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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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UK1 Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2017 02:46 Send this review to a friend
Does the job very well  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This was my fourth Yaesu handheld, after the VX-170, VX-177 and VX-150. The build appears pretty much on par with my older VX-150, which also shares identical top control knobs. The 'feel' of the keypad buttons isn't as precise as on the '150 however, but I find it's the perfect size and weight for a handheld radio.

The radio receives well on 2m / 70cm and on most of its coverage outside this. On VHF my VX-150 has slightly better sensitivity. UHF is excellent -- the best on any handheld I've had and slightly more sensitive than my VX-177. I have only experienced pager breakthrough once, briefly, when very close to the tower -- a pleasant surprise on a set with such wideband coverage. The only slight issue I found is around 260 MHz where I had some faint data images from 164 MHz coming through. Otherwise this is a great receiver, much better than a scanner.

RX audio quality on FM is extremely good -- crisp and clear -- but as has been mentioned this set has fairly poor AGC performance on AM so weak signals are inaudibly quiet. Hence it's not great on airband except when close to the action. Unfortunately the UK Red Arrows 243 MHz frequency often suffers noise on mine, so I have to dig out my old Yupiteru MVT 7100 for that.

I found the supplied antenna to be predictably disappointing and replaced it with my 'go-to' SRH 536, which gives good RX right across the bands. Swapping the supplied antenna is a must unless you only use the HT for local work. Some folk deride handheld radios, but I can often hear signals on this setup that I don't get on my base radios with better antennas -- just by moving and angling it around into the 'sweet spot'.

The supplied FNB-V83 battery gives a day's use, and I also have higher capacity batteries which fit all my other Yaesus. I'm not certain any of the Yaesu branded batteries sold on eBay are genuine, however. Having bought several now they never appear 100% identical to the originally included batteries. I bought a Vertex Standard CD-26 charger cradle which allows me to drop in my FT-60 or VX-150 for an overnight charge. It charges the higher capacity FNB-V94 batteries too, as these won't charge in the radios.

Overall this is a very good radio offering great bang for the buck. Hard to believe it's been out so long. It does all most of us could need very well and for the money you couldn't want for better. I do hope they don't go replacing these HTs with some touchscreen digital junk.
N2RAC Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2016 06:51 Send this review to a friend
Solid, flexible and reliable dual-band HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is actually a comparison review with the Yaesu FT-60R, which I published on my personal site at . I am reposting here, for the benefit of fellow hams who are interested in buying either model. Note that you can also find side-by-side images on the review linked above.

*Yaesu FT-60R vs. Icom IC-T70A Comparison*

While many hams are switching to digital radios, there are still many among us who enjoy older technologies, be they fixed stations, mobile radios or handheld portables. Of course, for the beginner ham, the portable radio is among the most popular choices in getting into the hobby. The popularity of inexpensive China-brand radios like the Baofeng UV-5R series is often cited as a factor that sparks interest in the hobby.

In terms of durability, reliability and receive sensitivity/selectivity, however, you can’t go wrong with a branded radio — Icom, Yaesu or Kenwood, or even Motorola (even though the latter focuses mostly on commercial rigs). As basic dual-band portables, the Yaesu FT-60R and the Icom IC-T70A are perhaps the most accessible given their price.

These aren’t exactly new devices. The Yaesu FT-60R was introduced in 2004 as a successor to the versatile FT-50R. The Icom IC-T70A was launched in 2010 as a dual-band cousin of the V80. However, given that these two radios use their respective brands’ current accessories (batteries, chargers, etc.), they are still considered to be current models.

In fact, the FT-60R’s longevity is testament to how much hams love that particular model. At eHam, there are around 33 pages of reviews for the FT-60R, while there are only three for the IC-T70A.

I have not read any comparison reviews, so far. But when you do a search for a no-frills dual-band handheld, these two would often come at the top, and people often ask for a comparison, to help them decide between the two.

