The Columbus model 563 was manufactured for Columbus Radio Centre Ltd by Radio Corporation of New Zealand Ltd in 1955.

Plastic mantle 5-valve-clock-radio


Instructions for use (from the original card)

MODEL 563 

GENERAL: The Columbus Clock-Controlled Radio will perform any of the following functions automatically:
 (1) Operates the alarm buzzer at any time for which it is set.
 (2) Switches the radio on at any preset time.
 (3) Switches the radio off after any period of time up to one hour.
In addition, the two units may be used separately - as an electric clock and a manually-operated radio receiver.
STARTING: The self-starting movement of the clock will operate (indicated by sweep second hand) as soon as the switch controlling the power point is turned on. Set the correct time with the "HANDS-SET" knob on the back of the cabinet.
RADIO MANUAL: To operate the receiver in the normal manner Turn the "RADIO" knob to "MANUAL". This switches the receiver on and illuminates the dial scale. Turn the volume control knob to approximately the middle of its range. After about 1/2 minute warming up period select the desired station with the tuning knob and re-adjust the volume. 
Returning the "RADIO" knob to "OFF" switches off the receiver.

SLUMBER CONTROL: It is possible to have the radio playing for any period up to sixty minutes and then to switch itself off automatically. To do this, set the "SLUMBER" knob, which is situated at 9 o'clock on the clock face, to the desired period of time and also the "RADIO" knob to "OFF". For example: If the user retires at 10 p.m. and sets the "SLUMBER" control to 45 minutes and the "RADIO" knob to "OFF", the set will remain playing and switch itself off automatically at 10.45 p.m.
RADIO-ALARM: If you desire to be awakened by music, or wish to have the receiver switch on automatically at any time (e.g., a favourite radio programme) turn the "RADIO" knob to "MANUAL" and tune into the desired station. Pull out the "ALARM" knob and turn anti-clockwise until the desired time on the rotating dial is indicated by the short extension of the hour hand. Turn the "RADIO" knob to "ALARM". The receiver will then switch on approximately at the alarm time which is indicated on the alarm-setting dial. The buzzer will operate approximately ten minutes later if the alarm knob is left extended. Pressing the knob silences the buzzer.
A combination of the above two features provides both slumber music and radio alarm. Set the "SLUMBER" control to the desired period and the "ALARM" knob to the time for the radio to commence playing and the alarm to sound. Switch the "RADIO" Knob to "ALARM"
CAUTION: When adjusting the "ALARM" control, always rotate it in the direction indicated by the arrow on the "ALARM" knob. Turning it in the wrong direction may upset the accuracy of the alarm setting movement or cause other damage to the clock mechanism.
⋆ IMPORTANT: Having once completed the alarm cycle it is essential that the clock mechanism be reset by switching the "RADIO" knob to either "OFF" or "MANUAL" before again resetting the slumber and alarm facilities.
INDEPENDENT ALARM OR TIMER: To use the clock buzzer as an alarm or timer, switch the "RADIO" knob to "OFF", or to "MANUAL" to retain the use of the receiver. Set the alarm with the "ALARM" controls and leave the spindle extended. This arrangment allows timing of any operation (cooking, etc.) by the buzzer without automatic switching off of the radio receiver. NOTE — The buzzer operates approximately ten minutes later than the alarm setting (e.g., if the alarm setting is 7 o'clock the buzzer operates at approximately 7.10).

Manufactured and Guaranteed by
80 Courtenay Place, Wellington, C.3, N.Z.

Columbus model 563 Greenwich


Also seen as an AWA Radiola model in Australia as per the advert below

Australian AWA version of the Columbus 563


Technical Information

Valves (5): 6BE6, 6BA6, 6AV6, 6AQ5, 6X4

Frequency Bands: 1

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

Almost certainly designed by AWA in Australia - several parts have AWA part numbers and the date of this model is a year earlier in Australian advertising.

1955 Columbus model 563 Parts List

1955 Columbus model 563 Schematic

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)

In 1954, model numbering changed, to begin with the number of valves (ie: 501 - 5 valves, 1006 - 10 valves, etc) although the final 2 digits don't appear to have much significance.  Middle digits of 5 (portable) or 6 (mantle, including clock radio) are used on the AWA-designed plastic-cased sets.