The Columbus model 66 was manufactured for Columbus Radio Centre Ltd by Radio Corporation of New Zealand Ltd in 1941, it was in production for about 8 years.

Other radios based on the same chassis:

6-valve dual-wave radio (bandspread).  Last of the wartime models before restrictions kicked in.

In 5 known cabinet variants - the table model: Warrior, tablegram: Pennant and 3 console models in order of oppulence: Discovery, Patrol and Escort 

One of RCNZ's longest-running models (alongside the model 75) - although this was partly due to the war suspending domestic production.

There was a battery model equivalent, the model 70.

This model was also subject to many modifications over its life.  This page covers the 66, 66E and 66J.  See the model 66A page for the 66A and 66W.  The model 66R is known to exist, but its unknown at the stage what the differences are - one sighted example had a 1947 date code.

Model Date Codes Sighted
66 1941
66J 1942
66A 1946
66W 1946
66R 1947

a 5-valve version (the model 56) was produced although it does not seem to have been nearly as popular or long-lived.

1941 Columbus model 66

1941 Columbus model 66

1941 Columbus model 66

1941 Columbus model 66

Technical Information

Valves (6):
Model 66 and 66J: 6K7G, 6K8G, 6B8G, 6J7, 6F6G, U50 or 5Y3G
Model 66E: 6K7G, 6K8G, 6B7, 6C6, 6F6G, U50 or 5Y3G

Intermediate Frequency: 455kc/s

Frequency Bands: 2

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

Available in several different chassis variations, including the original model 66, 66E, 66J, 66A and 66W.  See schematics for notes on differences


Columbus model 66

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.

Other documented models using this chassis (3 in total)

1941 Courtenay model 66
1941 Courtenay 66BC