Yaesu FTM-6000R Review

The Yaesu FTM-6000R VHF/UHF mobile transceiver came out in October of 2021 as the spiritual successor to the FTM-2900, and it fits the bill nicely. It’s basic and simple, but it has plenty of power and a surprising number of features. Let’s get into the details in this overview of the Yaesu FTM-6000R.

Good

  • Up to 50w of output power – The FTM-600R can output up to 50w of TX power, though it also has lower-power 25w and 10w modes when you don’t need to make distant connections and are looking to save power. A robust cooling solution ensures it doesn’t overheat, even with prolonged use.
  • Loud and clear 3w speaker – The 3-watt speaker is loud, clear, and delivers crisp audio. It’s plenty loud, which makes this perfect for mobile operation in cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
  • Detachable front control panel – You can detach the front panel and mount it wherever you want in the vehicle, which ensures that you have ready access to all of your radio’s controls.
  • Includes mounting bracket – Along with the detachable front control panel, the FTM-6000R includes a mounting bracket at no extra charge, which makes it easier for you to mount the radio in your vehicle.
  • Quick function access feature – You can assign your most frequently-used function to the “F Menu” key and access it with one push of a button. You can also press and hold the button, then rotate the dial to access up to 5 other customizable quick access features.
  • Expandable for Bluetooth support – With the Yaesu BU-4 Bluetooth module, the FTM-6000R supports all modern Bluetooth headsets, so this is a great option for hands-free operation.

Bad

  • Has a bit of a learning curve – Despite its simplicity, the FTM-6000R has surprising depth. If you’re a total newcomer, you’ll find yourself looking at the manual quite a bit during initial setup and programming. You can get around this a bit with a data cable and third-party programming software, though.
  • Mic connects to the radio, not the control head – This means that if you want to mount the radio under a rear seat or in your trunk, you’ll need an extension cable. This isn’t a huge deal, but it is an annoying design choice for some users.
  • Limited display – The main display is limited to just 6 characters, which may be a bit limiting when labeling repeaters and connections. You’ll get used to it, but you may feel restricted if you’re switching from a radio with a larger display.

Bottom line

If you need a mobile VHF/UHF transceiver that won’t break the bank, has a more “old school” feel, and still has plenty of features, this unit from Yaesu won’t let you down. It’s not going to blow your mind, especially if you’re a more experienced ham. But it does its job well, it’s durable, and it’s backed with Yaesu’s unparalleled build quality. This is a great choice for a mobile rig, especially for newer hams who are looking to move on from HTs and try out a mobile transceiver for the first time. Yes, there’s a learning curve – but learning, trying new things, and experimenting is what ham radio is all about!

Product Specs

Frequency RangeTX 144 – 148MHz or 144 – 146MHz
430 – 450MHz or 430 – 440MHz
(Depends on the transceiver version)
: RX 108 – 137MHz (AIR Band)
137 – 174MHz (144MHz HAM / VHF Band)
174 – 400MHz (GEN)
400 – 480MHz (430MHz HAM / UHF Band)
480 – 999.99MHz (GEN) (USA Cellular Blocked)
Channel Steps5 / 6.25 / 8.33 / 10 / 12.5 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 50 / 100kHz
(8.33kHz: only for Air band)
Mode of EmissionF2D, F3E
Frequency Stability±2.5ppm (-4°F to +140°F [-20°C to +60°C])
Antenna Impedance50Ω
Supply VoltageNominal 13.8V DC, negative ground
Current Consumption (approx.)0.5A (Receive)
10A (50W TX, 144MHz)
10A (50W TX, 430MHz)
Operating Temperature Range-4°F to +140°F (-20°C to +60°C)
Weight (approx.)2.43lbs (1.1kg) (with Radio Unit, Controller, Control Cable)
RF Power Output50W / 25W / 5W
Modulation TypeF2D, F3E: Variable Reactance Modulation
Maximum Deviation±5kHz
Spurious EmissionAt least 60dB below
Microphone Impedance2kΩ
DATA Jack Impedance10kΩ
Circuit TypeDouble-Conversion Super heterodyne
Intermediate Frequency1st: 58.05MHz, 2nd: 450kHz
Sensitivity0.8μV TYP for 10dB SN (108 – 137MHz, @AM)
0.2μV for 12dB SINAD (137 – 140MHz, @FM)
0.2μV for 12dB SINAD (140 – 150MHz, @FM)
0.25μV for 12dB SINAD (150 – 174MHz, @FM)
0.3μV TYP for 12dB SINAD (174 – 222MHz, @FM)
0.25μV TYP for 12dB SINAD (222 – 300MHz, @FM)
0.8μV TYP for 10dB SINAD (300 – 336MHz, @AM)
0.25μV for 12dB SINAD (336 – 420MHz, @FM)
0.2μV for 12dB SINAD (420 – 470MHz, @FM)
0.2μV for 12dB SINAD (470 – 540MHz, @FM)
0.8μV for 12dB SINAD (540 – 800MHz, @FM)
0.4μV TYP for 12dB SINAD (800 – 900MHz, @FM)
0.8μV TYP for 12dB SINAD (900 – 999.99MHz, @FM)
Cellular Blocked (USA only)
Selectivity (-6dB/-60dB)NFM, AM 12kHz / 30kHz
AF Output3W (8Ω, THD10%, 13.8V) Internal Speaker
3W (8Ω, THD10%, 13.8V) External Speaker
AF Output Impedance
Strength of secondary radio waves4nW and below
VersionVersion 4.2
ClassClass 2
Output Power2dBm

Expert reviews

  • Jason from Ham Radio 2.0 took a look at the Yaesu FTM-6000R. He liked the ability to add Bluetooth capability, as well as the new slide-on mounting bracket design, and the detachable control unit head. He also liked the fact that the FTM-6000R is a truly 50w radio on both VHF and UHF, as compared to some other radios that have decreased power transmission on UHF. Overall, he said he enjoyed using the radio and said it was a “really good addition” to Yaesu’s lineup. He said the only drawback in his mind was the lack of a dual display, but he understands that not everyone actually wants a dual display.
  • Josh from Ham Radio Crash Course also took a look at the Yaesu FTM-6000R in a quick overview. He liked that the radio came with a mounting bracket and an extension cable, which is not offered by some direct competitors like the Icom IC-2730A. He did criticize the lack of a dual display, but he said that he would still be purchasing the radio for himself. Primarily, this is because of the presence of a 9-pin data port in the back, which means that it supports APRS and packet radio with a radio modem. He called it a “great radio” overall for people who just want a basic mobile UHF/VHF transceiver.

User reviews

  • On DXEngineering, the Yaesu FTM-6000R has a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, across a total of 6 reviews. Reviewers said that it’s “a very nice beginner radio,” that the “sound quality and reception are awesome,” and that the “50W output is nice and strong… people can hear me loud and clear.” DXEngineering users also praised some other features of the radio like the “clear, bright display” and the overall ease-of-use of the unit, although a couple of users noted that it was a bit difficult to program without using third-party software and a data cable.
  • eHam.net reviewers have also given the Yaesu FTM-6000R a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, across a total of 3 reviews. They called it a “nicely designed radio” with “loud and clear” audio,” and a “solid rig.” They also said it was “easy to program,” and liked the inclusion of a mounting bracket for mobile use. However, one user did note that the unit has a loud relay switch sound when transmitting.

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