As chance would have it, I got the opportunity to acquire both radios. I had to sell several handhelds to cover for the cost, however. But it was worth it.

This review will be a work in progress, since I don’t have time to write lengthy pieces, and I sometimes discover something new on the radios as I use them. Instead of a full review, I’ll compare points of difference between the two, to help fellow amateur radio enthusiasts choose.


Yaesu FT-60R. Around $135 equivalent, used. For the price, I got the radio, 1400 mAh NiMH battery and rapid charger, which the original owner, fellow club member DV1YAI, was kind enough to bundle in. I think the charger itself is around a $25 value.

Icom IC-T70A. Around $167 equivalent, used. For the price, I got the radio, two 1400 mAh NiMH BP-264 batteries and the rapid charger. Quite a good deal, since apparently the original retail package only includes either regular/slow charger or just the plug-in DC adapter. The rapid charger itself is a $25 value.

I actually had to sell a few other HTs to acquire these two dual-band units, particularly two Icom IC-V80 units that I loved, as well as a classic Yaesu FT-50R I’d been playing around with.

I was actually considering keeping my BP-265 batteries that I used with my two IC-V80 handhelds, and selling the NiMH packs that were part of the IC-T70, since I was already used to the rapid charging and charge-anytime capabilities. However, when I learned that the BP-265 could not be charged from the radio’s DC jack, I decided to stick with the NiMH.

By the way, I also have an Icom F4003 — the channelized commercial variant, which shares battery platforms with the IC-V80 and IC-T70. Good times!

*Build and physical characteristics*

Both radios are approximately sized the same, although the Yaesu is a bit shorter in height and marginally slimmer. The belt clip is flatter, and it does not protrude at the back too much compared with the Icom’s.

Yaesu FT-60R. Battery clip attaches to the radio via metal bracket and screws. The battery clip houses the loop for the hand strap/lanyard. The radio has rubber gaskets at the battery, although it is not rated for splash resistance (I suppose the battery’s rubber gasket is meant for the FT-270R, which is “submersible”. I notice that the radio’s external chassis is metallic, at least the sides and rear.

Icom IC-T70A. Battery clip attaches to the battery via plastic clip. The hand strap attaches to the radio itself. The unit is rated at IP-54, which means it can withstand splashes, shocks and dust. Unlike the IC-V80, though, its mic/spk port does not require a screwed-in cover, which provides easy access (which might compromise water resistance a bit, though).

Using the Icom with a BP-265 Li-Ion battery makes it fatter, although lighter. I don’t mind the bit of heft now that I’ve switched to NiMH BP-264 (more on this later).

Winner: The Icom IC-T70A because of its IP-54 rating. The FT-60R looks solidly built, however, with a metallic chassis. Still, both lose out on points by using an SMA-male connector. I prefer BNC because of the strength and versatility — you can easily switch across antennas without worrying about tread wear (I read that SMA has a maximum of 500 cycles). Such is life, I guess — manufacturers need to save up on space and cost. I just bought an SMA-M to BNC adapter so I can use my old antennas.


Yaesu FT-60R. The Yaesu’s volume control and squelch dial are analog potentiometers. The volume button acts as the power switch, too. However, the VFO/channel dial seems a bit too clicky for my taste. It also does not have an “accelerate” feature, which increases the speed as you turn the dial faster. What it does have is a separate “up” and “down” buttons on the keypad, which, while a duplication of the dial’s functionality, can come in handy during one-handed operation.

Also, The Yaesu supports a host of keypad shortcuts, some of which are even programmable. You can also easily switch across channels by pressing the number and then the F/W button.

Icom IC-T70A. The Icom’s volume control is digitally-actuated, as is the squelch. In fact, there’s no dedicated squelch dial. You have to hold down the MONI key and turn the dial to adjust squelch. The radio offers an “auto squelch” feature, though. Power button is a toggle switch. I like how the dial feels, as it seems more solidly built than the Yaesu’s. Plus, it has an “accelerate” feature, which means the options scroll faster while you increase turning speed — useful when inputting alpha tags.

