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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 1
January 9, 2009


* + ARRL Board of Directors, Standing Committees to Meet in Connecticut
Next Week
* + One Mode Down, Two to Go! 
* + FCC Commissioners: Now There Are Four 
* + DXpedition to Desecheo Gets Ready to Roll 
* + Nominations Sought For 2009 Dayton Hamvention Awards 
* + Foundation for Amateur Radio Invites Scholarship Applications 
*  Solar Update 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + ARES E-Letter Gets New Look 
    + Gary L. Robinson, WB8ROL, Wins December QST Cover Plaque Award 
      The 2008 ARRL Periodicals on CD-ROM Now Shipping 
      New QSL Tracking Service in Chile 
      Son Charged with Murder of Florida Ham 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

strong seismic activity in Costa Rica, the Radio Club de Costa Rica
(RCCR) -- that country's IARU Member-Society -- is monitoring local
repeaters and 7090 kHz. IARU Region 2 Emergency Communications
Coordinator Cesar Pio Santos, HR2P, requests that 7090 kHz be kept clear
of non-essential traffic due to possible emergency communications
dealing with the earthquake. The ARRL encourages all amateurs to be
aware of the emergency operations on this frequency. US amateurs should
avoid interfering with Spanish language SSB while using digital modes.

==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ
<>, then e-mail
==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane,


The ARRL Board of Directors holds their 2009 annual meeting January
16-17 in Windsor, Connecticut, with Directors, Vice Directors and ARRL
Board officers in attendance. The meeting will be preceded on Thursday,
January 15, with meetings of the Administration and Finance Committee
and the Programs and Services Committee.

The Administration and Finance Committee, chaired by Northwestern
Division Director Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, studies, advises and makes
recommendations for all administration and financial matters of the
League, including recommending the annual budget to the Board, making
recommendations in regard to staff management and monitoring investment
of ARRL funds. Fenstermaker said he can report that "2008 was a
relatively good year with growth in membership and meeting the needs of
our members. The 2009 plan calls for continuing to provide existing
programs and to develop new programs, as well as provide better
communication tools. Our belief is that in difficult economic times,
members will focus even more on activities they are familiar with and
have investments in, such as Amateur Radio. We see our opportunities and
ability to serve members' needs increasing under this scenario."

The Programs and Services Committee, headed by Midwest Division Director
Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, studies, advises and makes recommendations for all
programs and services provided by the League, including Logbook of the
World, W1AW and the incoming and outgoing QSL services. "The Programs
and Services committee is pleased with ongoing work to strengthen ARRL's
Internet presence through the Web site redesign and the expansion of the
IT department. A good example is the new Triple Play Worked All States
award that is generating a lot of interest. On the Field Organization
side, we are monitoring implementation of changes brought on by the
Section Governance survey that was reported in July, as well as those
brought about by the NERPC report following Hurricane Katrina and other
large-scale disasters. Membership Services projects include receiving
studies from our Contest and VHF/UHF Advisory Committees and ongoing
consideration of awards-related matters. We're also interested in
development of the new 'PR-101' course for Public Information Officers
and our other educational offerings," Frahm said.

Per the Articles of Association <>, the
ARRL Board of Directors meets twice a year, in January and July. 


With the advent of the ARRL's Triple Play Award
<>, on-air
participation has reached a level of excitement not seen in recent
years. This new, exciting award is available to all amateurs who confirm
contacts with each of the 50 states using three modes for each state:
CW, phone and RTTY/digital. All 150 contacts must be made on or after
the January 1, 2009 and must be confirmed via Logbook of The World
(LoTW) <>. All bands -- with the exception of
60 meters -- may be used in pursuit of the Triple Play Award.

The ARRL RTTY Round Up, held January 3-4, was one of the first organized
events eligible for the award. "If the amount of activity in the 2009
ARRL RTTY Round Up is any indicator, the Triple Play is off to a
fantastic start," said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X.
"The RTTY Roundup was the first contest to take place since the award's
inception. It ended only a few days ago, and we already have received
almost 1100 logs. There's been a lot of chatter on the RTTY e-mail
reflectors about getting the Triple Play completed, and I personally
have seen numerous stations calling 'CQ Triple Play' on PSK31 since the
first of the year. People already have their 'needed list' programmed
into their PSK31 macros. There is no question that the new Triple Play
award is causing a lot of buzz in the digital community. I'm happy that
we have been able to come up with a new award that so many people are
interested in right off the bat."

