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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu FT-60R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-60R
Yaesu FT-60R Reviews: 337 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $TBA
Description: A dual-bander io the same case format as the VX150!
Product is in production.
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F4GFT Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2019 21:43 Send this review to a friend
Farewell my friend!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The FT-60 was first introduced in Dayton in 2004, and became an instant hit for Yaesu. It replaced the FT-50, which also had a loyal following, and brought two significant improvements, namely 1000 memories and NiMH batteries. It lost the mil810 standard compliance in the process, though.

After 14 years, Yaesu eventually retired the FT-60 in 2018, to replace it with the FT-65. 14 years are a long time, and the handheld market changed significantly during these years. While the FT-60 could be considered feature-rich when it was released, competitors who added APRS, GPS, BlueTooth and digital modes gradually turned it into a basic no frills radio. What they could not take away from it was its robustness, which earned it an excellent reputation among outdoor operators, preppers and everyone who values sturdiness and reliability over features.

The unit is not without its faults, though: By default, Yaesu's WIRES internet link can be activated pressing the 0 button, resulting in a tone sequence sent before each transmission. It can easily be turned off in the menu, but obviously Yaesu should have chosen to use OFF as a default, and require a modification in the menu for those few who actually use WIRES. This alone got the FT-60 some bad press in the beginning. And then there is the nasty habit of activating the PTT once the plug of the speakerphone gets pulled out slightly. I learned this lesson the hard way, when this happened to me during a bike trip, at the end of which I found the battery completely empty. I learned how to work around these two issues, and never thought of them as serious.

Now in late 2018, it is fairly safe to say that we will never see something like the FT-60 again. Chinese HTs from Baofeng have taken over the entry level market almost entirely, substituting robustness with disposability, at prices that make it very difficult to justify spending 5 times as much for a transceiver like the FT-60. On the high end range, we see radios like the Kenwood TH-74, which has every imaginable feature including D-Star and Shortwave reception, while at the same time, DMR radios have attracted a new bunch of operators. It has become a world of extremes - $25 chinese HTs vs. $400+ professional radios. In this new world, I like to take a look back at almost 10 years of reliable service provided by my FT-60, which I bought used from an estate back in 2009. It accompanied me on numerous ski trips and bike rides, surviving harsh weather and rough treatment, always being up to the task. I remember my first 2m DX while standing on top of a mountain in the french alps, echolink contacts with my pals at home from locations around the world, monitoring air traffic control at airports, and extended use on an external antenna and power supply, during which the FT-60 got hot at 5W output but never folded. I went through 4 antennas and 5 battery packs, lost one charger, had to repair the speaker microphone twice, and banged up the paint on the metal frame at the edges. I remember that after buying it, I could not understand why Yaesu did not offer a protective case for the FT-60. Now I realize why: It does not need one, it just ages in dignity and with style.

When I learned that the FT-60 would be discontinued, I did two things: I bought a battery case, which I will use with AA NiMH cells long after the Yaesu FB-35 battery pack will have become unavailable, and I got a spare FT-60. It may never see active duty, as I believe that my trusty ten year old FT-60 will easily outlive me. But just in case it does not, it is good to know that I have a second unit.

W1KJL Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2018 14:11 Send this review to a friend
Still the best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio was introduced back in 2004 and is still the best. Solid construction, great TX/RX, separate volume, squelch and tuning knobs. Incredibly easy to program by hand, although Chirp makes things go quicker. I've tried a lot of HT's over the years, including the new DMR radios, but I keep coming back to the FT-60R and you should too!
AE5GT Rating: 4/5 Sep 3, 2018 16:41 Send this review to a friend
Handheld RF toolbox  Time owned: more than 12 months
Interface could be better with tone / shift /split easily accessible instead the front is a bit cryptic to figure out without a manual . Once you get past that quality is excellent , takes abuse well (dropped many times) , while old the nicd batteries hold up well in the long run (10 years) if your a moderate user.

It really shines because of its receiver with 130 mhz AM and 330 mhz AM its a godsend for HF opertors chasing bad power poles. For that alone i
would never consider getting rid of mine .

puchased 2008.
KR1CKF Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2018 17:22 Send this review to a friend
Great Value  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Great Radio for the price, I agree with KD5RYO would prefer BNC over SMA. Programming could be easier, but with use I hope to master it.
KD5RYO Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2018 11:32 Send this review to a friend
fantastic HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this HT for just over a year now. I bought it when I came back into the avocation after an absence and wanted something like my old FT-50R.

