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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX003 (2001)

ARLX003 Amateur Radio Giant Bill Orr, W6SAI, SK

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 3  ARLX003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 26, 2001
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX003 Amateur Radio Giant Bill Orr, W6SAI, SK

Amateur Radio legend William I. ''Bill'' Orr, W6SAI, of Menlo Park,
California, died in his sleep January 24. He was 81.

An ARRL member, Orr was best known for his numerous amateur radio
books and reference works, many aimed at beginners. His titles
include The Radio Handbook, The Beam Antenna Handbook, The Quad
Antenna Handbook, The VHF-UHF Manual and The W6SAI HF Antenna
Handbook, some written in collaboration with Stu Cowan, W2LX.

Licensed in 1934 at age 15 as W2HCE in New York, Orr graduated in
electrical engineering from the University of California in the
early 1940s.

In his younger years, Orr was a well-known DXer and DXCC Honor Roll
member. He also was involved in DXpeditions to various exotic
locations, including St Pierre and Miquelon and Monaco, among other

From the 1940s through the 1980s, Orr was a frequent contributor to
QST, writing about tube-type amplifiers, Project OSCAR, and other
topics. Orr constructed some of the amplifiers once used at ARRL
Maxim Memorial Station W1AW.

For many years Orr worked with tube manufacturer EIMAC. Orr's
application notes for EIMAC products were favorite reading within
the amateur community. In later years, Orr penned columns for Ham
Radio magazine and, more recently, for CQ.

In 1996, Orr was named the Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence
award winner.

Chip Margelli, K7JA, of Yaesu, said Orr's readers always could build
his projects knowing that Orr had tested them in the field first to
be sure they worked.

Long-time friend Willard ''Tiff'' Tiffany, W6GNX, said Orr had a knack
for making technical topics easy to follow and understand. He
remembered Orr as ''a friendly, helpful guy who wrote from the heart
because he enjoyed doing it.''

Another friend, Marv Gonsior, W6FR, says Orr ''had a great sense of
humor, a lot of wit about him.''

Orr owned a condominium in Maui, Hawaii, and operated from there two
or three times a year as KH6ADR.

Orr's wife, Sunny, died about five years ago, and he lived alone. He
is survived by four daughters and a son. Arrangements are incomplete
at this time.


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