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.



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.


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


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.

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


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.


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!



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:


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


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!




Nice. I hope you enjoy the radio!

73, Matthew M0JSB


Just to complete the thread drift:


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 ?


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.


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: