Today I made a start on improving my ERP on 137kHz and 500kHz.
Firstly, I've bought a pile of Wima 1000V polypropylene capacitors from Farnell. With these I have now made a new ATU to match my TX loop (breadboard only ATU so far) which will allow me to run some 6-10dB more power into the loop without the ATU components overheating and failing. My old switched capacitor array was an old school capacitance decade box and this was marginal with tuning changing as caps heated up!
Secondly, I am going to change the MOSFET PA design to increase the 137kHz power from around 7W RF to about 30W. This should be worth around 6-8dB. I plan to do something similar on 500kHz too.
Finally, I've got some more wire to allow me to double the thickness of my TX loop. This will be done later and will be worth 2-3dB as long as I alter the 3C90 ATU (step down) matching transformer.
In all, these changes will give me up to 10-13dB more ERP and, with some luck will allow me to get more reports on QRSS and WSPR. It will take some weeks to implement these, but by late October my range should improve on both bands.