[UPDATED 2015-12-08 1323 UTC] Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) Founder Robert G. “Bob” Ferrero, W6RJ (ex-K6AHV), of Danville, California, died on December 4 after a period of ill health. He was 78. An ARRL Life Member, Ferrero was a California state trooper and US Navy veteran when he acquired Ham Radio Outlet in Burlingame, California, in 1971. He characterized the original store as a “little radio emporium on a wooden train platform.”
“[T]hrough decades of hard work and commitment to his customers, [he] turned it into the largest Amateur Radio retail chain in the world, with 14 stores now throughout the United States,” said Chip Margelli, K7JA, in a Facebook post.
Ferrero took part in several DXpeditions, including the first DXpeditions to Kingman Reef in 1974 and to the Austral and Marquesas Islands (FO0FI and FO0FR). He also operated as 9J2RA, TJ1GB, and W6RJ/Z2, as well as from HZ1AB in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Ferrero was inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame in 1997 and into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2005. He was a member of the A1 Operators Club. In 2009, the editors of CQ, in conjunction with the Visalia DX Convention, recognized Ferrero “for his many contributions to Amateur Radio.”
He was among the initial patrons and a significant supporter of the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF).