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Re: Newbie needs advice on Yaesu VX-5R and FT-60

VX-5R vs. FT-60

I have both radios.  I have not tried to work satellites with either 
one,  although my daughter and I have listened for the ISS with the 
Ft-60 and have easily heard packet bursts with the stock duckie antenna 
on passes well above the horizon.

Let me offer my $0.02 worth.  In my experience, the FT-60 has MUCH much 
better intermod immunity/adjacent channel rejection.  If I take my VX-5r 
into downtown Houston, the police & fire department transmitters 
overwhelm it and make listenting to 444 mhz repeaters unpleasant.  With 
the VX-5 set to the 444.300 IRLP node, I might  as well be tuned to the 
Houston Police dispatch frequency. I hear dispatch perfectly. On the 
other hand, the FT-60 seems pretty much immune. 

My Ft-60 just went stone deaf on UHF, and has been shipped back to 
Vertex/Yeasu for warranty repairs. Having switched back to my VX-5 
temporarily, I realize I like the FT-60 much better. The intermod issue 
alone makes me recommed the FT-60 over the VX-5 any day.

Also, I like the "user interface" of the  FT-60r better, seems easier to 
program and use than the VX-5. The FT-60 has plenty-o-memories, and 
handles them well in flexible groups. I'm not sure if the VX-5 can do 
the same.

One aspect of the VX-5 that is nicer, is the two line display. With the 
VX-5 you can show both frequency and a memory channel name at the same 
time.  With the FT-60 it is one or the other, although the display is 
larger. The keypad on the FT-60 is larger and better laid out. 

The VX-5 comes stock with an incredibly wimpy excuse for a belt clip. 
Yaesu should be ashamed. The FT-60 is built on the same basic chassis as 
their commercial radios and has a heavy duty commercial belt clip and 
the standard battery used on recent Vertex commercial radios --> so, I 
expect battery packs to be easy to find.  In general the FT-60 gives the 
impression of a much more solid radio, plainly  related to Vertex 
commercial handhelds.

Although the VX-5 is smaller, the FT-60 is not significantly larger and 
the size difference is not significant for me.  If anything, I 'm 
inclined to think that the VX-5 might be too small for comfortable use.

For either radio, you would just program in the apropriate VHF & UHF 
frequency pairs for cross band operation for LEO satellites or ISS.  
With either radio, you really want to do this by software if you want 
really load the radio up with channels . For the Ft-60 you want FT-60 
Commander, which is full featured and free. The same guy made a VX-5 
program, which is much more basic. The VX-5 program has not been updated 
in ages,  FT-60 commander appears to be actively supported by the 
author. FT-60 commander is at least as good, if not better than (paid) 
commercial software.

Same programming cable works for both radios, and also works for at 
least some of the Vertex commercial radios (such as VX-400, VX-210 and 

Go here for for FT-60 Commander: http://www.kc8unj.com/index.html

As far as I can tell, neither radio does full duplex. If I were buying a 
new radio today, it would definitely be a Ft-60 over the VX-5. .

Robert Rice

David Mather wrote:

>Hi all,
>I am about to purchase either a Yaesu VX-5R or a
>I understand the basics of satellite operation, but I
>need help understanding HT suitability.
>In the VX-5R brochure it states "The 144/430 MHz
>capability of the VX-5R is ideal for portable
>satellite operation on FM satellites like AO-27 (TX
>145.8 MHz/RX 436.8 MHz)."
>There is no equivalent reference (that I can find) in
>the FT-60 material.
>I realize that neither of these are true dual Receive.
>I can't get enough information from the online Yaesu
>manuals to understand:
>1) Is the VX-5R really suitable for satellite work ?
>If so, what feature (Dual Watch?) is used, and how is
>it configured ? By that I mean key/critical issues,
>not all the keystrokes needed.
>2) Can I get similar (or any) satellite work out of
>the  FT-60. If so, key configuration tips please.
>I do understand that a true Dual Rx HT (like the
>VX-7R) is a better solution, and that I could use a
>separate Rxer in addition to any HT.
>Thank you for any comments, suggestions.
>David Mather VE3XTA.
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