note: article first appeared in January 2015
As you soon as you pick up this radio you know you are holding a high-quality piece of electronic gear. It has that “feel” to it, and you won’t be disappointed. The sound quality is excellent, 1000 programmable channels for all your favorite frequencies, and it can handle water! While I wouldn’t try submersing it, this radio can handle a pounding rain storm.
Generally I am seeing the radio last about 4 days on a full charge 1400mAH battery. The dang radio is built solid and can take some abuse and drops; but please don’t. The 60R is pricier that the Boafeng but it is also a whole lot higher quality radio.
If I was going to only have one Ham radio this would be the one I would buy. Period! End of story.
The Yaesu FT-60R dual-band 2 meter/440 MHz HT boasts 5 watts output on both bands. It also features wideband receive from 108-520 and 700-999.990 MHz (less cellular). Two programmable keys are provided for your convenience. There is even a password feature to prevent unauthorized use of your radio. Radio to radio cloning is possible with the optional CT-27A cable.
Other refinements include: One touch NOAA weather, nine DTMF auto dialer memories, die-cast weather resistant case, ARTS Auto-range transponder system. There is also a Mono-band and Memory-only operating mode.
- Over 1000 Memories
- 5 Watts RF Output
- Backlit Keypad
- Alphanumeric Display
- NOAA Weather Alert
- PL Encode/Decode
- DCS Encode/Decode
- Emergency Auto ID System
- ARTS System
Dual Band VHF/UHF 2 Meter & 70cm Amateur Radio. CTCSS/DCS (PL & DPL), DTMF, AlphaNumeric Display, Lighted Keypad, Scan modes. Receives 108-520Mhz and 700-999.99Mhz (less cell), Transmits 144-148Mhz & 430-470Mhz, Locking mode prevents accidental changes of frequency. One Thousand memory Channels, NOAA Weather Alert, Receives Emergency channels in 800-900Mhz, RF Power Output: 5W (High) / 2W (Middle) / 5W (Low). Basic set-up includes 1400mA Battery, Charger, antenna & belt clip.
Note: Don’t leave the radio charging in the charging cradle. Once its charged, take it out.
Here is a list of the options I would purchase along with the radio to give you a whole lot of flexibility and capability –
Comet SMA24 DualBand Amateur Radio & Scanner SMA Antenna For Handhelds – 2M/440
This antenna is actually the correct antenna length for the Yaesu radio. The short antenna that comes with the radio (rubber ducky) is good but this antenna will get you better performance. This antenna is more suited for the 2m and 70cm frequencies. The only downside, as with all longer handheld antennas, is the spot where the antenna whip enters the antenna base. I used a piece of “heat shrink wrap” to reinforce that point and assist in keeping any contaminants out.
Yaesu Standard 12V DC Adapter For Handheld Tranceivers SDD-13 E-DC-5B
You have to be prepared to run off of 12vDC power during any disaster or emergency. This charger will replace the AC charger that comes with the radio and allows you to recharge your radio’s battery of any 12vDC power source (i.e. your car battery).
Vehicle external antenna & Connector cable plus speaker/microphone : This three-part accessory is a must have for vehicle operations. Operating a handheld radio inside your vehicle will reduce its power to reach out longer distances due to the metal shell of your vehicle. It may also interfere with the quality of transmission as well; making your message sound distorted at the other end. You overcome this by mounting an antenna on the roof of your vehicle. Not a permanent antenna, a magnetic mount antenna; you can move the antenna to other vehicles if needed. You can also use it in a non-vehicle setting as well by placing the antenna higher than the radio would normally be located. You must use the adapter cable to connect the radio to the antenna cable. Using the separate speaker/mic prevents wearing out the connection between the adapter cable and the radio. You don’t have to hold the radio and move it around, you simply use the speaker/mic and leave teh radio sitting in one place.
Accessories to buy for this three-pack –
- Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna
- RF coaxial cable SMA female to UHF SO239 PL259 femaleRG58
- Yaesu Vertex MH-34B4B Speaker Microphone
Yaesu-VC-25 VOX Headset : This headset allows you to have a whole lot more privacy while using your 60R as more of a base station. Which you can do by the way by adding a better antenna. But this headset is top-quality unlike a lot of the knock off aftermarket stuff.
Battery Tray : The Yaesu FBA-25A battery tray is a great option to leverage your AA rechargeable batteries. I found that some of the rechargeable AA batteries on the market are a little large of diameter to fit in the tray correctly. I use Energizers and have no problem.
Headset : If you want to go “undercover” and look like a secret agent or be discreet about having a radio under your coat you can use the IXRadio TW-HSBYA807-Y. This is sometimes referred to as a FBI headset. It is discreet and low-profile.
Programming Software w/cable : RT Systems FT-60r Radio Software. While the radio is fully programmable from the keypad that is not the way you want to try and program this puppy. I tried several different “free” programming software program; had problems with all of them. RT Systems puts out a superb product that can’t be beat in my opinion. FYI – You can use the files from any of the RT Systems software to transfer to any other radio that you are programming. So I can use all programming I did for my FT-60r for my Yaesu 8900 radio as well with a simple click of a software button.
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