If you’re looking for your first ham radio the Yaesu FT-60r is a great choice. As my first radio, this thing has been though it all. I purchased my radio along with 2 of my friends back in 2015 when we decided that ham radios would be the best way to communicate at hunting camp.
Our search was for a radio that would; survive the outdoors, have decent battery life, cover both VHF and UHF, ability to program on the fly, and not break the bank.
The Yaesu FT-60 not only checked all of these boxes, but it also has had really good reviews dating back to its launch in 2004. It also added some other features that I have come to like. This device has 5 watts of power, allows for adequate coverage on both 144/430 MHz, it has great audio quality, one battery will last a full day with average usage (hunting), and it stores 1000 memory channels.
If you are considering purchasing this radio I would also recommend ditching the stock rubber duck for the Diamond SRH-77ca antenna. It will extend your range big time!
The FT-60r sells for around $150.00
The SRH-77ca sells for $24.00
Other FT-60 HIGHLIGHTS
• CTCSS and DCS Encode/Decode, with Split Tone and DCS Encode-only Capability
• One-Touch NOAA Weather Access
• NOAA Severe Weather Alert with Alert Scan
• Nine DTMF Auto-Dialer Memories
• Two Front Panel Programmable Keys
• Convenient Access Key for Vertex Standard’s WIRES™ (Wide-coverage Internet Repeater Enhancement System)
• RF Squelch (only passes signals exceeding programmed level)
• Mono-band and Memory-only Operating Modes
• Rugged Die-cast, Water-resistant Case Construction
• Huge LCD Display
• Transmit Time-Out Timer (TOT) and Automatic Power-Off (APO)
• Automatic Repeater Shift (ARS)
• YAESU’s exclusive ARTS™ (Auto-Range Transponder System) which “beeps” to alert the user when out of communications range