Antenna Tuners

Matchboxes from Alfred ANNECKE, DJ6OO

IMPORTANT NOTE:  I have written permission to use all of Annecke's original publications and pictures on my web site.  This permission was granted by Fred Annecke, Alfred Annecke's son.




E.F. Johnson Viking Matchbox


and much, much more!



Annecke Listen

Alfred Annecke, DJ6OO (SK) was a German Radio Amateur who owned a machine shop in Heilbronn, Baden Wuertenberg Germany - just north of Stuttgart.


Some time in the 1980's (1984?),  he began offering antenna coupler kits, as well as high quality components for ham radio enthusiasts who wanted to build their own antenna matchbox.  He also offered them fully assembled for those who chose not to build it themselves.


Although his initial focus was on balanced matchboxes (symmetrical couplers), he expanded his product portfolio over the years to include many of the other popular circuits.


More important, Annecke introduced the German-speaking hams to a wealth of information about building efficient multi-band wire antennas, describing their construction in great detail and providing the 1-stop-shopping for everything they needed for their project - including the cabinet.




Alfred Annecke did not just build “me-too” matchboxes like all the other OEMs build.

He was a perfectionist and did it right.

Here are two examples.

  1. In Annecke’s symmetrical coupler, he began with the original design of the Johnson Viking Matchbox and identified the problem limiting its matching range and its ability to work on the WARC bands.   It’s switched inductor had no position for any of the WARC bands.  The Viking had been good enough in the days of tube radios which worked with higher SWR than our transistorized radios.  These were also the days before WARC.  In the original design using 2 variable capacitors, only the larger inductor on the antenna side was switched.  Annecke improved the design significantly by adding a switch to the smaller link coil and by placing a variable capacitor in serries with the 50 Ohm side.  Though this added additional complexity to the tuning process, it enabled the device to truly match almost anything on all bands.  This is described on my web site, here: .  And for those wishing to modify their Johnson Viking matchbox, I have designed an upgrade described here:
  2. Annecke’s asymmetrical tuners were true replicas of Lew McCoy’s (W1ICP) lengendary “Ultimate Transmatch.”  (The Ultimate Transmatch, by W1ICP;  QST page 24, July 1970  ).  Most antenna tuners today are modified versions of that design, using a T-Network “similar to” that as the original transmatch used, but skimping on the variable capacitor on the 50 Ohm side (to save cost).  This compromises the performance.  If you study the original circuit and compare it to any modern T-Network matchbox, you will see that the modern ones use two identical variable capacitors in the circuit.  The original design used a simple variable capacitor on the antenna, but a split-rotor capacitor on the TX side and fed the signal to its middle.  Ultimately the original circuit was more versatile.


Each year Annecke printed a new "Liste".  You se many of these in the picture above.  I have original Listes from many of the years but from 1984 (my ealrliest), I only have a copy.  On the cover is shown his first "Symmetrische Koppler". In all of my years of carefully following Annecke and his products, I have only ever come across one of these first units.  They are very rare and clearly a collector's item.


It is not easy to describe Annecke's product portfolio because he never gave his products a model number.  He has names for everything but any given name could have described 3 or 4 similar matchboxes, each slightly different from the others.  It was also rumored his kids had no names but I met his son once; he had a name, "Fred".


Alfred Annecke was a true Elmer and helped hundreds of hams to understand how to build and match efficient "antenna systems" - either directly in person or on the phone - or indirectly through his catalogs and pampflets.

Much of what I know today emerged from talks with Alfred, purchasing most of the components he manufactured, and trying them in different circuits.


Over the years, "Annecke", like "Johnson Viking", has become synonomous for link coupled antenna matchboxes.  Unlike E.F. Johnson, Annecke also manufactured a broad portfolio of excellent asymmetrical matchboxes.  Both companies manufactured other excellent products.

World War II Army Surplus had been the main supply line of components for hams wishing to build high power matchboxes. Eventually this channel dried up and other sources were rare and very expensive.  


With a machine shop at his disposal, Alfred Annecke was able to manufacturer the hard to find (often impossible to find) components himself.  All of the variable capacitors, switches and inductors used in his products were manufactured in his own shop.


As can be seen in the picture above, he developed a very diverse line of products and components.


I was one of his happy customers.  


I built a high power switchable T-Filter matchbox using his heavy duty coil, switch, and capacitors.  I prefered this solution to using a roller inductor, because in the interest of contesting, I wanted to have fast band changing.  Alfred advised me on the phone of which components I would need, and a few days later I was building my dream matchbox.  


When Alfred Annecke passed away, a ham radio legend died with him.  Within a very short time, the resale value of his products on the used market rose, and his matchboxes were selling for more money than they had originally cost when new.