It hardly seems possible that Christmas is only a few days away as of this writing. It seems like Thanksgiving was only last week. The weather forecast shows no hope for a white Christmas this year. Traffic nets however have been keeping your STM quite busy and hopefully keeping the MA-RI traffic handlers busy as well. Keep those radiograms coming. They are the lifeblood of the traffic nets!

A reminder that the next issue of the NTS Letter will be coming out January 2. This means of spreading the word about the renewed NTS efforts by ARRL has been one of the key projects of the NTS 2.0 group. We are thankful to ARRL for adding this newsletter to their online repertoire. If you haven’t signed up to receive it and want more information, let me know. Also check out the website We will be adding videos on a variety of NTS training and procedures topics beginning the early part of 2024.

Last month I mentioned the Simulated Emergency Test (SET) held during November and the efforts to create more coordination between NTS and ARES. A group consisting of both NTS and ARES leaders, organized by ASTM Michael WZ0C, have been meeting to help plan a section-wide exercise to be held in February where NTS will play a prominent part. Expect more details to be available in my January report as well as on the section website.

Last month I also mentioned brushing up on CW, but thought I would refer you to a couple articles on our section website, one on basic CW net procedures at t-procedures/, and the other a list of Q signals and other shortcuts that may be heard on CW nets at.  No need to learn them all. The most heard can be found in the previous link on CW net procedures. While MARI operates at around 15 WPM in order to get all the traffic cleared, always remember QNS which means “go slow” and NCS will slow down to your sending speed. You shouldn’t feel intimidated either as we look forward to hearing new call signs and and are eager to help where needed.

A couple questions came up this past month about “book traffic”. I wrote about this in my April report this year. This is a reminder you can find past STM reports on the section website at Reports can be found there going back to 2008! (By the way I have been STM only since 2011). Thanks to webmaster K9HI for keeping all those records. Interesting reading on a rainy day.

Spotlight of the month – Shawn N1CVO

Correction to my September STM report sent out in October: I mentioned an experience of one new ham Shawn N1CVO becoming interested in traffic handling as a result of a delivered welcome to amateur radio radiogram. Apparently I got my stories mixed up. It was not Shawn and unfortunately I don’t recall now who was the actual subject of that story.

To make up for my error I am this month spotlighting Shawn with the true story. He informs me he was licensed in 1969 as a teen and at the suggestion of his Dad’s ham friend, handled traffic and phone patches first on a regional net, and then in Navy MARS. He says he took great pleasure in handling traffic between military bases and families in the Tulsa area.

Following a 30 year hiatus from radio and following his retirement he returned to the hobby in January 2023. Upon finding HHTN on the MMRA linked network he says he immediately gravitated towards traffic handling again. He received brush-up training from HHTN net manager Bob KC1KVY which “brought him back up to speed again”.

Shawn says what keeps him in NTS is the joy he gets when delivering congratulatory messages to new hams on the phone. He says one ham even wanted the form into which he copied his radiogram as a souvenir of the experience.

Shawn continues, “After I delivered a radiogram (by snail mail, which wasn’t required) to Dave KC1TLF; I heard him a number of weeks later on HHTN, handling practice traffic. After the net, I called him on the air and congratulated him on his getting involved with NTS, and he told me that he got involved after receiving the radiogram. That was fulfilling. Although most of these congratulatory messages are HXG, I consider the cost of a stamp a part of the hobby. That’s just me.”

Thanks Shawn for setting the record straight. We are so fortunate to have your most welcomed participation on the traffic nets.

I send my best wishes to all for an enjoyable holiday season! CU on the nets.

73, Marcia KW1U