Originally Posted by rhyary
Hmm, I am pretty sold on the Kenwood TS 480HX. I just have to come up with all the other components, mounting locations and at some point save enough money for it. The detachable plate of the 480 is important to me. The TS-480 seems to be capable and designed for Mobile operation. The only think I am not sure about is that Kenwood came out with the TS-590 (not mobile) and I get the sense they might come out with a newer 480 soon. And I am not in a rush to begin with.
I would not wait on what might come down the pike, budget what you want to spend and jump in when the right one comes up. One thing I can guarantee is that what you buy will /always/ be obsolete sooner rather than later... Buying used is the best way to maximize your budget since hams are chronic tinkers and ones with more money tend to upgrade a lot. What I did at home was to start saving for a FT-450 and when I had enough money a very nice DX-70T(H) (with an Alpine Antennas screwdriver to boot) showed up on Craigslist, which I ended up getting instead and with the left over money I bought that LDG Z-11 Pro II and a Astron RS-35M power supply. I essentially went from nothing to a complete shack for $600. Now to just finish installation. :-)
The TS-480 is a very nice radio! One thing I did not like about it was that the face is pretty bulky, couldn't find a good place in my truck for it. But with a Cruiser that is probably a lot less of an issue compared to my little tin box. A center console like in the 80 would make the difference, something I don't have.
It's also pretty pricey IMHO since it's performance is closer to the FT-857, being that both have DSP in the AF section only. If I was gonna spend $1,000+ it would definitely be on a IC-7000, which has a generation newer DSP that's placed in the IF, where it's going to be much more effective. The IC-7000 is a close competitor to the FT-950/TS-590 level of radio. I expect that Yeasu and Kenwood will have to come up with something comparable (and I'd guess Yeasu will intro or at least annouce the 857/897 successor in 2011) to stay in the game. If ICOM can get the IC-7000 down about $200 it will rule the mobile HF market.