Unfortunately, the keypad controls are a bit cumbersome. There are four dedicated option keys at the upper row, but no numeric keypad shortcuts. Also, the number 0 and the * and # characters are located at the right side rather than the bottom row.

Winner: Yaesu, because of the keypad shortcuts and. Also, many prefer the analog squelch and volume dials.

However, I like the feel of the Icom’s dials and its “acceleration” support.


Both devices come with DC ports, which can be used to charge the NiMH battery pack. Newer retail packages of the IC-T70A -- marked IC-T70A HD -- come with the Li-Ion battery pack and charger. This does not support charging using the DC jack, but The BP-265 does offer longer operation time. So it’s a tradeoff!

Yaesu FT-60R. While the Yaesu provides a way to charge via DC port, you cannot transmit while plugged in (at least not on high power) with the supplied adapter. It will power-cycle, since the wall wart can only output 500 mA, whereas high power operation requires around 1.5A. One advantage is that the radio’s DC port is the same size as the rapid charger’s port, which means there is no need for a separate wall wart or adapter. One disadvantage: no charging indicator when plugged in.

I bought an FBA-25 dry cell case for the Yaesu. I actually use NiMH cells. I stripped off part of one cell’s wrapping, so I can charge the batteries in the radio itself when needed. The larger-capacity Fujitsu cells (1,900 mAh) actually outlast the stock 1,400 mAH battery pack. You can opt for bigger-capacity Eneloops, but these might not fit as some rechargeable cells are larger in diameter.

Icom IC-T70A. The Icom has a clear advantage here, however, as it displays a CHARGING indicator when plugged in — both while powered off or on. It gives a full charge indication, too. On the other hand, the Yaesu does not have such an indicator. The Icom’s DC jack uses a smaller barrel, however, which means you will need a different wall wart or an adapter that converts the supplied charger to a smaller diameter.

I actually have adaptors for both barrel sizes, so I sometimes just charge using a 12V wall wart that supports higher currents. I also bought a plug-in adapter for the car’s power socket (bought from DW1XXO for P80).

Both devices have voltage indicators, although the Icom can only display voltage when you power up the unit. The Yaesu gives you access to voltage in the menu system, and it can even be assigned to a keypad shortcut. This means you can monitor the voltage drop when you TX.

Both have their respective AA battery cases, which are excellent for emergency comms use, since you can simply use alkaline AA cells. Unfortunately, while it’s easy to source FBA-25 for the Yaesu, it’s hard to find the BP-263 dry cell case for the IC-T70A (or the V80 for that matter).

In terms of battery options, the IC-T70A supports the BP-265 or Li-Ion package, which offers around 30 to 40 percent more capacity over the NiMH. It also comes with a quick charging option (2.5 hours). You cannot charge the Lithium-based cells using the DC jack, however.

I believe Vertex Standard also has a Li-Ion battery and charger set for the Yaesu, but it’s an expensive option under the Vertex commercial brand.

Verdict: Both have their ups and downs. Both models have wide support, so you shouldn’t find it hard to source new compatible batteries. The FT-60R is compatible with VX-150, VX-250 and FT-270R batteries. The IC-T70A is compatible with V80, U80 batteries.


Yaesu FT-60R. Illuminated keypad, with dedicated “lamp” key at the side. You can also change backlighting settings to KEY, 5SEC or TOGGLE, as with most Yaesu handhelds. The amber backlight is quite dimmer than the Icom’s more modern-looking green lamp, however.

Icom T70A. Keyboard is not illuminated, so you might struggle with using the device in the dark. The alpha tags are quite weird-looking, too, since the character set requires that some letters are lowercase, while some are uppercase. So, for instance, DX1ARM will become dX1ARm. This is unlike with the Yaesu, which has enough LCD characters to produce all uppercase letters — easier on the eyes, in my opinion.

