Clearly, building a Yagi tuned for 2 meters will likely have the best directional performance. Putting that aside, I'm trying to get information on what antenna type will have the best overall performance in the 2 meter band in an NFM mode.
I have a 5/25 watt 2 meter FM transceiver that I'm currently using. I've been experimenting with a ground plane antenna that I built with 4 radials. Just using it here in the office (rather than up high and outside) reception seems "ok". SWR is currently 3:1, but I'm not using it for TX at the moment. I'm also hesitant to try to tune it since I'm not sure if the ground plane radials are too long... or too short. :) I'm afraid that I could make things worse by trimming them.
I'm on a bit of a budget, so I'm currently building gear. In your experience (or if you can back it up with some theory), which type of antenna would provide the best overall (non-directional) performance? Building a dipole is definitely within my capabilities. I'm sure I can handle a j-pole too... but I'd rather not end up in an endless cycle of antenna building. :) I'd rather build the thing just once!
Update: Just for clarification, "working ok" means that I'm reading a signal off of a repeater that's 43 miles away in Hartford, CT with the antenna sitting on the floor of my office. Perhaps I just need to scale up, tune it and get it up above my roof.