From the mail folder ...
Thanks very much for your reply to my AMSAT BB post regarding the Kenwood TH-F6 for AO-51 and SO-50.
Prior to your reply I had not considered the Yaesu FT-60R. I ultimately decided to go with the FT-60R. I don't need a 220 HT and the TH-F6 is overkill for my needs.
The FT-60R with a speaker mic and SMA-BNC adapter was about $235 from HRO. I set up a group of memories for AO-51 and I was pleasantly surprised that it will store "Odd-Split" memories with the RX in one band and the TX in the other band……….. very similar to the Yaesu FT-817.
My first AO-51 pass was at 2240 hours on 12/13/08, a 36 degree maximum elevation pass starting south moving to the northeast. First station worked was Bill, NZ5N/6Y5, in FK-18 . First satellite contact for me in Jamaica. Once the 6Y5 pile up faded as he lost the bird, I worked 4 other stations. KD0AR, who I have worked many times, commented that I had a good signal. The RX signal was comparable to what I am used to hearing with the FT-817. I used an Arrow antenna and power was at 5 watts.
The FT-60R is very easy to use once programmed. Also, I am going to try using the "center" SO-50 RX frequency stored in a single odd-split memory in conjunction with the memory offset tuning feature and see how that works compared to a bank of memories with the stored Doppler RX frequencies.
The FT-60R is a very sturdy feeling radio, the belt clip is the best I've ever seen, and I really like the knobs on top……. Volume, squelch, and freq/channel step are exactly what should be on the top controls. The backlighting switch on the side and three power levels are also right on the money. The only thing I don't like is how easy it is to pull out the speaker-mic connection a little and ground the PTT line. I routed the mic cable behind the belt clip and that helps but it is still a poor design. Oh well, I'm not perfect either, just ask my wife!
Anyway, thanks for the great advice and you saved me about $135 compared to the TH-F6 with a speaker mic and SMA-BNC adapter.