My tiny 500kHz WSPR TX station was heard 69kms away at dawn today with a report from Jim M0BMU who spotted me several times. I also had a lot more reports from G3XVL (61kms) , some 10dB stronger than his first report last night, as well as more from G6ALB (3kms).
The picture shows my 500kHz ATU on the bedroom dressing table. This is the ONLY thing between the 700mW QRP TX and the 15m of wire dangling down the back garden - no big loading coils etc. The small toroid is a 1:50 current transformer so I can measure antenna current with a multimeter. I tune up by getting the best received signal by ear adjusting tap points used, then carefully peaking the series capacitor for maximum antenna current, which barely shows anything!
Next step is to convert the transverter to full transceive which should only need the addition of a couple of relays and an RF-sensed changeover.