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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Bill Salerno (WONV)

August 12, 2007

August 12, 2007 ... This afternoon at 3:38 EDT Bill Salerno (W2ONV) passed away at the Hackensack University Hospital. Bill has been bed ridden and off the air waves for the last two months. ONV, an Icon in Amateur radio for some 60 plus years was a daily beacon for Amateurs worldwide on the 20 meter band. "Prayer's & Wish's go out to his wife and family!!

Contributed by: Bill Winkis (KC4PE)

I remember Bill for his excellent CQ articles on 80 meter sloping quads, his climbing belts, and his loud signal on any band. RIP Bill Dave K4JRB

Contributed by: Dave Thompson (K4JRB)

Greetings, Bill will be sadly missed by his many, many friends. His super signal on 14.178 MHz will be missed as well. Good DX, Bill Herb, W8HRN

Contributed by: Herbert R. Nichols, P.E. (N9HN)

I remember meeting "Big" Bill as an 11 year-old kid back in '70 at a Bergen Amateur Radio Association meeting; cigar in mouth, standing shoulder-to-shoulder next to me during the club's goodie-box auction. He had a huge roll of bucks in his pocket and was the high bidder for a box that contained various scraps off of someone's workbench. I had passed by his house numerous times through the years as a teen dating a gal a couple doors down. Her old man used to complain about Bill getting into their TV, telephone, toaster, etc. Bill's son, Dougie, had a pretty fast early 70's T-Bird with the 429 block. Would fish-tail and burn rubber from one end of Caldwell Street to the other (without hitting any parked cars). I remember seeing his neighbor, Tom WA3UXC's 6 element 20 meter beam pointed at Bill's stacked Yagi's across the street (also hearing something about melting Tom's preselector coils in his S-Line). Even when I moved to the DC area in the early 80's, Bill still had a stronger signal on 75 than the "Dog". I remember working Bill about a decade ago and finding out from him that he was friends for many years with my Uncle Frank (lawyer, non-ham). They were a year or two apart in age. I then remembered seeing somebody like him at Uncle Frank's funeral a few years ago, although I could not place his face back then. It's amazing how many bits and pieces we contribute to each other's lives, even as distant acquaintances...

Contributed by: Stephen J. Cuccio Jr. (NB3O)

I often spoke with Bill on 14.178 while traversing NJ. But what comes to mind the most while reflecting on our fraternity's loss, is how sincere and nuturing Bill was to listen to, Yes - listen to! Always a keen ear, a kind and mentoring heart - and a pure passion for the hobby. "One Nice Voice" "Live from Studio B" - and all that "Educated Aluminum" is certainly going to be missed. Rest in Peace my Friend! and Happy DX! Tom - K2TC

Contributed by: Tom Cooleen (K2TC)

My condolences to Bill's wife and family. This is another great loss to the amateur radio community. His booming voice and tremendous signal along with Bill's great passion will be sadly missed. The tremendous audio eminating from his 'Uptown/Downtown' Studio B" - up through all that "Educated Aluminum" will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace my Friend!

Contributed by: BOB HEIL (K9EID)

what can you say!! a nice friendly voice over the air waves , pleasant and always a pleasure to listen to such a nice guy.. billy uk..

Contributed by: billy talmage (M0JHA)

Bill's Granddaughter Erica is in process of preparing an offering to on Amayeur Radio Life of W2ONV, so if you have any information, news - humor or otherwise of Bill .. please take a minute and send your thoughts to Erica You can email her @

Contributed by: Bill Winkis (KC4PE)

The Dean of 20 meters: Most memorable phrase "Saddle like you put on a horse, Brook like a babbling brook"

Contributed by: Tony Vella (WV2C)

Bill was a real Gentleman. Even though many hams who did not appreciate his type of audio would heckle him and make fun of things he said in fun like “coming to you from studio B”, I never heard Bill make a derogatory remark about them in retaliation. He was a proud man and a loving and devoted father, husband, and friend. He inspired many of us on 14.178 to do our best to promote quality audio. He would help and advise the beginner with a kind helpful approach. He was a true pioneer and many of the things found in newer rigs like built in EQs for example can be traced to techniques that he and other amateurs have done over the years working to improve the hobby. I for one will miss his outstanding signal and study leadership. God Bless you Bill and I expect he will assume his new position as chef announcer in Heaven. Your friend Larry

Contributed by: Larry M. Wassman (W3OZ)

I used to talk to "Your friend Bill" on Ten Meters 1947-1951.

