The objective of this trial is to cover the entire yard from front to back at 1550kHz, an uphill stretch all the way. Transmitting downhill from an vertical antenna always works but getting uphill to the rear has never happened.
The idea is to run a single buried ground wire from the building up to the top of the hill on the theory that doing so will usher the signal up all the way.
By sundown tonight the wire was laid to the half-way mark, and after it had been dark awhile, I walked out there with a portable and the signal was solid right to the half-way mark where the wire ended. Previously, before the ground wire was installed, the signal would have been dead by that point, so the indication is that my idea is working. Interestingly, the signal does not go at all beyond the end of the ground wire, put is strong along its sides.
Tomorrow the rest of the test.