My first experiences with my Technician license were on 2-Meters. Like most states, Maine has an extensive linked repeater network which gives a lot of options for staying in touch. Click on any image to magnify.
The HT in the picture above is a Yaesu VX-6R multiband rig that transmits on 2M, 1.25M and 70CM bands. It has general coverage bands including broadcast FM but unfortunately doesn’t demodulate SSB, so the ham band coverage is limited to AM and virtually useless. Worse, attached to a really decent antenna for HF bands it suffers from front-end overload and poor selectivity. Also, there is a 5-KHz minimum channel spacing on HF bands, so you can’t tune 3.921 Mhz, for example, on 80 meters; only 3.920 or 3.925, which is disappointing. This is not a limitation just of Yaesu radios but of many so-called DC-to-Daylight rigs, particularly HTs, so read the specs carefully before buying. If it doesn’t specifically list SSB as a voice mode, it probably won’t do SSB. I would buy a two-band 6m/2M or a three band 10M/6M/2M mobile or HT if I had it to do over again.
However, with the above groundplane antenna I can open the nearest 2M repeater on 146.850, 12 miles away, with a mere 0.3 watts, with the antenna inside the house exactly as pictured. I need the full 5 watts with the rubber duck inside. Outside 5 watts has been adequate so far. Without the accessory speaker mic you have to set the mic gain to max to get a good signal out, or scream into the pinhole in the case. The USB cable and CAT software seem a bit pricy but are much less cumbersome than menu programming with the rig buttons.