The Columbus model 88 was manufactured for Columbus Radio Centre Ltd by Radio Corporation of New Zealand Ltd in 1939.

A fairly rare high-end all-wave (3-band) console from Radio Corporation of New Zealand - 9-valve plus magic eye.

A host of features very rarely found in NZ sets of any year, including a Philips EF8 'Silentode', motorised tuning, push button tuning, remote control, and 3 stages of variable selectivity.

Very few of these seem to have survived, the author being aware of only two - both in his posession.

Here it is seen as a highlighted model in the Companies prospectus for 1939:

1939 Columbus model 88

1939 Columbus model 88

Technical Information

Valves (9 + magic eye): EF8G, 6K8G, 6K7G, 6B8G, 6J7G, 6J7G, 6V6G, 6V6G, 5Z3 and 6U5 Magic Eye

Intermediate Frequency: 464kc/s

Frequency Bands: 3

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

Note: the 464kc/s IF was also found on the model 60, 65 and 80 all from 1939 (although the date on the model 80 could have been 1940).  This seems to have been an unusual frequency used by RCNZ at this time on a limited number of sets.

1939 Columbus model 88

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.