Neither device has a dot-matrix display for the alpha tags and frequencies, however, unlike the Baofengs. Neither has dual channel or VFO display either. Those are a few things that the Chinese brands got right.

One feature that I miss from my old FT-50R, which the FT-60R loses, is the dual VFO. The FT-50R had a secondary display, which could display either the secondary VFO or live DC reading. I like that particular radio’s dual-watch functionality while in VFO mode. The FT-50R scans each A or B VFO alternately every 200 ms, unlike the priority watch feature on the FT-60R or IC-T70A, which only scans the priority channel every 4-5 seconds. This is also not unlike how today’s Baofengs do it.

(Update: I have found a workaround to the dual watch limitation. On both radios, I have programmed a channel bank for my 2-3 favorite channels, and I simply run a scan.)

The screens are approximately the same size, and both have almost edge-to-edge S-meters. I’m aware that Yaesu amateur HTs usually feature S-meters, whilst Icom does not always offer this. In partcular, the Icom IC-V80 only had three bars on its meter, which is quite unusable.

I wonder, however, why the Icom’s S-meter will often give a higher signal report than the Yaesu. It’s the same with the FT-50R. either Yaesu is conservative in its signal reports, or Icom is over-reporting the S-value, or the Icom is more sensitive.

Winner: Yaesu, although the Icom’s brighter screen might make up for the lack of keypad lighting.

*Memory management / channels*

Yaesu FT-60R. 1,000 memory channels. 10 memory banks. You can assign each channel to as many memory banks you like. Banks cannot be named, however. You can have one calling/home channel per band. And only channel #1 can be the priority scan channel when in memory mode. However, you can set any channel as priority scan while in VFO mode.

You have the option for scan skip or scan “only”. However, unlike with the FT-2900R mobile, you have to manually choose in the menu whether to scan all non-skipped channels or scan the “only” channels (in the FT-2900R, if you start scan on an “only” channel, it only scans “only” channels).

Icom T70A. 250 channels. 26 memory banks (A-Z). You can only assign each channel to one memory bank. You can name memory banks. There are also two calling channels, which you can easily switch to with the V/M/C button (and you can scroll across calling channel #1 and #2 with the dial). Unlike the IC-V80, which has an “enter” key, you need to key in the three digits channel (say, 008 instead of just 8-enter). A minor niggle, but it can affect the workflow.

Scan can be done for the band, channels, banks or between the duplex frequencies. You can also skip channels, although there are no “scan only” options. However, you can select channels that you can skip while scanning VFO (great for skipping those frequencies with interference).

Both allow linked scanning, although the Yaesu is more straightforward in the steps needed to link banks for scan. It also has a quick access key to scan linked/preferred banks. Just press and hold V/M, and it will scan the preferred or linked bank/s.

The verdict: I like how the Yaesu allows you to assign a channel to different banks, and how easily you can switch banks. However, I like how the Icom has more banks and that you can name each bank. I also like how you can lock the keypad while doing a scan with the Icom.

*RX Coverage*

Yaesu FT-60R. One of the selling points of this model, along with many other Yaesu portables, is the wide RX range. The FT-60R receives from 108 MHz up to 999.99 MHz, with some gaps in between. It’s not as wide as the FT-50R’s 76-999.99 MHz, but no one really uses much of this range, I presume. The saving grace is the AM capability, which lets you eavesdrop on airband conversations between planes and air traffic control usually in the 125-127 MHz range

Icom T70A. The Icom does not have wideband receive, so you’re limited to 136-174 Mhz and 400-470 Mhz receive.

My radios did not have TX restricted to amateur bands, as these seem to be Asian-market specific. Thus, no need to do some hacks/mods that other US-based hams often do to expand RX (or even TX) capability.

*Receiver sensitivity / selectivity*

It seems the Yaesu FT-60R suffers from some intermod, especially in the presence of RF-emitting devices like laptops, LCD screens and such. This is perhaps a result of the radio’s wideband-receive capabilities. It seems more prone to such interference compared with the older FT-50R. Of course, I am unable to measure this quantitatively. I’m just basing it on observation and comparison across the models.

