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> I plan to start at the basement and work the "Easy Sats" 
> first, namely 
> RS12 & RS15 until I get the hang of it all.

These days, RS-15 can't be considered an "easy sat".  RS-12 is pretty good.
> I have a dipole that I listen to the beacon on (29.408) where I can 
> hear it without any trouble at all.
> My 2 Meter antenna is a base 5/8 Ground Independant Vertical.
> When I try and work into RS12, I hear my returned signal very 
> faintly - 
> no where near as loud as the beacon.  I have put this down to the 
> vertical having a very low angle of radiation therefore when the sat 
> passes over with anything greater than 30-45 degrees of elevation I 
> can't hear myself at all.
> My question is:  What would be a good 2 Meter antenna to get 
> me started 
> off with and ensure I have reliable uplinks ??

Try a turnstile, eggbeater, quadrafiliar helix or Lindenblad.  These should
give better results.  I sometimes use a 2 element Yagi (handheld) which
gives excellent results on RS-12.

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