Designed by AWA, the second portable transistor set by Columbus. Available in several colours.
Visually very similar to the 897P "Transistor Seven" from the previous year (The very first transistor model from Columbus). Despite this, the new model used a completely redesigned circuit.
Both models look very similar, however the 897 has 'Columbus' either side of the dial hub and a white plastic 'button' shaped Columbus logo on the grill, while the later 117 model has 'Columbus Transistor' on the dial and a more elaborate gold-coloured Columbus logo on the grill.
This series contains all the known Columbus portable radios - including a few transistor portables from the final few years of the brand.
The radios in this series are:
Valves (7 Transistor, 3 Diode): 2N412, OA150, OA150, 2N410, 2N410, OA150, 2N408, 2N408, 2N270, 2N270
Intermediate Frequency: 455kc/s
Frequency Bands: 1
Chassis Notes(most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version)
Note the large old-style oval can for the output transformer - the earlier 897 does not have this. Also note this model has two controls on the side, while the 897 only has one.
Motorboating / Distortion: Check resistance between lug and chassis where volume control, tone control and red battery lead return to chassis.
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.