Emperor TS-3010 Review


This is the newest arrival from the makers of Emperor radios. It’s a 4-watt AM 12-watt SSB rig. The first radio released to the US by Emperor was the TS-5010, an upgraded copy of the President HR-2510. The new TS-3010 has the look of an updated Cobra radio. The display is LCD with a six-digit display/counter.

This is a unique feature; the first four digits are a direct display, the same as in the HR-2510, RCI-2950, etc., and the last two digits (1KHz and 100Hz) are a frequency counter that changes as the clarifier moves.

This comes in handy finding center slot or running even frequencies on SSB, say 5Khz down from channel 36 or 27.3600Mhz.

I’m not sure whether they were shooting for a type-accepted CB or an Amateur radio. It is modifiable from the front panel. One mode is 40 channels, including “A” channels. The other mode comes up in the Amateur band on 28.315Mhz. in band F.

Turning the channel selector automatically runs you through the 7 bands from 25.615 Mhz. to 28-755 Mhz. In either mode, it could present a problem for dealers in this country.

They have a second version, not released release yet, that powers up on 10 Meters in the 28.315 Mhz to 28.755 Mhz band. This would be a legitimate 10 Meter Amateur radio. The second mode of operation has 8 bands ranging in frequency from 25.165 Mhz. to 28.755 Mhz.

In both versions of the radio, the channel, and alternate channel mode is obtained by pressing the Meter and Tone buttons at the same time for a second. Dealers beware! Don’t openly sell this as you would an HR-2510 or any other 10-meter rig. In its present version, you won’t have a leg to stand on if Uncle Charlie visits.

This is a nice-looking rig. The face of this radio is brushed aluminum with chrome knobs and a bezel. The mic connector is conveniently located in the front. All but the channel selector knob have pointers protruding beyond their edges, but the pointers would be more functional if they were painted a color that would stand out from the chrome.

One thing puzzles me their placement of the front panel controls.

The volume is the fourth control from the left, and like most operators, I’m used to it being either the first or second from the left. Inside the radio I found the quality to be very good. Immediately, I noticed the clean design and absence of the usual wire harnesses.

I counted a total of 18 interconnection wires, including and this includes the two speaker wires. The rest of the interconnecting wiring is done through ribbon cables, minimizing the obstructed view of the main board. Once the covers are off, the removal of the face bezel is easy and can be done without removing any more screws.

All that’s needed is to remove the eight knobs and lift six clips while sliding the face-off.

The CPU board, mounted in the face of the radio, can be removed by taking out two screws and unplugging three ribbon cables. Then by sliding the CPU board up, it can be removed from the series of interlocking tabs and separated from the radio.

The boards are well-marked with signal names and component designators. This is a real plus for technicians. I know it really helped me while I was working on it.

I’m in the process of getting a service manual for the TS-3010. All the improvements I made were without a schematic, and my changes may be fine-tuned once I see the circuitry in its entirety.

Bench and air tests showed the receiver AM/SSB sensitivity and selectivity is about average for this type of radio. Sideband did overload on strong signals similar to President Jackson before modification. I was able to cure this with two added components and one value change in the AGC circuit.

The stability is pretty good, and it only changed about 250 Hz. from cold to warm. The clarifier is locked as usual. I’m happy to say this is the first radio I’ve operated with a mechanical rotary encoder channel selector that couldn’t be fooled.

It didn’t jump extra channels or change them in the wrong direction when the channel selector was rotated very slowly or quickly. The transmitter has clean audio on both AM and Sideband before and after peaking.

There is a drawback to this display/frequency counter. The third digit doesn’t change when you go up 5Khz. Suppose you’re on 27.4050 and go up 5Khz.

The display will read 27.4000, not 27.4100. If you run on even frequencies, you’ll just need to keep that in mind. I tried to get the radio to drop 5KHz.

This would have solved the display problem, but it didn’t work out. Despite the problems I’ve uncovered, the TS-3010 is a good radio. For the cost of a Uniden Grant XL with channels, you can have the Emperor with a six-digit display/counter and 3 times the channels. I wish they had made provisions in the CPU for 5Khz channel steps.

It would have been easy because the rig uses a PLL0305A chip, which can be stepped in as low as 100Hz increments. The rig is set up for a UP/DOWN mic, but the stock mic is a very small dynamic type with no room for buttons. The HR-2510 mic has the. The same wiring and the UP/DN buttons will change the channels without changing anything.

An Astatic 575M6 works dynamite, and there is room for UP/DN push button switches. Also, a battery back-up is used to retain the last frequency used. The radio is well made and is the best sideband radio in the $240 price range with these features.

I hope the factory addresses the problems I’ve found and comes out with a 5Khz. channel step version of this rig. If they do this, I’m sure this will become the #1 radio in sales. The following are changes that I made to the Emperor TS-3010:

Correcting The SSB Receiver Overload Problem:

1. Change C28 from .001 µf to .47 µf 16 volt.

2. Add a IN4148 diode in series with R48 band side to IC 2 pin 2.

3. Add a .03 µf capacitor from IC 2 pin 2 to ground.

Correcting Excessive Delay On Receive After Transmit:

1. On the solder side of the main board change the 100 µf capacitor under the relay RL-1 to 47 µf 16 volts.

Unlocking And Expand The Clarifier To A Range Of +7Khz. To -2Khz.

1. Remove the knobs, face and CPU board.

2. On the CPU board ground the low side of the clarifier potentiometer.

3. On the CPU board cut the trace on the high side of the clarifier potentiometer.

4. On the CPU board connect the high side of the clarifier potentiometer to a constant 8 volts and replace CPU board.

5. On the main board remove D67.

6. Set the clarifier control to the (-) position marked on the face.

7. On channel 40 USB adjust L41 until you read 27.4050 on the display.

8. On channel 40 AM adjust L40 until you read 27.4050 on the display.

9. On channel 40 LSB adjust L42 until you read 27.4050 on the display.

Tune Up Transmitter To 5 Watts-16 Watt Swing On AM & 20 Watts SSB.

1. Remove R128 560W resistor (better swing on AM).

2. Change R162 from 4.7KW to 2KW (more transmit audio on AM & SSB).

3. Move L22 away from the driver transistor.

Transmitter Output Controls VR10 AM modulation VR5 AM Carrier VR4 SSB ALC