I decided to try out the often repeated claim that amateur stations can be worked with a piece of wet string. I used about 43 ft (13.1m) of cotton parcel string soaked in a strong brine solution. Tap water didn’t work!
This was connected to my automatic ATU and fed as a sloper against my ground system. The top was about 30ft (10m) high.
Results in daytime during late December 2001 with 20W of SSB on 15m and 10m were surprisingly good, ranging from middle distance Europeans to stations across the Atlantic Ocean. Local UK stations were poor, as would be expected on the higher bands, but good results were obtained on 7MHz at about 500 mile range.
Further experiments are currently underway as of January 2014.