reasons why the Yaesu FT-60R is my EDC portable radio


It’s been more than a decade since Yaesu launched the FT-60R dual-band handheld radio. It has since been superseded by newer entry-level models like the Yaesu FT-65R and the latest FT-70DR C4FM-capable radio. But the FT-60R still holds its own against these newer radios. In fact, even if I have the venerable Yaesu FT-2DR, I still carry the FT-60R as my EDC (everyday carry) radio.

Here are 60 reasons why:

  1. Keypad (touchscreen on a radio can be cumbersome!)
  2. It’s backlit (the keypad)!
  3. Quick-access shortcuts on the keypad
  4. 2 programmable keys
  5. 3 different lamp options (toggle, key, off)
  6. Dedicated lamp button
  7. Dedicated moni/t-call button
  8. It has a readily-available dry-cell case for AA batteries (FBA-25)
  9. The dry-cell battery case supports NiMH cells
  10. You can charge the NiMH AA cells from the radio with a simple hack
  11. You can even hack it with Li-Ion cells, either 14550 or 18550, with some serial and parallel combinations to get the right voltage and maximize capacity
  12. NiMH cells in the FNB-83 are resilient
  13. Plenty of aftermarket possibilities for battery (unlike newer radios or lesser known brands — good luck with finding an extra batt)
  14. Spare parts easily available (from other radios of its vintage or from ebay)
  15. Battery latches securely onto the radio (no slides or levers here; just good ol’ clip-type latch)
  16. Several charging options: plug-in trickle or on-cradle rapid charge
  17. Physical squelch dial (subjective, but it’s a useful option)
  18. Physical VFO/memory/selection dial (not present in newer entry-level models)
  19. Up and down buttons on keypad (a redundancy, but great to have during one-handed operation)
  20. Belt clip is attached to the radio, not the battery
  21. Belt clip is situated high in the radio, leading to low position on your belt
  22. Belt clip is actually a clip, and not a swivel-type accessory like with the FT270R
  23. Lanyard holes on belt clip (the FT270 doesn’t even have these holes)
  24. Metallic housing
  25. Too many scratches on the metallic housing? Strip off the paint, and it will look more rugged than ever.
  26. Just the right size
  27. DC-in port
  28. Spk mic jack works with both FT60 and FT270 type (screw-in) accessories
  29. I can operate the radio using 12V DC-in alone (can even TX on hi power with enough amperage)
  30. RX and TX lamp (some Icom portables do not have this)
  31. You can switch RX and TX lamp on or off independently
  32. An S-meter (some portable radios do not even have this)
  33. Easy to program split offsets
  34. It’s dual-band 2m & 70cm
  35. It can operate cross-band repeaters (other radios cannot do this unless with some hacks)
  36. Wide receive (from 108 to 999 MHz)
  37. AM receive for airband reception (monitor your favorite air traffic control and pilots)
  38. Can be hacked to transmit on airband frequencies
  39. Plenty of auto power-off options: 30 mins to 12 hours
  40. It plays Ode to Joy before APO
  41. Easy access “adjustment menu” for tweaking deviation levels, power output, etc.
  42. DCS-encode only capable
  43. Split CTCSS/DCS capable (sorry, no split CTCSS capability though)
  44. One touch reverse offset key
  45. One touch “tuning” key
  46. Easy access Home key
  47. Easy-access DTMF memory (just press 0–9 along with PTT for stored sequences)
  48. Voltage reading
  49. Live voltage reading (see V drop when transmitting)
  50. Memory banks
  51. Channels can be assigned to more than one bank
  52. Quick access to linked bank scan
  53. Fast scanning (even FT2DR and FT65R scan slowly)
  54. MR-to-MR or VFO-to-MR or first-bank-channel priority scanning
  55. Beep bop beep bop
  56. PIN capability (cumbersome, but if you need such security, then a good feature to have)
  57. Mine says “Yaesu Musen, Made in Japan” … I had another one that’s “Vertex Standard … Made in Japan” (most newer ones are assembled in China)
  58. Priced reasonably when bought new
  59. Great resale value
  60. I sold it, and it eventually came back to me!

There are still more features, but I think I’ll stop at 60. Any suggestions as to which features I should add?

Categories: Reviews

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