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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-60R

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-60R
Reviews: 324MSRP: TBA
A dual-bander io the same case format as the VX150!
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N6RLS Rating: 2010-12-07
Perfect for new Hams! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Right after I got my Tech license I asked at HRO what HT they'd recommend for a new ham like me... the Yaesu FT-60R was their answer... and they were right. Decent price, and lots of value and features, plus solid construction and "feel."

The only real "negative" thing about it is actually with the optional speaker/mic - the plug doesn't stay in the jack too well - you have to kind of wrap it around the rig and clip the cable to the antenna connector or some other such thing to hold it in.

I balked at buying the (RT Systems ADMS 1J) software kit to program the memory channels (1000 memories!) because it used to come with a D-Sub connector cable, and so I just hand-entered the main local repeaters frequencies around here... but now the software pkg comes with a 21st Century cable (USB!) and so I got it the other day... I'll probably be using the HT even more once I load in things from the PC rather than the by-hand-on-the-radio way.

I use it at home powered by a 12v Radio Shack wall wart with 2.5 amps rating (Model: 273-318) - works well for a reasonable price ($40)... there, it's plugged into an old RS scanner antenna on the roof which, amazingly, works great (the antenna and cable are at least 20 years old)... on "the road" I use a Diamond MR77SMA antenna (or a Pryme AL-800) which works great.

Unless you're into D-Star or need something more than a basic 2-band HT, built-to-last, the FT-60R would be my first choice for new (and not so new) hams!
KC9PXL Rating: 2010-11-01
Nice radio! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I love this radio! Had it for about 2 months now. Easy to program with the computer software and cable. I also wish they included a drop-in charger for it. I am using the included wall wart but will probably end up getting the VAC-370 so I will know when its fully charged.

Its got a very professional feel to it. Great display. Battery holds a charge a long time. The audio quality is good,real crisp. Just wish it was louder though. When I use it in the car it can be hard to hear with the windows down. I don't know why yaesu hasn't improved the output level like they have on their other handhelds. (250 & 270R)

No HT is ever 100% perfect but this one comes close. This is the radio I chose over the Icom IC-T70A which has better audio, but the overwhelming positive reviews of the Ft-60 is what won me over!

M6FBS Rating: 2010-11-01
Great Handy. Shame about the charger! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Make no mistake, I love my FT-60R to bits. It is a really cracking handheld radio and if it died tomorrow I would go straight out and buy another one. Many folk on these pages have alrady sung the praises of the programming, the build, the range, the audio and I agree with it all. After two years of constant use, nothing has happened to make me believe that this is anything other than a five star radio.

All that said and, after hard use, what could be bettered?

Well, for the first thing, the ghastly included wall charger. This is simply a transformer plug with no indication whatsever about what is going on. A simple red and green light on the plug or on the rig to show when full charge is reached would be enormously helpful but might see Yaesu's sales of replacement batteries drop as users stopped destroying them in their anxiety to make sure they are fully charged.

Secondly, a case would be a real boon. Why has Yaesu never produced one for this radio? A little bird tells me that the Kenwood case SC-47B fits it perfectly but since that one is not available in the UK and since I refuse to pay the exhorbitant postal costs that US radio shops charge to ship stuff abroad (sometimes 10x what they have paid to post the damn thing) I am not likely to find out whether or not that observation is true.

Thirdly - the optional MH-34 speaker/mic is a total disaster! Why on earth build a radio rugged enough to survive the roughest of treatment in the field and then give it a speaker mic which is as delicate as eggshells? The transmitter button on the speaker/mic broke first - I repaired it and then, one day,the dog (a King Charles Spanniel) sat on the mic and caused terminal damage!!! I have since found a much more rugged alternative from one of the many Hong Kong radio shops on ebay.

