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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
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
G4JJP Rating: 2015-04-25
Does what it claims, but not brilliant! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Returning to the hobby after a break, and read the reviews on hand helds, which led me to buy an FT-60R. Yes, it's good. But it's not as brilliant as the reviews suggest.

Pro: Sustains battery charge well. Does all the things it should for both 2m and 70cm. Wideband receiver. Massive memory bank.

Cons: The stock antenna isn't good, which limits the reach. Adding a different one is awkward because of the use of an SMA connector, whilst most of the alternatives us BNC, so an adpator is a MUST. And a proper adaptor, not one of those cheapies which will break the rig. Whilst having thousands of memory channels is good, programming them individually will take a life-time. So I'm investigating software programming. And there are too many gimmicks for my simple brain. Do I need WIRES? Or Paging?

Having said that, it does what it says on the tin. Maybe I should have stuck with the FT270E, which although only 2M, is cheaper, fully waterproof, and has fewer gimmicks.
KC3EOI Rating: 2015-04-11
Happy owner Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
New tech license in past few months. Through web search and recommendations from the VE at my test, this radio kept coming to the top of my list. I thought about going cheap, but I wanted a radio with quality, durability, and ease of use. Swift order and deliver to my door from HRO. Fair price, shipping free, too. Programed two local repeaters using keypad alone. Audio is very good. Hits repeaters easily with stock "ducky" even at low power. More than bare bones basic, but not overwhelming. Find many other ft60r owners who can help if needed. No regrets.
KD0WDP Rating: 2015-04-03
Great Radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've owned one, and gave it away to a friend who just got their license, and am ordering another one tomorrow from HRO. I love the durability of this radio, and the ease of programming it. My first one was completely programmed out of the box in less than 15 minutes with both Lincoln and Omaha repeaters and club repeaters programmed. It has the capability for narrowband monitoring which is great for my local law enforcement. I also monitor the local emergency management. I am plugged into them easily and can hit both Omaha and Lincoln from my home 40 miles away with this radio with just the factory antenna.
AG6QR Rating: 2015-02-27
Solid performer, no frills Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Owned mine for over two years. It's a solid performer, good for FM simplex and repeater work. I also use it for APRS, with the addition of an external Byonics TinyTrak module.

It has solid construction. It's easy to program without (or with) a computer. It puts out 5 watts using alkaline AA cells, if you get the optional AA holder. Of course it comes with the standard rechargeable battery, as well. It has good battery life. It has a genuine analog squelch knob. It can run well off a 12V supply for mobile use. Its belt clip is big and strong. It has reasonably wide band receive, including weather band and air band (but no AM/FM broadcast or HF). It's a good value.

That stupid Internet WIRES button can cause it to beep on each transmission -- learn how to turn that off! (press the '0' button until the atomic helium icon vanishes from the LCD). If you're an air band fan, know that this radio has a poor AGC on AM Air band, which makes it difficult to use for listening to aircraft. It's small, but not as small and light as some modern radios.

Many people in my club have them, and many of us use them for public service events and general use. Many of us have recommended them to new hams.
FORMER_NN6B Rating: 2014-12-23
Great Solid HT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was in the market for a Dual Band HT as a replacement for my old Alinco DJ-596T MKII Dual band HT. The Alinco still works after 10 years but I was in need of an upgrade and will donate the Alinco to a local club.

You cannot go wrong for $150 at Ham Radio Outlet. Many people have this radio because the radio is a proven winner. I love the desktop charger which charges in about 4 hours after your battery is drained. I purchased the Diamond BNCJ-SMAP adapter for SMA to BNC as I already own two great HT antennas that have BNC connectors, the Diamond RH77CA and the Pryme AL-800 for emergencies. I have no problem hitting repeaters from 1/2 watt - 5 watts at home.