According to the specs, selectivity is rated at:

Yaesu FT-50R: 12 kHz/35 kHz (–6 dB /–60 dB)
Icom IC-T70A: Narrow/Wide both more than 60 dB (at CH spacing 20 kHz/in the amateur bands)

By the way, the IC-T70A supports true narrowband RX and TX, while I believe the FT-60R does not (it only increases audio volume to compensate for narrowband receive). It shouldn’t bother amateurs, as NFM is mostly used in commercial applications.

*Transmit performance and audio reports*

Both radios are similarly capable in terms of transmit power and actual performance. Both deliver 5, 2.5 and 1 watt at their H, M and L setting, respectively. Given my residence’s altitude, I can easily hit 70cm repeaters 80 Km away even at mid-power. 2 meter repeaters are more susceptible to obstructions, however, although I can easily hit repeaters 20 Km away on the stock antennae, as well as a repeater around 90 Km away with a Larsen green tip antenna (via SMA-BNC adaptor).

Audio reports have been good on both devices. However, the Icom IC-T70A has adjustable mic gain (settings from 1 through 4), which might come in handy when you switch across quiet and noisy environments. For the most part, setting #3 is the most ideal. However, I’ve recently shifted to mic gain #4, which lets me converse in comfort even when the radio is 1 foot away from my face.

*To be cotinued …*

As earlier mentioned, this will be a work in progress. I will note down observations with each radio as I use them. So far, I’m happy with both the Yaesu FT-60R and the Icom IC-T70A.
ZL1BAK Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2016 02:56 Send this review to a friend
As good as everyone says  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This handheld really is as good as everyone says.
Great audio, very rugged, easy to use and program and battery life is excellent. It is also very reasonably priced.I am very happy with this fine handheld.
N5XJT Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2016 08:18 Send this review to a friend
A Good One!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Update from 5 yrs. ago: Still love this HT which is a great dual bander and is built like a tank. Pros are great audio on RX and TX, super long battery life and size is just about right. It is super reliable, no problems at all and still on the original battery. Surprisingly the built in mic provides better audio on both rx and tx than the Yaesu speaker mic. Cons are few but have to mention the "wires" issue plus it takes a bit of work to program it.
W9CW Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2016 07:41 Send this review to a friend
Excellent HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my FT-60R for several years, and it's worked very well and continues to do so. Not one glitch...

In reference to IW1EYZ's review, a Li-ion option is available for the FT-60R, but you have to purchase it through commercial dealers as it's a Vertex Standard LMR product. The Li-ion battery is Vertex Standard Model FNB-V67LIA (7.4V @ 2300mAh) and the Li-ion rapid desktop charger is a Vertex Standard Model CD-16, also known as VAC-810. This charger is specifically designed to charge the FNB-V67LIA battery pack. The Li-ion battery pack with the FT-60R makes all the difference in the world in its operation.

Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend the FT-60R due to its performance and great long-term reliability.
IW1EYZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2016 05:43 Send this review to a friend
One of the best HT's!   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Hi folks!
I had this radio for about an year, then I replaced it with a YAESU FT1D to try C4FM, but I think I will repurchase it soon!
I tested some HT radios, like Kenwood TH-F7, YAESU FT1D, YAESU VX-6, YAESU VX-7 on mountains near lots of TV and FM broadcast transmitters. Even with original antenna, all receivers entered into saturation due to strong RF fields, both in VHF and UHF bands; I was not able to make QSOs, even with the attenuator added. Well, FT-60 was the only radio that I was able to use in this critical RF condition.
RX BF audio is great, loud and clear. TX modulation is excellent and realistic, not like Chinese HT.