Contributed by: ben piller (K9CSM)

I heard Bil first time in early 90's on grenadeproof tube type receiver from russian submarine, listening on telephone line as antenna connected to antenna socket. I heard those brilliant audio on 14.178 and I thought: "Yes, I want to be ham radio operator, I want to sound like him." After all those years I will never sound on the air as good as Bill, but I will always remember him, his voice, warmth that he spread around. RIP Bill. Mike

Contributed by: Mike (SP5QIP)

A world noted Ham radio icon, Bill Salerno, W2ONV passed away yesterday afternoon. I've known Bill on the air for more that 25 years and am proud to say he introduced me to the idea of high quality SSB audio. Our daily meetings on 14.178 were always pleasant with Bill always forthcoming with advice and encouragement to anyone who visited; always there to answer a question of simply talk about life in general. Although he is known to thousands "Live from Studio B in downtown Saddle Brook", I met Bill personally at his home and found him and his lovely wife Ann to be just as warm and endearing in real life. We will all miss Bill and know that he is still listening to us on .178 as we keep his legacy alive to honor his memory. Continue to strive for quality audio and operator courtesy so that everyone will know and remember what Bill brought to all of us in life. The dulcet tones of W2 One Nice Voice will continue to resonate on 20 meters through all of us.

Contributed by: Richard Kalt (W1FYI)

I have never talked to Bill but listened to him from regularly. He will be greatly missed. Bill was a real gentleman and a very friendly amateur.

Contributed by: Arnaud (ON4MHO)

Here is a man who is a gentleman through and through, as i have listened to for about 25 years as a short wave listener. Then when i passed the rae and speaking to him for the last four years but listening to him mainly after passing my licence. my sympathy goes out to Bills Family from my Family and I. m1lmo Neil

Contributed by: Neil Waring (M1LMO)

I met Bill in 2002. I was warmly welcomed to the group on 14.178MHZ and have since become very involved in quality fidelity SSB. Bill was an outstanding ambassador of Amateur Radio. His beautiful voice and style introduced many Amateur Operators into really learning how to improve their audio, improve their station, how to correctly speak into a microphone, and most importantly the art of conversation. It is the end of an era! The rest of us have our work cut out for us to keep the tradition of 14.178MHZ viable Marty KA7GKN

Contributed by: Martin I. Shapiro (KA7GKN)

I have listened and spoken to Bill W2ONV for the past 25 years and will miss hearing him on 14.178. Bill was one of Amateur Radios real characters with his sayings like “W2ONV with 8 elements of educated aluminum beaming at Europe” and “You are on the radio this is Bill W2ONV live from studio B in down town Saddle Brook New Jersey” I remember wishing Bill happy 80th birthday and he sure sounded full of life then so it is very sad to hear he has passed away as I almost felt I knew him personally through our fascinating hobby. I also remember when a Swiss operator visited him and Bill prompting him to pick my callsign out of the pile up. In summery Bill was a real gentleman and will be truly missed by Radio Amateur enthusiasts around the world and my thoughts go out to his wife Annn all of there family. May he rest in piece – Fred – G0AOJ

Contributed by: Mr. Fred Fenwick. (G0AOJ)

I had the pleasure of speaking to Bill many times on 14.178.He was a true Gentleman.I will miss his outstanding signal and most of all him.It was Bills audio that made me start to think about how could i sound like that? and i am still trying seven years later.God bless you Bill,my sincere condolences to your family.RIP W2ONE NICE VOICE your friend John G0TIY.

Contributed by: john gulliver (G0TIY)

God Bless you and your family.I will miss your outstanding signal and most of all you.I am glad i had the pleasure of speaking with you on numerous occasions.Bill was the salt of the earth,a true kind man in every respect.RIP W2 ONE NICE VOICE your friend John G0TIY

Contributed by: john gulliver (G0TIY)

When I first heard Bill in the late 60's/early 70's he was "Ocean Nancy Victor". I don't remember our first QSO but in late 1973 I was travelling in France and happened upon a ham in Marseille. Band conditions were poor in those days. I called CQ hoping to work North America and back came Bill. I think he had 3/3 in those days and a very decent signal when no one else could be heard. Since then in my travels when the sunspots aren't too low, W2ONV was a beacon of sorts, he was on every day so he was a good reference for band conditions. In more recent times I would often listen on 14.178 to that great hifi signal and what sounded like a trained broadcast voice. Once you heard Bill you remembered the voice! Bill was always a gentlemen, a very classy guy. He will be missed. Harris VK6AV VE6DK (ex VE2DGL, VE4AH, VK4CWT)

Contributed by: Harris Leck (VK6AV)