I really like the size of the radio and I can use the radio typically for 4 days on the 1400 mah battery. The HT has a transmit and receive battery saver feature which is great. If the transmit battery saver feature is on, the HT will kick down power if you are close to a local repeater.

I will occasionally use it at home, in the car, hiking, biking and skiing as the cell phone does not work everywhere.
K6ITR Rating: 2014-11-02
Great basic dual band HT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I wanted a very basic dual-band HT. I bought a $40 Chinese knockoff two years ago just to see if I would like having an HT. I found I didn't want or need any extra features like a flashlight, alarm, dual-watch, or any of a number of goofy features found on the Chinese knockoffs. I also found I NEEDED features like a real S-meter and low-battery indicator. The FT-60R is that radio.
Excellent receive audio. Clear, loud, and the speaker has a wider frequency response.
Excellent transmit audio. The FT-60Rs I’ve heard on the air sound great, and I have had no complaints on my transmit audio. This is where a real S-meter comes in. If I don’t see many S-units on the repeater output, I know I won’t be able to reach it very well, so I don’t try. No sense generating harmful interference.
Intuitive, simple, in-the-field-capable programming. It takes no time at all to program repeaters and simplex channels into memory. Everyone complains about the cheap Chinese knockoffs being hard to program, but really, they’re not hard. Only tedious. Come on, we’re hams. We had to pass a test to do this. The FT-60R puts them to shame. The ability to enter a repeater without having to separately enter transmit and receive frequencies makes it quick. As with my FT1900R, labeling channels with alphanumeric characters can be done without software. Not so with my Chinese knockoff. For me, that’s a big advantage. I don’t want to be tethered to a computer to program my radio. I’m also too cheap to rationalize buying programming cables.
Battery life. I went four days with the radio in the car, both monitoring and transmitting.
Value. You’re not going to find another radio this good for what you pay, especially if you stay with the big names. And considering that Alinco is now relabeling brands like Anytone and Cre , I would hesitate to even consider them.
Accessories are expensive. But I’m sure they’re expensive for any of the big names. I’m sure I could get some mighty fine junk knockoffs, but I bought my last mighty fine junk products a long time ago.
Charging process. I have to babysit this radio on the charger. Leave it on the charger all the time and risk battery life reduction.
The paint on the back of the radio. It’s delicate, and it is the single reason I am rating this radio a 4 instead of a 5. I baby my ham gear. Yaesu products are not cheap, either in construction or price, nor are any quality amateur radio products. I don’t want them to fail because I abused them, and I want them to look good. I’ve already had to touch up two dings, done with what I can only assume is my wedding ring.
I bought this radio for two reasons. Features it has, and useless “features” it doesn’t have. I’m happy with it. I run it mobile with a Diamond MR77 antenna, and when I'm out walking with just the stock antenna. I highly recommend this setup. Fix the paint, Yaesu.
G1ZJQ Rating: 2014-08-06
Highly successful model Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Still in production since 2004 - that is more telling than any review.

I use the FT60E for SOTA, usually connecting a dipole on a fishing pole for better DX. Around the doors, the stock whip often gets replaced with a longer whip but the slight improvement can be offset by a poke in the eye!

The radio is very easy to use for simplex contacts, which is mostly what I do. I have entered a few repeaters into memory: manual storing was straightforward but deleting them required another read of the instructions as I just seemed to be duplicating the same channel and filling the memory up.

The FT60 feels substantial in the hand but this is mainly due to the mass of the NiMH battery pack. The standard 1300mAh pack lasts quite well. I can hammer at it for a good couple of hours from a hilltop on full power in rag-chew mode without needing the spare pack (really should drop to mid/low power but forget). At home, monitoring the bands for 8hrs per day with the battery save feature selected, a single charge can last almost a week. This compares very well with a recelled FT203 which has no bell/whistle and depletes its 1100mAh battery in one shift because the squelch is rudimentary.

