I operate on any mode possible on 2m, but rarely via repeater or satellite. I’m most often found DX-ing on SSB/CW down the bottom of the band, operating meteor-scatter using FSK441/JTMS, or EME with JT65b.
My current 2m station comprises a Yaesu FT857D driving a Beko HLV-600 solid-state pa, into an 11 element F9FT yagi at about 6m a.g.l. On receive there is an SSB Electronics SP-2000 masthead preamp. Antenna rotation is accomplished using a very old (>25 years!) Emotator, modified with an ERC controller for computer control. PC connections to the radio (audio/ptt/cat) are via cheap interfaces, bought from ebay for less than I could have built them for (no longer available, as far as I can tell).
The station can also be accessed remotely using RRC-1258 MkII remoterig boxes from Microbit, with the body of the FT857D remaining at the radio site and the head at any remote operating site.
As implied in the picture below, the 2m antenna is close by a building to the west, which runs nearly exactly north-south. The antenna is below the ridge-line of that building which is very rf-noisy so it’s difficult, if not impossible, to hear much from about 200˚->west->020˚ azimuth. Luckily there’s not much in those directions from here on VHF, but it does make working moonsets impractical.
The best ground gain here, useful for EME, has been observed with the antenna at around 60˚ or 70˚ azimuth, and is no quite so good when the moon is rising further south (i.e. a more southerly declination). My practical EME windows are from -0.5˚ to 5.5˚ and 8˚ to 15˚ elevation, with peaks at around 3˚ and 12˚. I can usually also hear the stronger stations from 17˚ up to about 24˚. Interestingly, my practical experiences agree exactly with reception of the Graves radar on 143.050MHz – a very useful beacon for mapping the EME performance of antennas!
Here is an old picture of the very simple 2m antenna. Since this was taken I have corrected the “lean” on the mast so it’s now vertical and added a 19el F9FT 70cms antenna about 1.5m below 2m:
Here is the 2m rig, which can be used locally or remotely:
…and the rig’s head unit in remote configuration: