarters began in October of this year after receiving some polite feedback that our old sign was much too weathered and faded. So, we decided to spruce up the place a little bit! Installing a new exterior sign was just the beginning. In November, new cubicles were added, and the office space was renovated. We are loving the new renovations, but it does not end there. We will have even more updates through the upcoming months- stay tuned!

11/2019 International Conferences & Trade Shows (Cologne, Germany – Manchester, England – Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland)

November was a very busy month for our Director of International Sales, Paul. He started November in Cologne, Germany for the FSB Trade Show. He was joined by our CEO and Director of Marketing to catch up with some partners and meet with new people to talk about the latest in sports technology. Paul then made his way to Manchester, England for a photo-finish conference with HS Sports at the Etihad Campus. He then finished up his trip in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland for a Conference with Domtel Sports Timing. It was so amazing to speak with members of the sports timing community from different places around the world. 

FinishLynx International Conferences

12/2019 National Athletic Directors Conference (National Harbor, MD)

This is definitely something we look forward to every year! The National Athletic Directors Conference was held in National Harbor, Maryland this year. Our Sales and Marketing departments flew down to speak with Athletic Directors from around the country. It is always a blast to explain how FinishLynx can make track timing a million times easier for any school.

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2019 Technical Support Overview

FinishLynx 10.12- Did you catch the new FinishLynx software version that was released 8/14/2019? If not, be sure to update your software to enjoy features including:

  • Automatic Exposure Control (AEC) which is a Vision PRO feature meant to optimize focus adjustment
  • Camera White List Management which makes it possible to run concurrent FinishLynx sessions on a single network, each session controlling specific cameras

Group Training

Our fantastic technical support staff always keeps busy! If they are not diagnosing issues over the phone, or responding to your emails, they can be booked for new user training sessions. Our tech guys traveled to and met up with Lynx users in places like Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and more. What better way to learn than from the experts themselves? If you would like to experience this hands on training with the Lynx technical support team, please fill out a form to learn more.

Support Videos

2019 brought 4 new tutorial videos to our YouTube channel and Support Videos page. Is there anything that doesn’t have a video that you wish it did? Let us know!

New videos included:

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Top 5 Social Media Posts of 2019

Here at Lynx, we like to keep it fun. We want to interact with our community, and keep you up to date on all of our company happenings. That is why we value posting on social media so much. It lets us see what all of our customers are up to, and how they are using FinishLynx equipment, which makes for some pretty cool re-shares on our accounts! Thanks for that, by the way. We love being tagged in all of your amazing, cool, beautiful, funny, rare shots. There is no better reward than seeing how our community is using our products out in the field. That is why for this blog post we decided to do a countdown of our most popular social media posts of 2019. #1 had the most reactions, comments, and engagements. Do you think you know which post it was? Let’s find out!

5. What is your FinishLynx Name?

FinishLynx Social Media

 

4. The Big Reveal of our New Exterior Sign:

FinishLynx Social Media

3. Dubai World Cup Vision PRO Capture:

FinishLynx Social Media

2. 27th Anniversary Celebration- 25th Anniversary Blog Post:

FinishLynx Social Media

And finally… the number one post of the year… did you guess it?

1. ForceLynx April Fools Blog Post:

FinishLynx April Fools

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Looking Forward

Although we achieved a lot this past year, Lynx is always thinking about what comes next. It’s interesting and amazing how so much can happen in just one year. We hope that 2020 will bring new and exciting content ideas that will make the FinishLynx experience all the more exciting. Please let us know if there is anything you would like to see in the upcoming year. Everything we do is aimed at benefiting our community, whether that be increasing understanding or keeping you all entertained! We appreciate your continued support of our company, and thank you for being a valued member of the Lynx family.

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Connect with us!

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We wish everyone a safe and happy new year! See you next decade!

2019-20 Lynx Winter Holiday Schedule

Haverhill, MA – It’s that time of year again! Lynx Headquarters is closing for an extended winter break for this wonderful holiday season. What better way to spend this time of year than with friends and family? The Haverhill office will close Friday, December 20th at the end of the work day. We will reopen at 9:00AM (Eastern Standard Time) on Thursday, January 2nd. 

Lynx employees are very excited for our annual holiday party on Friday, December 20th. We are gathering for a delicious lunch at Joseph’s Trattoria Bakery Café in Haverhill, MA.

Limited technical support will be available during our winter break by calling the office and following the prompts to leave a message: (978) 556-9780. You can also submit a tech support web form, and it is possible that you may receive a response via email.

