There are a few repeaters in town that I have a difficult time hitting with any consistency. I've had good success for the most part with my Diamond X300 vertical but for repeaters in other counties I struggle. I decided it was time to make a change.
On the way home from work today I stopped by a friend's and bought a Cushcraft 4-element 2M beam from him. I threw it up on a 20' portable mast and actually guessed the right bearing for the main repeater I was after. I was surprised when I put the compass on it and realized I was right on the money.
I dropped the power on my FT-8800 to low power (5W) and called another buddy that lives closer to the repeater to give me a radio check. On 5W both transmit and receive were pegging the meters! I'm thrilled. Such a simple solution and the problem is solved.
The next step is to affix the mast so it's not just bungie corded to the eaves. :-) I also need to put a rotator on it to get the full use of it. Of course both of these mean getting in the attic to run cable and it's already too hot for that. Not sure when I'm going to get around to it now.