Battery charging/discharging:-
I bought the radio in 2008 with a spare pack. After a couple of years, I got the rapid charger. Don't do it! This gets expensive because it is overpriced and the original pack soon died. Stick with the wall-wart and don't overcharge the packs - you could stick it on a timer to help. Also, once the displayed battery voltage drops below 7.2v, stop further use immediately and swap packs (full charge seems to read 8.6v - 8.9v, rapidly dropping to about 7.6v in use). My 3rd pack is on its way out so I will recell one and also try the dry cell case option.

Accessories are expensive and the amount of use I get from them has not justified their cost. The speaker mic could be a nice touch in some situations but the connector is poor - if it pulls out a fraction of a millimetre, the PTT keys up. Wrap a strong rubber band around the radio to hold it in (doesn't look so good). The price of the VOX headset is eye-watering but a bargain online auction helped...again, the bare radio is normally all I use.

Of all the radios I've owned, this one gets the most use and gives the most pleasure. I have talked to a few people who have 2 of them in the shack, now I've joined them. The only improvement I can imagine is SSB mode, just to be able to reply to anyone lost in that part of the band.

Yaesu did well with this one.

73, Derek
N1KDO Rating: 2014-06-11
like a Timex Time Owned: more than 12 months.
It takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.

I don't know how long I have had this -- a long time, maybe 10 years now -- and it keeps playing. I've dropped it on pavement several times, and it shows the scars from that, but it keeps working. The radio feels solid in your hand, has a reasonable belt clip, and the audio is pretty loud as amateur HTs go.

I bought the 6 AA "battery pack" for it, and installed 6 Sanyo Eneloop NiMH batteries.

If you look inside the radio, you will see terminal that is designed to provide charging current to the OEM packs -- just peel the bottom 1/2" of plastic off the negative side of the bottom cell in the AA pack, and you can charge your re-chargable AA batteries in the radio with the factory charger. No more disposable battery packs!

The 6 1850 MaH NiMH cells last a long, long time between charges.

The FT-60R is not inexpensive like some more modern Chinese radios, but it is not cheap like them either. This is a quality handheld that should last a long time.

The FT-60R is an amazing value at the current street price of $149. It can be programmed with the free "Chirp" open-source software and a cheap cable from Ebay.

I would recommend the FT-60R to anybody looking for a serious dual-band HT.

Earlier 5-star review posted by N1KDO on 2009-07-04

I have had my FT-60 over four years now. Finally had to replace the battery pack.

This radio is very rugged, with a real belt clip, like you might find on a commercial Vertex rig. The receive audio will get quite loud, transmit audio is good, and the DTMF pad has the *,0,# keys in the right place, not that screwed up arrangement my VX-5 has. The battery lasts a long time.

I do miss the true dual-band features that my FT-530 has, that is a super nice feature to be able to monitor VHF and UHF at the same time. But that is the only thing I find missing.

I use the fabulous KC8UNJ FT-60 Commander software to program this radio, I think it is much, much better than the ADMS software, which was an enormous PITA to use.

I have recommended the FT-60R to a bunch of old hands and new hams, and everybody seems to like it. So I rate it a 5 without hesitation.
KI4OYV Rating: 2014-06-11
Great radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Have had mine since '06 with no problems. Easy to program with or without programing software. Switched from stock rubber duck to MFJ extended whip. Great TX/RX. Recommend this radio radio for both newbies and experienced hams.
VA3LIP Rating: 2014-04-25
Excellent First Radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I got FT 60 R after reading reviews from eham and I am a Happy Camper.
Its a great 2 Meter and a 70 CM radio. I live in Brampton some 40 KM North of CN Tower repeater in Toronto and people are constantly amazed when I tell them that I am on FT 60 R. The transmit quality is so good on this one. (Of Course I have a after market Comet SMA 24 whip antenna).

Easy to program, lots of help available on the internet and you tube, great radio to start with and have as your trusted companion.

I would recommend it to any new HAM starting out and never be disappointed with it.