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2019-2020 Holiday Schedule:

Close: Friday, December 20th 2019 

Re-Open: Thursday, January 2nd 2020

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Lynx Closing Holiday Card

Join us at the 2019 FSB Trade Show in Germany

Cologne, Germany – We’re just two weeks away from the 2019 FSB Trade Show in Cologne, Germany. FSB is a global trade exhibition for architects, engineers, and manufacturers in the sports and recreation industries and is held every other year at the Cologne Exhibition Center. This year 26,000 visitors hailing from 119 countries are expected to turn up, including Lynx System Developers. In addition to our usual showing of various FinishLynx photo-finish and front-facing cameras, we’ll also be featuring a Lynx LED Infield Display plus IsoLynx player tracking technology which has proven to be a powerful and exciting addition to many sporting events.

We’ve been working hard to prep for this major event. We will be shipping three photo-finish cameras, one IdentiLynx video camera, one LED Infield Display, 700+ marketing brochures, and dozens of display materials. Special thanks to our German partner ProTime for their continued help coordinating the shipping for this event.

There’s no doubt FSB is a great chance to generate new partnerships and business opportunities. But the reason we love this show is because we get to spend time speaking with our existing partners and customers. We’re expecting to see dozens of our international resellers this year, as well as old colleagues from across the sports timing community. Is your company planning to attend this year’s FSB show? If so, stop by the FinishLynx booth:

Booth: Hall: 9.1 – Aisle: C No. 78 & D No. 79

Dates: Tuesday November 5th – Friday November 8th

To see the full schedule for attendees, please visit the FSB website here.

We look forward to seeing you in Cologne! Send an email to International Sales and we would love to meet up.

FSB Lynx Booth

Timing Cross Country Meets with FinishLynx

Need a more complete solution to time your Cross Country races? You’re not alone! With so much happening around the finish line, it can be tough to simultaneously identify competitors, provide accurate times and finish order, AND link every athlete with their respective finish times. Thankfully, Lynx offers a harmonious solution to the obstacles of Cross Country timing: our FinishLynx Triad of Products.

What is included in our Triad of Products? Glad you asked. It combines three popular digital products to improve the speed and accuracy of capturing meet results. Lynx makes Cross Country timing simple by integrating photo-finish, video, and RFID Chip Results into a single interface:

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Vision Camera Graphic

IdentiLynx Camera Graphic

RFID Transponder Graphic

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The finish line can be a confusing place at Cross Country meets due to the high volume of finishers crossing at the same time. Athletes can finish fractions of a second apart, and accurate team scores often depend on individual results. This is why fast and accurate identification (AKA our Triad!) is crucial for ANY Cross Country meet!

By linking three complimentary products together, FinishLynx is well equipped to take on the challenges of Cross Country timing. We have created a powerful solution much greater than each of the three systems working independently. By integrating real-time tracking, timing, and visual verification into an intuitive interface, we provide our customers with everything they need for accurate and reliable results at Cross Country meets.

See the GIF below to understand how easy it is to evaluate races with FinishLynx:

IdentiLynx & FinishLynx Evaluation

Like what you see? Contact us today to receive a quote on a Cross Country timing package!

FinishLynx Version 10.12 and New Features

August 2019 – FinishLynx Version 10.12 has been released and is now available to download from our FinishLynx Software & Downloads webpage. We encourage all FinishLynx users to update their software immediately to stay up to date with the latest features. Two of the latest features included in this release are the Automatic Exposure Control (AEC) along with Camera White List Management. Along with the two features described below, the new release also includes Scoreboard Scripts and Advanced – Other Settings. Scroll to the bottom to find the software download plus the release notes for version 10.12. 

Automatic Exposure Control (AEC)

Note: (AEC) is a Vision PRO feature meant to optimize focus adjustment.

Depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and the furthest objects that are in acceptably sharp focus in an image. As light falls through the day, the lens iris will open to compensate loss of light; an ill effect of a wide open iris is a reduced DOF. Accordingly, focus that may have looked proper when adjusted early in the day with a closed iris may look soft once light falls and the iris opens.

In 2D-Align mode, with AEC enabled, it is possible to fully open the iris without overexposing the image. When focus is adjusted in this minimal DOF mode, it will remain proper later in the day once the lens iris opens.

Camera White List Management

It is now possible to run concurrent FinishLynx sessions on a single network, each session controlling specific cameras. The White List feature allows you to determine which EtherLynx or IdentiLynx cameras should be booted by FinishLynx, and which should be ignored. This can be useful in an advanced configuration where it is necessary to run FinishLynx on multiple computers connected to the same network.


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Downloads

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For additional support, please contact Technical Support at support@finishlynx.com