I get great signal reports with this HT and, combined with my home made antennas, I can reach pretty good distances with LOW and MED power settings.

I use this for terrestrial repeaters, connecting to my AllStar Link node, working FM satellites, listening to WX stations, and listening to aircraft stations. I also occasionally use it with my computer to monitor APRS.

It's relatively durable and has pretty good battery life, especially on the lower power settings. There are also a number of decent accessories available for it.

I've heard complaints about the menu system but it's really quite easy once you learn it. I rarely have to consult my manual any longer. Additionally, there's no real need for computer programming as manual storing of frequencies is straightforward and easy.

I'm still rating it a 5 because of its dependability but there are a few minor things I would like to see changed on it:

- Drop the SMA connector in favor of BNC

- Better material for the mic and DC jack covers. The current one bends out of shape if a mic is plugged in for too long.

- Simultaneous charge and talk.

- Drop the "WiRES" functionality for something more modern. I've been hard pressed to find any repeaters that use Yaesu's old digital voice mode.

Overall, this is a terrific HT and it's my daily driver. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a dependable HT.
N5XJT Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2018 07:16 Send this review to a friend
A Best Buy!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great little HT! Battery life is excellent, easy to program, great audio reports, good sensitivity, easy to operate. Owned for 5 yrs. with no problems. Only two vagaries, transmitted audio reports with the Yaesu speaker mic are not as good as with the built in mic and be careful not to trip the "wires" key.
W5KVV Rating: 4/5 Jan 23, 2018 22:45 Send this review to a friend
Great radio - GARBO antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased new 1-20-18.

After owning the radio for a few days and familiarizing myself with it I feel i can write a review. This is my first "hammy" HT. All my other portables have been commercial Motorolas.

The radio has a good feel to it. It feels heavy in the hand. Not too heavy, certainly not too lite. The front panel buttons are small, but they're spaced out enough one doesn't have to worry about pressing two at once. The display is clear & bright, the audio is loud & clear. All in all a nice little HT. Having a VFO comes in handy every now & then.

Programming from the front panel is easy. There's really no need in using a computer if you don't mind a little button pushing. Battery life seems to be good, but keep in mind this is a brand new radio.

This radio has been on the market long enough to have a myriad of accessories available. BONUS. Everything from antennas, high cap batteries, battery eliminators to carrying cases & speaker mics.

The output looks nice & clean on my service monitor & power out is a full 5 watts. HOWEVER the fatal flaw on my particular radio is the stock rubber duck. This thing is just trash. The radio is absolutely deaf with it. I can swap it out for a different antenna and the RX comes alive. I believe mine could be defective as a friend and fellow ham has the same radio albeit a year older than mine & he doesn't have the antenna issue.

I have already ordered a Diamond SRH-701 replacement. Once it gets here the stock antenna is going in the trash. Other than that a good little HT and worth the money.
N7WY Rating: 4/5 Sep 4, 2017 08:44 Send this review to a friend
Easy manual programming  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Pros - Easy to program this radio manually. Knob access to squelch setting. Illuminates and beeps when scanning stops. Good battery life.

Cons - Requires patience when putting the radio into the drop in charger. Inadvertently pressing the 0 (zero) button activates WIRES - pay attention to the upper right corner of the display.
DV2AWN Rating: 4/5 May 29, 2017 07:49 Send this review to a friend
Im so glad i got this  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Love this HT! where do i start?... from the wideband receiver (air band, to 999mhz), rugged and solid build, simple design... this is going to be my daily carry rig. The only thing that i wish could have been included is crossband capability and li-ion battery. also mine came without the desk charger, so i wish it came with that. another thing also is that i wish it was IP rated like the yaesu ft-270R. over all, i would recommend this HT in a heart beat.
KE0GXN Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2017 07:21 Send this review to a friend
Great HT!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Yaesu FT-60R is a great hand held transceiver. It was my first amateur radio and I still use it to this day.

Solid build quality and easy to program.

My one and only issue, is you must use caution when you have a hand microphone plugged in. The plug tends to push out, due to a rubber gasket design flaw where you plug the hand microphone into the radio. Once slightly pushed out it will put the radio in transmit mode. The workaround I have used in the past is utilizing a rubber band or similar elastic material to secure the plug to the radio.

Not the most ideal set-up. Wish Yaesu would have addressed that in later production models, but so far to my knowledge they have not. There is a mod out on the internet that someone found to remove the gasket and it fixes the issue, however I have just chosen to avoid using a hand microphone whenever possible instead.

Still rate the radio a 5, due to it being such a solid performer otherwise.
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