Since I became licensed my HF operating has been pretty much limited to the local club though I've still not operated the HF set, last time I had the opportunity was during a contest on 80-metres and I was not feeling 100% at the time but had made an effort to go to the club, at home I do have the equipment for 10-metres (and since yesterday the kit to make up a CW transceiver for 40-metres but no antenna) however 10-metres isn't active, I also have access to 11-metres should I want to operate there from time to time.
So, my second rally purchase from Ripon was the variable capacitor which I've had to clean the contacts on, testing it with my multimeter was not reliable as the contacts were dirty, I've not removed the knob yet.
The variable capacitor is a vital component in the magnetic loop I wish to build as it allows it to be tuned to the frequency in use, and of course I need to build the loop which requires copper pipe as wire would be bad for this.
I would also need a radio to connect to the other end, and this gave me an idea, save up enough money in time for the National Hamfest and get a Yaesu FT-817ND as these will be coming down in price as the replacement, the FT-818, is now available, 5 watts is fine into a magnetic loop as even at that level there is high voltages present on the capacitor though this one is rated to 3500 volts but that doesn't mean it will safely operate without flashover well below that.
I also have for some time been wanting to properly use CW, operating using Morse code is certainly, in my opinion, a dying art, and though I didn't end up buying a key for the Pixie kit I bought at Ripon I hope to get one in Blackpool, after all CW shouldn't die out, and because I like building things rather than buying them I'll buy a second Pixie kit because they are so cheap.
73 de 2E0EIJ