My dear FT-60 😢

Oh yes! That’s me!

I do already own one of these, because obviously having one handheld isn’t enough! I had a period of alternating between the FT-60 & 65 on activations, and apart from the lighter weight, found myself yearning for the FT-60.

It’s all subjective of course!

Yes, but to a point. The one I had a play with while parked about 1 mile from Billinge Hill had really bad de-sense and breakthrough especially on a ‘proper’ antenna (mobile whip on car). For summits without any other transmitters I think for the price its pretty good as a a lose-able / drop into a crevasses and not care too much radio.

It does require a firmware update to add features such as an S-meter, but I see this ability to add/remove features as a plus.

Ian

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I can absolutely see that happening, but no worse than my Yaesu FT3d, which cost at least thirty times more. I do plan on testing mine on an RFI-rich SOTA summit to see how it gets on, both with and without a SotaBeams filter.

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To my shame I originally thought this was a tounge-in-cheek reply about a perfect SOTA handheld that costs next to nothing! Apologies…

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It is interesting to know that our 160km s2s on Sunday was between your UV-5K and my FT818 running at 2 watts. I 'm tempted to get a UV-5K just to clip onto my rucksack strap for the ascent/descent of summits.
Andy
MM7MOX

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Or you buy something that works in the presence of strong signals. Several suitable radios on eBay right now.

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What would you buy?

For SOTA on summits? Something from this list. VHF/UHF handheld performance comparison | QRPblog

Having used Yaesu FT60, VX170 and seen how well they work compared to my Icom IC80AD, Yaesu FT-470 I find the table believable. I used Brian G4ZRP’s (now SK) TH-79E on a few summits with him, it was another excellent performer. The odd thing is the table says the FT-70 is 13dB (20x) worse than my VX-170 but Tom says he doesn’t have any issues with it.

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After an activation I was backing the truck onto the road when my wife exclaimed, 'Look, there’s a radio on the ground!" I had dropped my FT-60 while getting things out of my pack. I ran it over. There was a tire print directly on it. It now has a very small crack on the display and a scratch on the case. Maybe not bullet proof, but full size pick-up truck proof!

Duncan
KL7QT/KD7QT

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It’s a tough little radio! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had dropped mine onto hard ground several times, but despite some marks on the case and a slightly damaged screen, the radio itself continued to perform superbly.

That must have been a hold your breath moment when you’d realised what you’d done! :grimacing:

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It’s a pity that list hasn’t been kept up to date. Handheld radios are a very emotive subject for us Hams, possibly because many of us start off the hobby with one as our first radio. Now a days the price range goes from £10 to £600, ie the Quasheng UV 5K through to the icom id-52e. We’re all aware from reports on here that performance doesn’t always follow price. My own Yaesu ft-3d is terrible anywhere near masts or ABZ airport.

I bought the UV 5K because it was £12 delivered, it has some nice features as well as a community which has sprung up around this radio. It is something I can experiment with, measure and field test with no risk to my wallet. The choice of firmware available is staggering. It’s no risk too - if it doesn’t work, simply re-flash with the factory one and all is good. Just last night I saw a video of someone recieving 10m SSB and CB from the USA on one using a long whip. I think they are getting really popular with SWL’s.

To the point, what is the best SOTA handheld? Yeah, probably one you can drive a truck over, smash off a rock when you swing your pack off your back and dump it on a summit, forgetting the radio is strapped to the pack. One that can handle weather, has a decent battery, a simple display that is easy to read in all lights. Easy to operate with gloves eg how many menus to adjust the squelch v. turning a knob. Is RF de-sensing important? Absolutely. Out of band emissions? Without a doubt. Does a SOTAbeams filter need to be factored in as part of the cost? Almost certainly.

The World’s your oyster (according to Shakespeare)

@M0JSB Matthew, I would have been back up there to get my radio back by now. :smiley:

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I would tentatively add a +1 to Fraser’s recommendation for a Quansheng UV-K5 (8). (I do need to do a bit more testing with mine - so far I am quite pleased with my £10 investment).

I activated GW/NW-042 at the weekend solely using this handie with its standard antenna. I didn’t appear to have any issues with QRM from Cyrn-y-Brain, which I had suffered from on previous activations in the area using my older Baofengs. I made almost a dozen contacts on 2m quite easily.

I’m heading up to the Lakes this coming weekend, so the Quansheng will be joining me. I’ll provide further feedback on it, if I identify any issues.

73, Simon

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After reading through this topic here, I checked the HRO (USA) website, and found the FT-60R for sale new, in stock at most of their stores, for a very reasonable price, including a Cyber Monday discount! I checked the Yaesu website, downloaded the manual, read the specs, studied the original QST review, read many Eham reviews, etc. On Monday, I ordered one, with a decent antenna and programming cable, etc. The package arrived today - Wednesday - from Denver, free shipping, and all looks perfect!

I already have the FT-65R, it’s really good, it’s light, and I use it regularly for SOTA. It’s not quite perfect - sometimes I get interference on peaks with VHF/UHF transmitters, or when operating with other SOTA ops, and with my HF gear running 10W, right next to it, etc.

I really don’t need this new/old radio at all - but it’s clear there are special things about the FT-60 that many of you know. The printed manual, with large pages and clear pictures, will help - even though many of the features exceed what I want right now.

Once I figure out how to use the FT-60R, it should be fun for the Colorado 14er Event, as well as for SOTA S2S use. This is my first superhet HT since my FT23R - which still works - that taught me how well 2M works in the high mountains!

Now I have a lot to learn and do…

Thanks for sharing your many thoughts and experiences!

73

George/Carey
KX0R

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Nice. I hope you enjoy the radio!

73, Matthew M0JSB

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Just to complete the thread drift:

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I must admit to not looking in depth but they all seemed to start at £17 when I went looking.

I just got mine for £6.83 and am really happy with it. Did you get any QRM issues ?

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Hiya Michael,

No issues with the handie on 2m at all. I made contact with Geoff @GM4WHA near Annan, followed by Dean @M7DSU (whom I had a good 10 minute+ chat to, because he was also using a Quansheng like mine). I just used the standard antenna it came with - we were too cold to put up the slimjim, in fact Nic had already walked off the summit to get down into the sunshine…

Prior to moving onto 2m, our 20m/40m dipole broke in the strong wind, so I ended up cutting short the HF side of the activation sadly; sods law meant I had issues just as a S2S called me, so sorry to whoever that was. I also missed @SP9AMH so apologies to you too. I think either the wind was too much, or there was a loose dog running around, which may have tugged the rope - we’d set up away from the trig for this reason, but it still came bounding over to say ‘hi’ as they do…:roll_eyes::dog2:



We are hoping to be out at the weekend, either Shining Tor G/SP-004 or Black Hill G/SP-002, so maybe we’ll catch you on 2m then.

73, Simon.

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If you sign into aliexpress with a different account you will get a rather large introductory discount. My radio was £7+tax+shipping=£12

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Aha! Ernie has been good to me this month, he’s paid for my new phone and laptop so I think I can stretch to £12 :wink:

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