Low cost (about 120 € in Italy)
Rugged Die-cast, Water-resistant Case Construction (IP-54)
Over 1000 Alpha-numeric Labels Memories
Great receiver, selectivity and sensibility
Excellent BF audio. Clear, loud, with wide frequency response speaker
Excellent and realistic TX audio!
Real S-meter and low-battery indicator
Analog Volume and Squelch control
Strong belt clip
External DC power supply (6-16V)
Easy to use and program (Via PC you can use CHIRP Software)
With "FBA-25A Dry Cell Battery Case" accessory, you can use 6 AAA NI-MH batteries with 4/5 Watt power out: this can be useful in case of emergency!

Compared to other much more expensive and new radios, FT-60 has these little flaws:

No Litio battery-pack included.
No charge level indicator: you can not see battery-pack charge level while it is re-charging... I think you must remember to unplug the battery charger after 10h (using FNB-83)
No 6.25 kHz step for PMR
Single Receiver (this is not a problem for me!)
Weigh: 370 g... This depends of NI-MH battery pack...

I purchase two litio battery packs (about 2000/2200 mAh) on Ebay, and I never be able to use them because you can not recharge with YAESU original charger. So, don't buy it!
Buy FBA-25A Dry Cell Battery Case and AAA Panasonic or Sanyo Eneelop Batteries to increase usage hours.
I never use original antenna. I use a Diamond SRH-775 hi-gain antenna! Try and enjoy it!

YAESU FT-60 is a no-frills radio, but a serious and well-made HT. One of the best I have had! Do not let it get away!
Well done, YAESU!!! :-)
VE4CHT Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2016 07:27 Send this review to a friend
Only thing better than an FT-60 is two FT-60s!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first radio when I became licensed almost 5 years ago. I spent a lot of time researching features and whatnot and it was the old school squelch dial that clinched the deal for me. I didn't like the idea of having to push buttons to adjust the squelch. I very much looked at it as a starter radio, and figured that I'd buy something better down-the-road...but I fell in love with this little guy!

Fast forward, and for whatever reason, the mic stopped working. It still works with a speaker mic attached, but the internal mic wouldn't work. So, I bought another FT-60, and now I have two, one fully operational, and the other a decent, viable spare.

It's so worth the money! In Canada, it's just over $200 and name brand accessories can be purchased from Chinese Ebay retailers for a fraction of the price that North American retailers charge, like batteries delivered for 20 bucks.

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned elmer, this is a fantastic little radio.
KC9SXB Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2016 19:05 Send this review to a friend
The knockout punch  Time owned: more than 12 months
Light, small, ready to use. Probably the most useable HT I've ever owned. Can't complain about nothing. Tried different antennas to boost performance just for fun, but the stock antenna ended up being the best choice for the rig.
N3TU Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2016 17:23 Send this review to a friend
Great HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this radio since 2004 and it is a great little radio. No complaints and love the wide receive. It is easy to open up for MARS. I must also add this. Don't over charge the HT or the battery will be toast. I left it on the charger by accident for three days and it read 7.2 volts on the receive but the transmit was toast. I had to get another battery.
AB8XA Rating: 5/5 Jun 28, 2016 03:22 Send this review to a friend
A Proven Winner  Time owned: more than 12 months
My wife won this radio about five years ago. I supported it for her ever since and I came to love it a lot. It’s well built in Japan and rugged. The interface is simple and intuitive. It has battery-saving features that stretch the battery life beyond a long day. It can transmit at a full 5W with six easy to find AA alkaline batteries and many owners use eneloop NiMH batteries in the optional tray. Its 1,000 alpha-nameable memories are more than we’ll ever use and its so quick and easy to add to one, I’ve never forgot how or had to use a computer to program it. I’ve gotten to the point I can’t read the button labels on my Icom 91AD and am tired of needing an oven mitt to use it (I also won it and don’t D-Star). I’ve looked at all the new, fancy/complicated HTs out there and realized what I NEED is an FT-60R. So I just bought one (and a AA tray and clone cable) for me. There's a reason it's still in production since 2004 and for its 4.6 stars out of 319 review here.
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