After several years of only FM and Digital Voice, I returned to 2m SSB last night on the North Texas SWOT net. The net control was 45 miles away but copied me with my 5 watts and ELK beam INSIDE my apartment. I know that's not near my record but indoors not bad at all. There's a lot more activity here than in the Arizona Valley on that mode. It's more akin to Colorado where I was a few years back. Now I just need a new battery so I can take this outside and talk a lot further. There's a hill just a block up from me so with a battery I can go in any direction. I'll have to see if any of these people operate on 432 as well. I have LOTS of time now that my job ended but have to watch my spending until I'm working again.
I travel often on business, and take the ELK 2m/440 portable beam with me wherever I go. I have had very good luck making contacts on FM and SSB using that antenna inside hotel rooms, just mounted on a PVC pole and strapped to a chair with bungee cords! 2 meter SSB activity seems to have picked up quite a bit over the last year!