Very interesting. Yes, I had read somewhere that amateur radio transceivers are exempt from Import Duty.
But how do you notify HMRC of the commodity code? Do you have to get the sender to mark the correct code on the package/Customs Declaration before despatch? Or is there a way of sorting it out when the package has arrived in the UK?
I have the digital only ARRL membership now. This is much cheaper than an overseas paper subscription. You get everything but a paper magazine. I had to clear out the last 14 year’s magazines as they took up so much space. I have the last 5 months magazines saved on my tablet now so can always check them or I use the online viewer which is Windows or Mac only.
Check out the "MFJ “Apartment antenna” which is designed to operate on HF 40-10m, plus 2m and 6 m. It fastens to windows, balconies and railings, or is free standing on the floor
In summer I am a regular visitor to my daughter in Cornwall where I have used this antenna in an upstairs location for the past 10 years, as a stand alone on the floor. where it gives good reports from SOTA’s all around Europe. It has also worked most continents, including VK.
It includes coax RF choke balun, coax feed line, counterpoise wire and safety rope. The operating frequency is adjusted by moving the wander lead on a coil and adjusting the counterpoise for the best SWR. It is available in the UK.
I’m joining this thread very late, but here’s my input anyway.
Try an ugly balun at the antenna feedpoint - this is simply coiled coax on a 4 inch cardboard or plastic tube (ie not metal) - I used a hot chocolate drink powder container (empty). Plenty of designs on the web but generally wind about 21 foot of coax around a 4 inch former and you should be right (RG58 coax is OK for this - RG213 would be a problem getting it to coil!).
As far as possible I’d run your coax out, outside rather than just coiling it up in the shack if possible.
But … Laptops are horrible for rejecting RF. This is where you should use those ferrite rings . Wrap all external cables (e.g. USB - Serial - Audio connection to the rig) through a ferrite ring (one for each cable) and move the PC as far as you practically can, away from the antenna coax. Since you have excess coax, run it out away from where the laptop is.