The Columbus 166 Tablegram 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. 

The Pennant (2nd version, the near-identical model 66 Pennant came before) tablegram incorporates the RCNZ-designed and well-respected record player (for 78's)

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

At least three known chassis variants - 166, 166R and 166M, also with horizontal and vertical (radiogram) dials.

1949 Columbus 166 Tablegram 'Pennant'

The Listener - 6 Jan 1950

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).  This suffix was used in the mid 50's when Radio Corp was changing over.

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).

Model nicknames are often sourced from either newspaper advertising, company literature or the NZ Radio Traders Federation official trade-in price books (Particularly Courtenay models from this publication)

Other documented models using this chassis (6 in total)

1949 Courtenay model 166
1949 Columbus 166 Console 'Balfour'
1949 Columbus model 166 'Edinburgh'
1952 Columbus model 166 'Sherwood'
1949 Columbus model 166 'Convoy'