According to Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, Assistant Manager for the Membership and
Volunteer Programs Department, hundreds of new LoTW certificates have
been processed each day since the first of the year. "We are excited to
see such an upswing in LoTW participation," he said. "I know what a
thrill it can be to upload my logs to LoTW right after a contest and see
the QSOs appear almost instantaneously. That's the magic of Logbook of
The World."

Those who participated in the RTTY Round Up were ecstatic over how easy
it was to use LoTW. Jose Castillo, N1BAA, of Amherst, Massachusetts,
said, "Just amazing! Just under 24 hours since I uploaded my ARRL RTTY
Round Up log and now I have Worked All States confirmed via LoTW [from
just the RTTY Round Up]. Gotta love LoTW!" Bob Garceau, W1EQ, of Putnam,
Connecticut agreed: "I'm impressed with the response to my uploaded log
to LoTW. I uploaded 728 QSOs and 50 hours after the contest closed, I
have 336 QSLs. That's a 46 percent response. Impressive! I think that
someone will get #1 Triple Play by the end of January."

Don't be too upset if you wanted to work one of the digital modes and
didn't participate in the RTTY Round Up -- other digital modes, such as
PSK31 and Hellschreiber are also eligible for the digital portion of the
award. The first ever 24 hour Hellschreiber sprint takes place January
17. According to the Feld Hell Club's Web site, all modes of Hell on any
band (with the exception of 17, 30 and 60 meters) are allowed in the
sprint <>. If you
like operating digital modes and you missed the RTTY Round Up, why not
give the Feld Hell sprint a try? According to QST Editor and digital
guru Steve Ford, WB8IMY, free sound card software for Hellschreiber,
such as Fldigi <>, MultiPSK (for PCs)<> and cocoaModem (for Macintosh)
<> can be found online.

For SSB and CW aficionados, the North American QSO Parties (NAQP) start
January 10: The CW portion is 1800 UTC January 10-0600 UTC January 11,
and the phone portion is 1800 UTC January 17-0600 UTC January 18 (the
NAQP RTTY Contest is 1800 UTC February 28-0600 UTC March 1). Of course,
you don't have to participate in a contest to chase the Triple Play
Award. As long as you submit your logs to Logbook of The World, you're
good! LoTW is set up to calculate your Triple Play QSOs separately from
your other QSOs.

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, warned that it can be
"addictive" once you begin making your contacts for the Triple Play
Award, and that "there are many possible variations on the theme. You
can try to be the first (or at least the first on your block) or you can
set your own pace. Think it's too easy? Limit yourself to QRP while
operating your favorite mode (or all three). Maybe you prefer to be the
quarry; it will quickly emerge which states are the most difficult to
find, offering opportunities to earn the gratitude of your mates by
activating the ones you can get to with your portable or mobile rig."

So get on the air, make contacts and submit them via Logbook of The
World. Before you know it, you'll have something new to hang up on your
shack wall.


The term of FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, a Republican from
Tennessee, came to an end on January 3 as the 111th Congress convened
for the first time. Originally selected by President Bush to fill the
unexpired term of then-Chairman Michael Powell, Tate joined the
Commission in 2005 <>.
In June 2007, Bush announced his intention to nominate Tate to a full
five year term <>, but when the Senate
failed to confirm her nomination by the close of the 110th Congress,
Tate's tenure as a Commissioner came to a close.

"My term as a commissioner is at an end," Tate said, "and I would like
to express what a great privilege and honor it has been to serve our
country and the Federal Communications Commission over the past three
years. I am grateful to President Bush for his appointment and for his
confidence in my ability to make important decisions on behalf of the
American people."

Tate said that she plans on advocating for children and families both in
this country and abroad. She said she will also dedicate herself "to
protecting our stories and storytellers, and to opposing the economic
and moral harm of piracy." She also plans on launching a formal
mediation practice "that will utilize the skills I have practiced daily
at the Commission to develop resolution, consensus and collaboration in
the communications sector and beyond."

Chairman Kevin Martin thanked Tate for her service to the Commission,
saying her "good nature and distinct personality" will be missed. "Based
on her experience as an effective state commissioner," Martin said,
"Commissioner Tate demonstrated strong leadership during her tenure as
Chair of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, and the
Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations. As Chair, she
led the effort to address [these two] critical components of the
telecommunications framework set forth by Congress. Commissioner Tate
embraced the difficult task of trying to reach consensus between federal
and state members on these very technical and complex issues."

