I got one of my MFJ tuners off ebay a couple years ago. Since then I bought a new one for another station. Nothing wrong with them at all. They'll tune in a wider mismatch than most autotuners. Takes time to experiment with the settings, but once you write them down for each band segment, it takes only seconds to return to them.
In the homebrewing section N2LK posted his L-tuner project. Such a unit shouldn't set you back more than a few dollars and an afternoon. It would enable you to get a wire or whip out the window tuned up.
thanks for the vote of confidence in the MFJ tuners. Also thanks for the info on the tuner project, I will look into that and see if I have or can get the necessary parts to build one.
I'm overcoming a similar problem in a townhouse. I have a tacked-up 10m dipole, and a tacked-up 20m Inverted L. On the L, I've been making easy contacts to Washington State and Vermont running PSK on 14.070 with only about 20 watts.
Today, i was making a supply run to the local ham radio store, and I got into a discussion with one of the gentlemen who works there. He was saying a few locals have had good luck in a similar situation with the Opek HVT-400B. It sounds like it takes some initial setup, but once you find the sweet spot for each band, it's pretty usable. Counterpoise requirements are seemingly fairly minimal. I'm thinking about getting one with a magnet mount and sticking it to a large metal work bench I have. Happily, the cost is reasonable, and even more reasonable if it can be found 2nd hand.
The reviews on eHam aren't stellar, but most of the complaints stem from mobile use, which mine won't ever see.
If you try it before I do, I'd be interested to hear your results! Anyone else?
From hotel rooms, I've used a similar approach to what this guy did:
In this example, he is using a tuner, but that's not really necessary. You can do the same thing running an inverted vee dipole out the window. You might need two sticks, but you can probably get by with one.
Basically, have a stick poking out from the window. Run the wire out to the end of the stick, and then just flapping down into the wind. You can even have it drape down from the stick so that you can get a few more feet out there. 40 meters might be tricky from a second floor, since each wire would be 33 feet, but I bet if you were creative, you could figure out a way.
When I lived in an apartment, I built a cobbweb(sp) antenna and hung it from the ceiling. I made it from 3/4" pvc and speaker wire. I built it for 10-20 and it did quite well. I was pleasantly surprised. All you need is a room abour 10'X10' and a ceiling fan (or some other method) to hang it from.