The Columbus model 66A was manufactured for Columbus Radio Centre Ltd by Radio Corporation of New Zealand Ltd in 1946. It's part of the Radio Corp model 66 Dual Wave series.

6-valve dual-wave (bandspread) radio.

Models 66A and 66W were updated versions of the original model 66.

The Columbus model 66A is part of the 'Radio Corp model 66 Dual Wave' series.

The model 66 was one of the longest-running models from Radio Corp, released during the opening years of World War 2 and running through until around 1949 when it was succeeded by the model 166

It came in multiple variants over the years it was produced - likely brought about by wartime shortages forcing componentry changes.

There was a 66BC which has been included in this series for completeness although it is broadcast-band only - but it does appear to use the standard model 66 chassis with the dual-wave coils unpopulated.

There is also a model 56, which is a 1941-released 5-valve dual wave - which seems to have been coded to sell as a city-use version of the 66.


The items in this series are

Technical Information

Valves (6): 6K7G, 6J8G, 6B8G, 6J7, 6V6G, 6X5G

Intermediate Frequency: 455kc/s

Frequency Bands: 2

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

66A uses dial scale OE8 and Plessey E 3-gang tuning gang
66W uses dial scale OE27 and R.C. Co. 317 tuning gang

Tone control has two variations, as shown on the schematic

1946 Columbus 66A

1946 Columbus 66A

1946 Columbus 66A

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.