Well, my unbelievably simple 500kHz station DOES get out! I've now received four WSPR beacon reports from G3XVL in Ipswich some 61kms away. I've also had lots of spots from G6ALB some 3kms away.
Antenna: 15m of wire a few metres above ground, just 2m is vertical.
Ground: The radiator in the bedroom!
ATU: A ferrite rod with coil taps and a 500pF variable capacitor
TX: 700mW out of the PA from a 2N3904/2N3906 pair
ERP: just a few microwatts (I can barely measure the antenna current!)
Sure, a big antenna, plenty of power, a loading coil the size of a dustbin would all help get further and more often, but I am TOTALLY surprised and delighted that my ultra-simple, uWs ERP, station gets out on this most interesting band.