The Bell Planet was manufactured by Bell Radio-Television Corporation Ltd in 1956, it was in production for about 4 years. It's part of the Bell Colt series.

The Planet was a 5-valve broadcast band Colt chassis in a solid oak (natural or dark coloured) cabinet. 

Sales literature and sighted examples show that the Planet was a broadcast only model although in "More Golden Age of Radio", John Stokes refers to it as a dual-wave.  It's probable that there were dual wave sets sold in these unusual cabinets as well, although all advertising indicates that these were 5-valve 'Australasian' reception (in other words, broadcast band - it was common to pick up NZ and Australian stations on AM in those days).

The solid oak cabinet was an oddity since most timber cabinets used by most manufacturers used veneer over plywood construction.  Being solid timber, it is quite chunky and prone to warping and cracking.  It would have been cheaper and easier to produce though.

Bell Planet 'Colt'

There was an earlier version of solid-oak mantle design, with a square cutout speaker grill and a slope-back front panel which appears to have been produced between 1954 and 55.

The Bell Planet is part of the 'Bell Colt' series.

There is considerable information on the main Bell Colt page about this long-running Kiwi icon.


Bell Colts ran from 1951 through until 1980 - the longest running model of NZ built domestic radio.  It saw many different engineering changes over the years, and the last few models dropped valves in favour of new transistor technology.

Please note that not all radios shown in this series were known as Colt's - the Planet, the Mercury etc were models in their own right - but they have a Colt chassis in them and so are included here as part of the wider Bell Colt dynasty.

The items in this series are

Technical Information

Valves (5): ECH81, EF89, EBC81, EL84, EZ80

Intermediate Frequency: 455kc/s

Frequency Bands: 1

Chassis Notes(most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version) Appears to be a standard 5B60 or 5B61 chassis