Yaesu FT-60R Dual Band HT In-Depth Review [Must Read]

Yaesu is a popular radio brand among ham radio enthusiasts, and they are well known for making premium quality radios for more than half a century. Yaesu makes quite a number of handheld radios, but the FT-60R is considered as one of the best cause it packs a lot of useful features for not so premium price. The FT-60R is a portable, dual-band, handheld 2-way radio which is perfect for novices and veterans alike. This radio includes a wide receiver coverage, good audio quality, squelch control,  CTCSS/DCS privacy codes, and much more. Let us see in-depth about various features, specifications, pros, and cons of the FT-60R radio in this post.

Specifications of Yaesu FT-60R Radio

  • Output Transmission Watt levels – 0.5, 2, and 5
  • Transmit Bandwidth – 122-148 MHz & 430-470MHzz
  • Receive Bandwidth – 108-520MHz & 700 – 999.99 mHz
  • Includes 1000 memory channels, and CTCSS/DCS Privacy codes.
  • Receives emergency channels and NOAA weather alerts
  • Included in the box – 1400mAH battery, Charger, Antenna, Microphone, charging stand, belt clip, and manual.

Features of Yaesu FT-60R Radio

Reception/Transmission Coverage

The Yaesu FT-60R has a decent transmission coverage range between 122-148 MHz and 430-520 MHz. The receive signal bandwidths with this device are also pretty good coming at 108 – 520 MHz and 700 – 900 MHz. It can receive signals well at these bandwidths. As this device is a dual-band UHF/VHF transceiver, it supports coverage of VHF TV and VHF AM bands.

Audio Quality

This radio does a good job of filtering out unwanted noise, so you get a pretty good audio quality with this device. But the quality does depend on the RF activity in the area and other factors. So if there is a high RF interference in your region, the audio quality does get low. When you are going on an adventure like camping, hiking, or skiing outside the city, then you won’t notice any quality drop with this one.

Programming and Scanning Options

The FT-60R is equipped with 1000 memory channels programming options. It also has 10 memory banks that you can choose to program your favorite frequencies. You can also scan any number of channels with this radio. After finding the channels, you can simply store it in the DTMF memory bank for later use. You can also automatically dial into these channels easily.

Emergency Automatic ID (EAI)

The Emergency Automatic ID feature is useful in emergency situations as it makes your radio automatically send out your call ID when you are transmitting in a communication. It also automatically activates your microphone even when you are unable to press the PTT button.

Enhanced Paging and Code Squelch (EPCS)

This feature only allows the radio to receive communication from paged stations only. All the other unimportant incoming transmissions are cut out when this feature is activated. It helps to reduce the interference with your reception. This feature is useful when you are using the radio in a high RF interference region.

NOAA weather channels

You get access to your local weather channel with the touch of a button. You also get regular updates on the latest weather forecast from the NOAA weather alerts. This feature especially comes in handy when you are going on a camping or hiking in a remote place.

Tri-Power Output Transmission levels

You can set the output power level to any one of three different power levels (0.5, 2, & 5). The 0.5-watt level will not give you much coverage, but you get the most battery life with this one. To get the most output coverage, you can set this radio to the 5-watt power level. This level consumes your battery quickly. The 2-watt power level is the perfect middle ground for both the output coverage and battery level.

Design of Yaesu YT-60R Radio

The YT-60R comes in a regular black color that you see with all other common radios. The keypad is grey in color with a screen at the top. The display is big for ham radio, so you can easily read information from it. When compared to other radios at this price point, the YT-60R is compact and portable. It makes it easy for you to carry around. The dimensions of this device come at just 2.28 x 1.8 x 4.29 inches. The weight of this device is also pretty low at 370 grams. The plastic build is an important factor for the weight-less design of this radio.

This radio also features various buttons for PTT, monitoring, backlight, and many more. Between the display and keypad of the front panel, a good sounding speaker is located. There is also power/volume knob, adjuster knob, and antenna present at the top of this device. The antenna of this device flexible at the top while mostly sturdy at the bottom. It attaches to the radio with an SMA connector. The 1400 mAH battery is hefty and it acts as a back cover for this radio. Overall, the YT-60R is a well-designed radio, which is easy to carry thanks to its portable form factor.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and Portable form factor – The YT-60R is a compact and lightweight radio due to its plastic design. It makes this radio easy to carry around when you are hiking, skiing, etc.
  • Tri-power output transmission feature – There are three (0.5, 2, 5) different output power transmission levels for you to set based on your preference.
  • Support for NOAA weather alerts – You can get weather forecasts and warning with this device. It is really useful when you are camping, or going on other adventure.
  • Backlight keyboard – The alphanumeric keyboard present with this device has backlight feature. With this, you can operate it easily even when in dark conditions.
  • Locking Mode – The locking mode prevents changing the frequency of this radio. This mode locks the current frequency, so it doesn’t change automatically.
  • Affordable price – The affordable price-point is probably an important feature of this radio. The less price makes it easy for new consumers to check it out.
  • It has support for CTCSS/DCS privacy codes

Cons:

  • No Waterproof – You should be careful when using this radio near water regions as it is not waterproof.
  • The antenna that comes with this device could have been better.

Conclusion

The dual-band YT-60 R from Yaesu is a good entry-level ham radio for new and experienced users alike. Though it does not have any interesting features for enthusiasts, the included functions and features are pretty decent. With a good transmission and reception range, you won’t find any fault with this one. A great advantage of this ham radio is its form and size. With a portable and compact form, you can easily carry this radio anywhere without much discomfort. There are few quirks with this device such as no waterproof feature and no support for 8-watt output power transmission. But for the price, the YT-60R ham radio is overall one of the best in the market.

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