Tate thanked the Commission's professional staff, calling them "the
finest, most honorable group of civil servants in our government. They
are viewed as the 'gold standard' by our international colleagues and I
appreciate their dedication, integrity and commitment. All Americans
should be proud of their work."


Six members of the February 2009 KP5 Desecheo DXpedition team
<> met in Puerto Rico the week of December 17-21.
According to team co-leader Bob Allphin, K4UEE, the team visited US Fish
and Wildlife Headquarters in Boqueron and met with the Chief Refuge
Manager and law enforcement personnel in preparation for the DXpedition,
set to start February 12.

Desecheo currently sits at number 7 on DX Magazine's Most Wanted list;
the island is the second most-wanted DXCC entity in Asia and third
most-wanted in Europe. Desecheo is a small uninhabited island in the
Mona Passage, 14 miles off the western coast of Puerto Rico. It is part
of the USFWS's national wildlife refuge system administered by the
Caribbean National Wildlife Refuge Complex (CNWR)

"After an evening with local DXers and members of the Puerto Rico
Amateur Radio League for dinner and a night of fellowship, DXpedition
team members underwent UXO (unexploded ordnance) training," Allphin
said. "On December 19, we accompanied US Fish and Wildlife law
enforcement and UXO personnel to Desecheo Island. In the three hours we
were there, the campsite and antenna fields were thoroughly swept for
UXO and several areas were found suspicious. These areas were clearly
marked, mapped by GPS and declared off limits for the DXpedition."

Allphin said that the USFWS will allow antennas on the ridge above the
helicopter pad, providing a clear shot to Europe, North America and
Japan. Other antennas will be located on the beach below the helicopter
pad. While on Desecheo, the team conducted a test for the 2 meter link
to Puerto Rico.

"Logistics and staging of equipment is ongoing and will be complete
before the team arrives in Puerto Rico on February 7." Allphin said.
"The team will transit to Desecheo on February 12 to begin the two week
operation. Eight HF stations, plus 6 meters, will be operational. We
have planned an incredible array of antennas. Transportation and
logistics have been arranged for a fast deployment and quick appearance
on the air. As soon as we land on Desecheo, two stations will be
immediately activated. Stations will continue to operate until the final
moments of departure on February 26."

Per USFWS rules, only 15 operators will be allowed on the island at one
time. "We have arranged with USFWS to allow a shift change about half
way through the DXpedition," Allphin told the ARRL. "This has allowed a
number of hams on our waiting list an opportunity to participate in this

DXpedition co-leader Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, said the team will be running
CW, SSB and RTTY on 160-6 meters. "We've had tremendous support from DX
organizations all over the world and from numerous equipment and antenna
manufacturers," he told the ARRL. "We are diligently working on the
propagation studies to reach our hard-to-work areas of Asia and Europe.
This plus our planned antennas, we should knock Desecheo off of the Most
Wanted List for a long time to come."


The Dayton Hamvention <> is accepting
nominations for its 2009 awards <>. Do
you know an outstanding amateur in your club, community or from
on-the-air contacts? Does this person excel in some phase of Amateur
Radio? Do you feel this person deserves worldwide recognition? All radio
amateurs are eligible. The deadline for nominations is February 18,
2009. The winners will be recognized at the 2009 Hamvention, May 15-17.

The three awards are:
* The Amateur of the Year Award -- This award will be given to the
special person who has made a long term commitment to the advancement of
Amateur Radio. The Hamvention Awards Committee is looking for a
well-rounded individual who has contributed to Amateur Radio in some
outstanding way. 
* The Technical Excellence Award -- This award will be given to the
person who has made an outstanding technical advancement in the field of
Amateur Radio. 
* The Special Achievement Award -- This award honors someone who has
made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of Amateur Radio,
usually someone who has spearheaded a significant project. 

Awards are decided by the Awards Committee, based partially upon the
information received, not the number of nominations submitted.