Just learned of the passing of Bill now a silent key. The airwaves on 20 meters will never be the same. That Edward R. Murrow like voice and One Nice Voice will leave a tremendous void! W2ONV was a beacon on 14.178 and set a standard for all us wanna be audio enthusiasts to try to strive for. His diplomatic way of operating DX with radio amateurs from all over the world highlighted his popularity. Sadly, that One Nice Voice is now missing on the world DX stage and we are all that much poorer. Hopefully there is a big amateur radio station " In the sky" where we can all communicate again. I first had contact with Bill back in the early 70's when he ran UPI and got plenty of sound advice on a tower problem I was having at the time. Unfortunately since the early 80's I have not been that active because of other commitments. For several years I have been monitoring the audio group on 14.178 MHz and I guess my biggest regret now is that I will not have the opportunity to speak to "Live from Downtown, this your friend Bill". My warm and heartfelt condolences to all of Bill's family. Tom

Contributed by: Tom O'Keefe (WA1BFO)

This is a great loss to the HAM community to say the least. One evening I was tuning the twenty meter band and came across a superb signal with audio quality I had never heard before. Now I have been a ham for over 25 years and was completely unaware of this kind of sound. After listening for awhile I struck up a QSO with Bill. Of course he responded with "WR6G this is your friend Bill W2ONV, One Nice Voice, live from downtown Saddle Brook, studio B, over, over! I asked Bill what kind of mic he was using, a common question I'm sure. After he stopped chuckling he informed me that it was much more than just the mic. He proceeded to enlighten me with the technical aspects of quality SSB audio and how to get started. He touched a bit on transmitter frequency response and outboard processing equipment etc. When we were done my head was swimming from the massive informational assault. It was not long before I purchased the equipment I needed to improve my audio and I never looked back. That is what I love about HAM radio. There is always something to learn from someone else and Bill left me with something I will use the rest of my radio days! Rest assured ole’ friend, we will talk again! Thanks Bill! WR6G, out……………

Contributed by: Chris Pracht (WR6G)

I grew up in Saddle Brook, within the line of sight of the famous 3 over 3 rotating tower. As a 12 year old new ham back in 1963 I was in awe of the incredible signal, and often spoke to Bill about the station and antennas. Bill was always friendly and willing to provide encouragement and advise to this wet behind the ears young ham. I am forever thankful for having known and listened to Bill(45 years later!), and will sincerely miss his entertaining and flawless transmissions. To me 20 meters will never be the same! God bless you and your family! Rich WO2Y

Contributed by: RICHARD E. HANDZO (WO2Y)

Having been QRT from HF for some time, it came as a very great shock to learn of the passing of Bill Salerno W2ONV. He was the benchmark for Hi Fidelity SSB audio, and having communicated with him on the subject, his tremendous knowledge was immediatly self evident. He was a great ambassador for Ham Radio, encouraging and advising, always willing to share his accmulated knowledge with one and all. The Voice of America frequency, 14.178 shall never be the same without Bill, he was unique, a fountain of knowledge intermingled with humerous wisecracks, cool under pressure, a great example of what a Ham should aspire to be. To his family circle and countless friends I extend my sincere condolences. Gerry - GI0ZGB

Contributed by: Gerry (GI0ZGB)

Bill, I will never forgot you. IK7UFR Mike.

Contributed by: (IK7UFR)

Gone the god father of ESSB. I used to have a sked with OM Bill for abot 5 months every winter. Great guy - one who never gave up. He was there on the dot - to brag about, that his signal was getting all over the world - The bragging was well deserved. He had one the outstanding signals in hamdom. It is a pity that STUDIO B HAS GONE SILENT. I was looking forward for THIS winter sked this year, I was about to spruce my antennas, change the feeder - All for one guy's sake. RIP - BIG BILL PADDY VU2PEP

Contributed by: paddy (VU2PEP)

I never spoke to Bill, but he was actually the fist Ham station I ever heard when I got my first receiver about 20 years ago. In a way he was the reason that I got my first licence some years later. I wish you well Bill, thanks for entertaining me on 178. Over over...

Contributed by: R. Kerm (M0GER)

Bill/W2ONV was my SSB audio mentor and hammy radio friend over the years. Bill was a Christian, gentleman, Hi-Fi SSB audio station found Daily on his favorite frequency... "14.178mhz". Bill's "educated aluminum" as he called it, beamed all over the world into countless short wave receivers over his sixty-plus years actively involved in the hobby. I created a website, in memorium, for Bill: which I plan on maintaining as long as I am around. You can Turn Up the Volume and HEAR Bill on the website! God bless you Bill Salerno as I believe you are now with God up in Studio-H. I can almost hear you saying "1-2-1-2" all the way down here.... WV4R.

Contributed by: James Murphy (WV4R)

73 Old Friend.

Contributed by: Bill Hummer (N9VR)

Having just recently returned to ham radio after a 5 year absence i was saddened to learn the loss of our mentor and friend W2ONV from downtown saddlebrook NJ.I was always tuned to 178 listening and drooling over that wonderfull audio he had and with a overflowing plesant personality, its why he was so popular.73 bill Over Over

Contributed by: Robert Duncan (M0ODV)

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