All the above are very minor gripes and nowhere near enough to stop me giving this superb radio its full five stars. It is a terrific bit of kit. Now, that's handy!
KB9TMP Rating: 2010-10-24
Great Radio, Cheap Parts Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have now owned 3 of these radios. The first one I felt sorry for a friend and let him trade me out of it. The second I bought used of FeeBay and used it until the final blew. Bought a third one new and after about 4 years and 2 batteries the final blew on it too. I don't understand why Yaesu has so many problems with the finals on their radios. I think they are trying to draw too much power from lower rated finals. Lucky for me I bought a used Kenwood TM-F6a at the Hoosier Hills Hamfest this year so I'm not without a handy but with all the 15+ y/o HTX-202s still running around working (and made for The SHACK no less) you would think that Yaesu could do a little better on longevity & QC. I think from now on I'll spend a little more and buy Kenwood, Ten Tec & Icom quality instead of saving a few bucks and buying Yaesu for the inexpensive purchase price! Yea I got my monies worth out of it BUT......

Earlier 4-star review posted by KB9TMP on 2007-03-05

So far I have owned two of these radios and maybe soon a third. The first one I had just a week. I traded it to an older ham (now SK) who was not able to afford a new HT. I ended up finding one on Feebay and bought it used. It already had the Mars/Cap mod done before I got it, so I can't say how much out of band usage it has had. After 2 years of my use (daily 16+ hours) the battery life started dropping off. Then the finals went. It still TXs, but on high power can only be heard 3 to 4 city blocks. I've had all the other 'minor' problems that have been described here. (speaker mic coming part way unplugged, funny look to display in outside light, locking up/shut down when using bank scanning, and not able to computer program without using the upload/download trick) Those problems I consider to be just quirks of the radio.

Now I'm looking for a new HT and keep coming back to the FT-60 as the best bang for the buck. Plus I already have the drop in charger waiting on the desk. Maybe I can offset the price of a new one by selling the old one for parts on Feebay where it came from! :)

73 de KB9TMP
KD8OPI Rating: 2010-09-23
Fantastic dual bander! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.

-Rock solid feel
-Easy operation with 3 knobs.
-1000 memories
-Solid audio
-Great xmit.
-Stock duck antenna is JUST AS GOOD as Diamond/Comet dual banders on 2 m, see my review for the Diamond for details, do not get sucked into buying a replacement antenna unless you work 70cm a lot. See my review.
-Price, $200, wow.
-Ive worked A0-51, SO-50, HO-68, and the ISS with this and the Arrow II within 1 week of ownership.

- Stock 10 hr wall-wart charger is terrible, no indicator when the battery is charged and too slow.
-Not as many bells and whistles as an the VX8DR, but you have to spend nearly 3x as much to take advantage of GPS and bluetooth.
-Otherwise, no cons yet.

Super helpful news: Yaesu makes a 3 hr desk charger they sell for $30, its half the price of the 1.5 hr charger but you have to ask for it (CD-47).

True story, I worked AO-51 with a whip antenna from my bedroom with this handheld. I strongly recommend this dual bander.
AF6QZ Rating: 2010-08-25
Very nice radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This was my second hand-held after I got my ticket. It is a very good radio. It has plenty of features but it is very easy to use, the display is very easy to read, and it is very tough. I have taken my hiking and bike riding - it must have hundreds of wilderness miles on it - and it still works perfect. I have dropped it several times, once on a concrete sidewalk, and it still works as new.

After 3 years of intensive usage, the battery is still the same one that came with the radio.

Echoing what some have said before, watch the keys. My bottom row is almost completely unreadable now. It is a good thing I know what the keys are and what they do by now. I won't really blame Yaesu for this, I have been 'hard' on the radio and it still hangs on. It is always shocking to see a new one that still has readable keys. I'm just not very used to it.

The rubber duck that came with the radio is a piece of junk, just like they all are. My first radio was a 2.5W Yaesu FT-411, and it had a Simley whip. The 411 outperformed the 60R big time with the cheap antenna that came with it.
I have since then upgraded my antenna to the following 2:
Diamond SRH77CA - For hiking and backpacking. I like the flexibility and build of the antenna. Very high performance. I think it is the best match for the FT-60R. I also like the wide-receive feature. Listening to aviation band is perfect with this antenna.
Smiley 270A Tri-Band HT Antenna - Slightly better performance than the Diamond when fully extended. I purchased this one after the 77CA, to still have a high performance antenna but so that I would be able to discretely carry the radio in my belt. It does have a flexible coil at the bottom, so there is not a lot of strain on the connector.

