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To convert a hexadecimal number to its octal equivalent, first convert the hexadecimal number to binary, then convert the binary to octal.

Hexadecimal and octal are both number systems used in computing, but they are not directly convertible. Therefore, we need to use binary as a 'bridge' to convert between them. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

1. Convert the hexadecimal number to binary: Hexadecimal is a base-16 number system, while binary is base-2. Each hexadecimal digit can be represented by a 4-digit binary number. For example, the hexadecimal digit 'A' is '1010' in binary, and 'F' is '1111'. You can use a hexadecimal to binary conversion table to help with this step.

2. Convert the binary number to octal: Octal is a base-8 number system. Each octal digit can be represented by a 3-digit binary number. For example, the binary number '101' is '5' in octal, and '111' is '7'. To convert, group the binary digits into sets of three, starting from the right. If there aren't enough digits to make a group of three, add zeros to the left. Then, use a binary to octal conversion table to find the octal equivalent for each group.

Let's take an example. If we want to convert the hexadecimal number '2A3' to octal, we first convert it to binary. '2' is '0010', 'A' is '1010', and '3' is '0011' in binary. So, '2A3' in binary is '001010100011'. Then, we group this into sets of three: '001', '010', '100', '011'. Using a binary to octal conversion table, we find that these correspond to '1', '2', '4', '3' in octal. So, '2A3' in hexadecimal is '1243' in octal.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you practice these conversions, the more comfortable you'll become with them. And while it might seem tedious, understanding these conversions is fundamental to understanding how computers process and store data.

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