Later today I hope to do some more tests on 136kHz using 250mW QRP to the earth electrode "antenna". Last night I went out to look for the QRSS3 signal locally but realised the battery in my E-field probe was flat, so heard and saw nothing! I expect to see the signal to well beyond 5km.
UPDATE: Well a repeat of the test on July 19th gave less encouraging results. Reasonable copy on QRSS3 at 1.5km but no copy visible at the same spot 4.6km away from the QTH (within 20m). Not sure what has changed as the earth electrodes are the same. Maybe the soil is slightly more damp?