Watched a "What's the Best "First" HT in 2021" YouTube video
last night. Although the Yaesu FT-65R and FT4XR were listed,
the FT-60R was "dismissed" ... My letter to the publisher -
- - - - - - - - -
Good day. Watched your “Best HTs of 2021” video last night.
I feel compelled to talk about Yaesu’s FT-60R. You mentioned it was “older,”
had outdated battery technology, and that accessories were becoming scarce.
And you dismissed the FT-60R in favor of the FT-65 and FT-4XR.
Older? Yes, the FT-60R was introduced in 2004. It is an old radio. Yet it boasts
the best feature set I can find of any 2m/440 analog FM HT available.
● 1,000 memories
● receives (essentially) 108mHz to a gig (including AM aircraft)
● large, legible display
● easy to manually program (one-page cheat sheet at work-sat.com
● bulletproof case design***
● strongest belt clip of any ham HT chassis on the market
● great receive audio
... as well as a unique battery setup: You can use the optional FBA-25 AA case
with either NiMH cells or alkalines, and have FULL TX power available (if you
really need it).
I cannot find another 2m/440 analog FM HT whose feature set matches or
surpasses the FT-60R.
Yes, it uses NiMH batteries as standard equipment. For the vast majority of users,
they will achieve 750-1000 complete discharge-charge cycles from properly maintained
NiMH packs. Lithium-ion packs are rated to last about HALF that many discharge-charge
cycles. (Even the FT-65 manual states its pack will last “300” discharge-charge cycles.)
So “longevity" is NOT in favor of Lithium-ion.
Li-Ion will perform better in extreme cold weather - that’s a plus for hams in Alaska and
Li-ion will, indeed, hold its charge longer: You can charge it, put it away for a
couple months, and have more power available than compared with a “stored” NiMH
pack. But I, personally, don't charge up a radio only to have it sit, un-used, for months.
And the other “advantage” of Li-ion is that it is lighter in weight than NiMH. Well, that’s
a rather silly reason to invest in a new intelligent charger and Li-Ion packs …
After learning about battery chemistries ( CADEX.com
), I have never understood
hams’ affection for Li-Ion …
FT-60R accessories? Yaesu has audio accessories - and none are in short supply. I use
Heil audio accessories on my FT-60R HTs. The FT-60R’s 3.5mm 4-conductor jack has
been around for many years, and genuine Yaesu accessories - as well as third-party
accessories - are readily available. Antennas, audio adapters, FBA-25 alkaline tray,
RT Systems software - all are available for the FT-60R.
Side note: The FT-60R allows the programming of “split frequencies” - where one
can program 2M receive and 440 TX (or vice versa) in one memory location. NOT "true
duplex" - but it allows hams to easily work the “easy amateur FM satellites.” Neither the
FT-65 nor the FT-4XR can do that.
When I perform satellite demos and give presentations, I don’t take my $500 Kenwood
TH-D72a with me. It was the last great-performing true, full-duplex HT for working the
FM satellites (works well in BOTH v/u and u/v modes). I demo with the FT-60R -
because I want hams to know they don’t need to spend a lot to “work the birds.”
SO … That’s it. Thanks for listening. Great work on your growing catalog of YouTube
Clint Bradford K6LCS
*** - OK, the FT-60R isn’t truly “bulletproof.” But several of my pre-pandemic audiences
have seen me toss one across the stage - literally - during my presentations to show
that they stand up to a little abuse ... Do not try that at home, though.