Documentation is beneficial. Magazine articles, newsletters, newspaper
clippings, videos and such will better inform the Awards Committee of
your candidate's accomplishments. These materials become the property of
Hamvention and cannot be returned. Nominations may be sent via e-mail
<>; (please scan all supporting documents and send
them as attachments, via fax at 937-276-6934, or US Mail to Hamvention
Awards, PO Box 964, Dayton, OH 45401-0964. Nomination forms are
available in either PDF format
<> or Microsoft Word format
<>. If you send your
nomination via e-mail, the Awards Committee requests that you place your
name in the subject line of the e-mail.  -- Dayton Hamvention Awards


The non-profit Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR)
<> is now accepting applications for 48
scholarships for the academic year 2009-2010 to assist radio amateurs
pursuing higher education. 

FAR fully funds two of scholarships and administers 46 others without
cost on behalf of various club and individual donors. Amateur Radio
licensees pursuing a full-time course of study beyond high school and
accepted by or enrolled in an accredited university, college or
technical school are eligible to apply. Scholarship grants range from
$500 to $5000, and preference in some cases goes to applicants living in
particular geographical areas or pursuing certain studies. Non-US
residents are eligible to apply for some of the scholarships. FAR
encourages clubs -- especially those in California, Delaware, Maryland,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin -- to announce these
scholarship opportunities at meetings, in newsletters, during training
classes, on nets and on their Web sites. 

More information and an application form may be requested by letter via
e-mail or by sending a QSL card postmarked prior to March 30, 2009, to
FAR Scholarships, PO Box 831, Riverdale, MD 20738. The application
deadline is May 1, 2009. Headquartered in Washington, DC, FAR consists
of more than 75 area Amateur Radio Clubs. FAR is devoted to promoting
the interests of Amateur Radio and those scientific, literary and
educational pursuits that advance the purposes of the Amateur Radio


Tad "The spruces rough in the distant glitter of the January sun" Cook,
K7RA, this week reports: On Wednesday, January 7, a sunspot appeared
very briefly in the lower right portion of the Sun's image. It was so
brief that NOAA did not record it on the Space Weather Prediction
Center's daily solar data chart for that day. reported
a sunspot number of 11 for the day, and the magnetic polarity was
consistent with a new Solar Cycle 24 spot. Today, January 9, there is
another Solar Cycle 24 appearance, this time on the upper left of the
image. Sunspot numbers for January 1-7 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with
a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 68.9, 69.9, 69.5, 68.8, 69.2, 68.7 and
69 with a mean of 69.1. The estimated planetary A indices were 6, 3, 9,
4, 4, 3 and 3 with a mean of 4.6. The estimated mid-latitude A indices
were 5, 3, 8, 5, 3, 2 and 1 with a mean of 3.9. For more information
concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information
Service Propagation page
<>. To read this week's
Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin
page <>. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought
to you by Wallace Stevens' "The Snow Man"



* This Week on the Radio: This week, the Midwinter Contest (CW) is
January 10, while the North American QSO Party (CW), the Hunting Lions
in the Air Contest and the MI QRP January CW Contest are all January
10-11. Look for the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon, the NRAU-Baltic Contest
(CW and SSB), the Midwinter Contest (phone) and the DARC 10 Meter
Contest on January 11. Next week is the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes is
January 17-19. The LZ Open Contest is January 17. The North American QSO
Party (SSB), the Hungarian DX Contest and the UK DX Contest (RTTY) are
all January 17-18. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is January 19 and
the NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is January 22. All dates, unless
otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<>, the ARRL Contest Update
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info. Looking
for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event
Station Web page <>. 

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration remains open through
Sunday, January 25, 2009, for these online course sessions beginning on
Friday, February 6, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level
1; Radio Frequency Interference; Antenna Design and Construction;
Technician License Course; Analog Electronics, and Digital Electronics..
Each online course has been developed in segments -- learning units with
objectives, informative text, student activities and quizzes. Courses
are interactive, and some include direct communications with a
Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a particular session that may
be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on the course) and they may access the
course at any time of day during the course period, completing lessons
and activities at times convenient for their personal schedule. Mentors
assist students by answering questions, reviewing assignments and
activities, as well as providing helpful feedback. Interaction with
mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is no appointed time the
student must be present -- allowing complete flexibility for the student
to work when and where it is convenient. To learn more, visit the CCE
Course Listing page <> or contact the
Continuing Education Program Coordinator <>;.

