As you say, simple is key.
Yes the tuner can be an added complication, but it is one that I’ve found a simple solution to.
I use a Yaesu FT-857 and have recently purchased a mAT-30 tuner from a Chinese supplier on eBay which is CAT controlled.
There are no controls on the tuner itself as it is controlled from the front panel of the FT-857. As you know, with the RemoteRig setup the front panel is at the control location.
I was a bit dubious about buying a cheap tuner from a Chinese eBay seller, but it seems to tune most mismatches that I’ve thrown at it to an acceptable value. I’ve actually been very impressed with it.
The only thing to watch is the power output when using digital modes as the manufacturers reckon 30 watts is your max with modes like FT8 & PSK. It will take the full 100 watts on SSB (technically up to 120 watts I believe, if you read the manufacturers specs, but the radio will only do 100 watts).
It was a consideration but personally I’ve never been keen on traps. Since getting my licence, numerous people have warned me that traps can be quite lossy. I don’t know how well founded this advice was but I’ve found my Diamond CP5 trapped vertical to be fairly inefficient.
I have a trapped dipole for 40m/80m which I bought a very long time ago. I might just stick that up (certainly for the first couple of weeks) to get me on the air, with a view to putting something better up at a later date.
I had planned to put it in my garden at my current address, but found that I couldn’t get it to fit as I didn’t have enough space,
You would think that common sense would have prevailed and I would have measured the property before buying it. I was at a amateur radio convention and it was about 50% off. Basically it was an impulse buy.
It ended up being thrown in the spare room and never used again. Sticking that up seems like the easiest and cheapest option (there’s nothing cheaper than what you already have).
That will then give me more time to think this through before putting up something more permanent.
I like Ed’s full wave loop idea for 160m. I also want a vertical for DX on 20m (& 40m if possible). Depends if I can find a way of installing it without it being too obvious.
Adding more than one antenna would also require antenna switching. I believe that there are antenna switches specifically designed for this (switching over the internet) but it’s added cost & complexity which I need to figure out.
My main issues to solve now before I can get the system on air are:-
Powering it (solar chargers on order, I still need to order the solar panels and leisure batteries).
Protecting the equipment from the damp conditions (which I think I have a plan for).
I will update once the system is ready to go. I anticipate this being at the end of January or the start of February (as I think I will have to wait until my next payday before I can afford to splash out on the solar panels & leisure battery).