You can't go wrong with this radio. I am a big Yaesu fan, and all of the products that I have owned from them are superb. As a ham instructor, I recommend this radio and the SRH77CA to all my new Techs as a great starter radio. Not only that really, after 3 years of hamming, an Extra ticket and a lot of DX, I still love the thrill that comes from using this radio on a mountaintop and being able to talk to stations hundreds of miles away with just 5W on VHF and UHF.
MM0IMC Rating: 2010-08-11
Good, but watch the keys... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought the FT-60R over 12 months ago and found that it's an excellent radio for walking with, cycling and even the occasional 'hill-topping'.

Be aware though that the battery does start to die after a while, especially on UHF where the current drain is higher than VHF. It simply doesn't last as long on full power on UHF as it does on VHF, time for a new battery I think (fairly cheap from Hong Kong).

The numbers on the keys start to wear out after a while, especially those which are used most - it looks like someone has taken an eraser to them.

Apart from these wee niggles, it's a damned fine HT to have on your belt clip! Fairly robust metal/plastic design too.
KJ6EF Rating: 2010-08-07
Nice Rig, But Batts... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Very rugged and reliable, but have been through TWO of these Chinese-made NiMh battery packs in three years, and all the while using the recommended charge times (on a timer) with the supplied charger.

Other comments on this aspect of this rig are present here (you have to look for them), but not in quantity, leaving me to suspect we have a lot of reviewers who are new (less than 6 months) users of this rig, along with erratic quality of the cells, a made-in-China hallmark of rechargeable batts.

In my experience, you start with great battery life with this set, but, after about 50-70 charge cycles, the battery life becomes greatly shortened, and at about 18 months (about 120 charge/discharge cycles, far short of the 300 or so it should have) the thing poops out.

The problem with this is magnified by the fact that all makers are trying to accomplish, in a far smaller package, what the older HT-Brick models would do; transmit at 5W, dissipate heat well into that big aluminum heatsink they had, and keep long-term battery life intact as a result. I used to get _years_ out of a NiCad pack, and 500+ cycles; the supplied NiMh with this radio are just not up to the job at 5W, and neither is the heat dissipation capacity of the radio; _they're using the battery pack as a heatsink; nothing like cooking your cells for battery life, eh?

Advertised on sites that sell replacement batts for this rig are some units that "hold charge for a year" (Enerloop Sanyo-made in Japan) and Lithium-Ion types that are probably the best of all.

Yaesu Tech Support has acknowledged that they have seen problems with bad batches of Chinese cells; but _two_ substandard packs in 3 years is not value, to my way of thinking, comparing against how the old NiCad cells held out over time.

In short, a good rig, but needs care in using high power; the resultant heat seems to either degrade the cells prematurely, and/or their batch quality control makes the problem worse.

Get yourself a better battery pack with cells made in Japan when you buy this rig, or when the pack that came with it conks out. Otherwise, a fairly good little rig. The radio is made in Japan, the cells in China; you do the math.

W4IW Rating: 2010-08-05
I've Loved It From The Start! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This Labor Day weekend will make 3 years ago that I bought mine at the Shelby Hamfest. I've loved it from the very first. Battery life is phenomenal. My stock antenna works great. I'm 100% satisfied with this radio. No problems whatsoever. I have the Yaesu MH-34B4B Speaker Mic and everyone comments on the great sound of this radio.
KC2YRJ Rating: 2010-07-22
everything I could have hoped for Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Have been very pleased with the build-quality, performance and feel of this radio. Transmit audio reports have been consistently outstanding and the receiver has been immune to intermod. The wideband rx. is great as the FT-60R replaced my AOR-8000 scanner and does a better job to boot. The feel in my hand is great and this radio has a heft to it that says it is built to last. I actually like the belt clip, which seems pretty robust. Battery life has been fine; I charge this radio about once every 4-5 days.The only negative I've found is that the squelch control knob could use an extended tab on it that would allow you to change the setting w/o also moving the channel selctor. I use another finget to hold the channel switch in position while adjusting the squelch. Perhaps it will loosen a bit as time goes on. At $200. this radio is a bargain and I would happily buy another one if I needed a second handheld.