The Columbus model 166 was manufactured for Columbus Radio Centre Ltd by Radio Corporation of New Zealand Ltd in 1949.

Other radios based on the same chassis:

6-valve dual-wave radio - replacement for the model 66, which was in production for many years. 

Also released in a table radio and tablegram, as well as some radiogram models.

At least four known chassis variants - 166, 166R, 166N and 166M, also with horizontal and vertical (radiogram) dials.  R COULD refer to a radiogram chassis, N COULD mean 'new' valves, M COULD mean miniature valves... confirmation of these suffixes would be appreciated.

N and M variants appear to use the newer miniature valve lineup.  An N variant tag has been seen with a 1952 date code, which would be consistent with the early use of these 7-pin miniature valves in NZ radios.

1949 Columbus  model 166 'Edinburgh'

The Listener - 15 July 1949

Technical Information

Valves (6):
166: 6U7G or 6K7, 6K8G, 6U7G or 6K7, 6B8G, 6V6GT, 5Y3
166R: 6SK7, 6K8, 6K7, 6G8, 6V6, 5Y3
166M: 6BA6, 6BE6, 6BA6, 6AV6, 6AQ5, 6X4

Intermediate Frequency: 455kc/s

Frequency Bands: 2

Chassis Notes(most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version)

1949 Courtenay model 166

Early octal-based chassis underside


1949 Columbus  model 166 'Edinburgh'

Later miniature valve underside

General Construction Notes for Radio Corporation of New Zealand Ltd:

The first digit of the serial number typically indicates the year of manufacture of RCNZ chassis' (although not the decade - that requires a little knowledge of the valves, construction, etc). Sets from around 1934 onwards were often (but not always) constructed in a distinctive pressed 'baking pan' style chassis, seemingly unique to RCNZ.

Model codes beginning with a 0, for example the model 051, are Osram valve versions of the model without the leading 0. Technically the 0 should be an O (for Osram), however the digit 0 was used throughout the site before this fact was discovered.

The E suffix indicates a magic eye option is fitted (in models which were available with or without, such as the model 25).

A and B suffixes appear to be simply updates to the current model, R also appears to be simply an updated model ('R'edesign, perhaps?)

P indicates either a permanent magnet speaker version of a model which also came with an electromagnet speaker (the model 26 for example), or a portable model (like the model 694P).

N and M indicated miniature valve versions of a model which started with all (or a mix, ie: model 5) of larger valves. One of these two codes may indicate a transitional mixture of octal and miniature - clarification is required.

S often indicates a stereo model.  It can also indicate 'self-biased' in the transition period between back-biased and self biased sets where there were models with both methods employed (53S for example)

Finally, other suffixes and prefixes make occasional appearances in the RCNZ lineup - like the 66W (a variant of the long-running model 66) and the 75XA (a 10-valve version of the model 75 with a separate amplifier chassis).

Other documented models using this chassis (4 in total)

1949 Courtenay model 166
1949 Columbus 166 Console 'Balfour'
1949 Columbus 166 Tablegram 'Pennant'