Having again attended the Blackpool rally I can safely say I did succeed in obtaining a variable capacitor that may work for a magnetic loop at high power levels, I also purchased a new rig for the home shack that replaces the Leixen VV898, a drive-on mast stand from SOTAbeams. and a Nokia extension speaker for the car, which works well with the FTM-400XDE, at least in analogue mode, hope to try this in Fusion mode soon as I've relied solely on the internal speaker, as the connector is stereo and the speaker plug is mono I had to use the supplied stereo to mono converter with the radio, the speaker is not fixed in final position just yet.
The drive over the previous day was good, the drive over on the return journey was not so good as I got held up in traffic on the M55, I spent most of this monitoring S20 though it seemed quiet for the most part,
The new radio, the QYT KT8900D, works well with my current 2/70 antenna and appears to have better rejection than the Leixen does.the QYT mic has bigger buttons on it and DTMF can be sent with the PTT pressed again unlike the Leixen, allowing access to Echolink and IRLP on repeaters, though for me at my home QTH this is just GB3IR, HG is seemingly having a repeater keeper change and from what I am aware currenlty lacks an NoV and has no linking anyway, and CD is screened by the buildings behind me.
I of course need to try out the radio further, assemble the mast stand and have a look at the capacitor properly before soldering it to a mag loop.
And my replacement radio also allows higher power, it's currently in low (10w) mode, the radio is 25w, great for my intermediate pass in the near future all being well and getting my intermediate licence.
73 de M6RSQ