* ARES E-Letter Gets New Look: The ARRL ARES E-Letter
<>, published on the
third Wednesday of each month, makes the move from a plain text
formatted newsletter to an HTML format this month. The second of the
ARRL e-letters to update its look (the ARRL Contest Update switched over
to an HTML format in May 2008), the ARES E-Letter has a circulation of
33,000 ARRL members. The ARES E-Letter is a digest available via e-mail
full of news and information of interest to active members of the ARRL
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and to hams concerned with public
service and emergency communications. E-mail newsletters, such as the
ARES E-Letter, the Contest Update and The ARRL Letter, are just some of
the many benefits available at no charge to ARRL members. To sign up for
any of the League's newsletters, go to the Member Data page on the ARRL
Web site <>. 

* Gary L. Robinson, WB8ROL, Wins December QST Cover Plaque Award: The
winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for December is Gary L. Robinson,
WB8ROL, for his article "Ghost QSOs -- Olivia Returns from the Noise."
Congratulations, Gary! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award -- given
to the author or authors of the best article in each issue -- is
determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web
page <>. Cast a ballot for
your favorite article in the January issue by Saturday, January 31.

* The 2008 ARRL Periodicals on CD-ROM Now Shipping: The 2008 ARRL
Periodicals on CD-ROM <> is
now available and includes the complete 2008 fully searchable collection
of three ARRL journals -- QST, QEX, and National Contest Journal (NCJ).
In addition, the CD-ROM includes source code for software projects and
PC board patterns, Section News, as well as the ever-popular Contest
Soapbox and Contest Results. Search the full text of every article by
entering titles, call signs or names. See every word, photo -- most in
color -- drawing and table in technical and general-interest features,
columns and product reviews, plus all advertisements. Print what you
see, or copy it into other applications. System requirements: Microsoft
Windows and Macintosh systems, using the industry standard Adobe Acrobat
Reader software. CD-ROMs for other years are also available

* New QSL Tracking Service in Chile: Have you sent a QSL to Chile but
had no reply? Perhaps you had a contact with XQ, CE, CA, CD, XR, 3G or
CC that has not been confirmed. According to David Calderwood,
CE2WZ/GW4VHO, a group of Chilean amateurs has offered to try and help
obtain missing cards by carrying out searches and making enquiries in
Chile. To use this free service, please contact Jose Luis Jimenez,
CE1KR, via e-mail <>;. You can write to him in
Spanish or English. Full details on this service are available on the
Hunting QSL Cards Web site <>. 

* Son Charged with Murder of Florida Ham: Robert Farley, of Lakeland
Florida, has been charged with first degree murder in the death of his
father Walter Farley, K4QE, also of Lakeland. "The Ledger," a newspaper
in Farley's hometown, reported that authorities allege that Robert
killed his father New Year's Eve during an argument over family matters.
Walter Farley was 93. Authorities said that on Saturday, January 3,
Robert Farley confessed to the killing and led detectives to a lake
where he had discarded the murder weapon; the weapon was recovered by
dive team members later that afternoon. Walter Farley served in the US
Army during World War II as a telephone and radio repairman. He fixed
tape recorders for the blind and was involved with the local historical
society. A member of the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club, Walter was active
on local Nets.

The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the
American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the national association for Amateur
Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax
860-594-0259; <>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general
news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site
<> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news
updates. The ARRL Web site <> also offers
informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News
<> is a weekly "ham radio newscast"
compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a
podcast from our Web site.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole
or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be
given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.

==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA,
==>ARRL News on the Web: <>
==>ARRL Audio News: <> or call

==>How to Get The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly
from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for
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ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site
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(NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You
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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these

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<>. (NOTE: The ARRL
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Copyright 2009 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):

Editorial questions or comments: John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, at


The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:

Outlook Express

1. From the Inbox view, select the Tools menu and the Options selection.

2. Click the Read tab

3. Check the Read All Messages In Plain Text box.  When you open the e-mail, it will be in plain text without images. Other e-mail programs may be able to make a Mail Rule for e-mail received from the address so that the plain-text-only display is selected automatically.

Outlook 2007

Use the same procedure as for Outlook Express, although the global option is under "Tools/Trust Center/E-mail Security".


Use the menu item "View/Message Body As/Plain Text" or "View/Message Source" options.

OS X Mail (Mac)

Use the "View/Message/Plain Text Alternative" menu item.


Use the "Message text garbled?" link in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the displayed message block. pine, alpine Set "prefer-plain-text" in your ~/.pinerc configuration file: feature-list=..., prefer-plain-text, ...


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