As far as the crystal socket of which there is hardly any arrangement :)
I have not had much problem with !
Likely could mount the crystal on something and make some pins that would plug into a socket !
I have had problems with ft 243 crystals that were slightly bent up though !
You do not get many times to shove one in a socket
Till the socket is also messed up !
My favorite antenna is a 1/2 wave dipole fed with open line using a balanced tuner of course
I have thought quite a bit about NVIS
I have also wondered how to remedy it :)
I would rather not have a Near Vertical takeoff Incidence If I had any choice :)
Though it is a fact most all my antennas have a bit NVIS because
It is almost impossible for me to get my antennas up where I would really like them to be :)
Using only trees :)
I try to build what I think are efficient antennas !
That is why I use open line !
Lots of QRPp ops seem infatuated with random wire antennas
That I hardly understand
I do understand random wire for Simplicity if you're out in the field or something
But In do not get it for a primary qrp antenna !
I mean I only have a about 1/2 real watt to work with :)
Least I have to believe in my heart my antennas are somewhat efficient !
A really kicking antenna I think would be a Bi Square !
I do not think a Bi Square minds being close to the ground on the bottom !
Also I also believe it makes a really nice radiation pattern
Quite a good bit better than a dipole !