Information Station Specialists is the best known source of travelers information stations, highway advisory radio, advisory signs and services needed to reach motorists with public service information. Learn more about Information Station Specialists.
               Information Station Specialists website 
 


The Information Station
 
AEL/SEL Category 04AP-09-ALRT
Travelers Information Station / Highway Advisory Radio 
 
 
Customer Reviews

“We have already gotten many positive and enthusiastic responses. We are very happy we decided to do this!”
Lauren Fenstermacher, Manager
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitor Center Pennsylvania Game Commission
 
“The signal quality is amazing, far better than I thought, with no static. I am very pleased. Thank you, this is an amazing tool!”
Alexander Watson, Regional Naturalist
Minnesota DNR Parks and Trails 
On the Air
First National Network of Info Stations
Customs & Border Protection
CBP installed Information Stations at key land border ports of entry, providing information to approaching motorists with the intention of expediting their passage across the border, i.e., El Paso, Laredo, TX; San Luis, AZ; and Calexico (East), CA. Additional sites are planned.

The stations broadcast time-sensitive messages developed at the local ports of entry, in addition to messages developed at the national level by CBP Headquarters.

Project manager Daniel Piscopo states that the broadcast messages include “how to use high-tech travel cards, information about CBP's Trusted Traveler Programs, basic border crossing rules and regulations, emergency travel information and updates, and border wait times.”

CBP will be able to communicate directly to travelers about how to expedite their border crossing, for example, by broadcasting information about CBP programs such as the Ready Lane — an expedited travel lane for people with radio frequency identification technology enabled cards -- and Trusted Traveler lanes for pre-approved, low-risk travelers.

Radio broadcasts can be heard for several miles around the port.   
Introduced by the Federal Communications Commission in 1977 as a Travelers' Information Station, the Information Station is now the most installed system of its kind in the United States, with more than a thousand stations licensed to date. Its popularity stems from its versatility and affordability in a package that makes installation and operation simple and seamless.

Today government agencies broadcast information to the public about emergencies, public health, airport security and border control – in addition to conventional traffic, travel and visitor information content.

Information Station Specialists is the sole provider of the Information Station in the United States and offers 24/7 remote technical support for the life of the product. State and local governmental entities may purchase our products without going to bid, if they join the HGACBuy purchasing cooperative as end users. Membership is free. Here's how easy it is to join.


Below we describe the two styles of Information Stations, who commonly operates the stations, licensing, antenna setup methods, what comes standard, options and last, but not least, ways to acquire a station. At the bottom of the left column, you will find links to technical specifications, planning steps and more.
Two Styles of Information Stations
IP Edition Classic Edition
Manage the broadcast program via an Ethernet network or by the station’s USB port. The Information Station IP affords full 5000Hz audio quality plus the convenience of a network-accessible message library. Optional software is available to create natural or text-to-speech messages, then edit, process and place them in playlists for immediate broadcast. Update the broadcast program remotely by telephone or a two-way radio transceiver, locally by microphone. The Classic Information Station affords a 5000 Hz bandwidth also and allows you to create up to 1000 messages and 250 message playlists for convenient retrieval. 3 hours of recording time are available. Choose which messages to broadcast and which to store for future use.
Hybrid systems with the characteristics of both versions are available. Associated services and special options for both Information Stations are detailed below and on linked specification pages.
Who Operates Information Stations

(Radio stations for use by government agencies and emergency medical providers.)
North Fork Fire Department Sundance, UT
Federal, state and local governmental entities (see examples below) can license Information Stations to broadcast noncommercial voice programming related to travel, public safety, visitor/tourism historical/interpretive or emergencies.Click here to learn more about permitted broadcast content. The primary audience? Motorists in a 3-5-mile radius area. Operators commonly include...Municipalities (cities, counties, townships, boroughs, towns and villages) departments of public safety, emergency management and public health.
  • Points of entry (airports, border protection, ports).
  • National and state parks, forests, recreation areas and historic sites.
  • Universities and colleges.
  • Government agencies (federal and state) departments of transportation, bridge authorities, emergency management and public health.

See case studies.

The National Park Service is among the first proponents of Information Station technology and is the largest nationwide user of these systems for visitor information, orientation and interpretive applications. Listen to what interpreters across the country say about how and why they operate Information Stations. Request a free Making Waves program on CD produced by Oregon State University. See also a list of National Parks that have used Information Stations over the years.

Frequency and Licensing
The FCC grants to government entities licenses on available AM frequencies on a first-come-first-served basis, secondary to commercial broadcast stations. In 1991, the Commission opened to Information Stations all frequencies in the 530-1700 band, subject to separation requirements. Information Station Specialists can help identify the optimal frequency at your location and will apply for your station’s FCC license.
Antenna Styles
The two most common formats:
  1. Yard Style:  The Information Station may be installed at a building with the electronics securely indoors and the antenna pole mounted in the adjacent yard, connected by an underground cable. This style is recommended because it is most economical and affords the greatest security for equipment. A 50’ separation from buildings is recommended.
  2. Isolated Style:  At remote locations where there is no building, a weatherproof cabinet containing the electronics is attached to the antenna support pole. The location must have electrical power and, if equipment is to be remotely controlled, telephone, two-way or network service..
If a yard- or isolated-style installation is not possible, a custom installation on a building roof is possible in some instances. Lateral separation of the antenna from large, nearby objects by at least the height of the object is suggested to prevent signal degradation An Information Station can be installed by the buyer, his agent or as a service of Information Station Specialists. Included in the package is the FCC type-accepted transmitter, digital message system, cabinets, antenna, factory-assembled groundplane, lightning arrestors, cables, connectors, mounts, hardware and illustrated instructions. Options include . . .
  • Flashing ALERT Signs with remote-controlled flashing beacons may be installed to notify motorists of the station’s signal at key locations along streets.
  • Vertical Profile Antenna System allows the antenna system to be located in tight spaces – the yard of a building, for example – with the station’s electronics inside the building for security. No horizontal groundplane is required. VP9000 is compliant with hurricane wind standards for shoreline and critical installations.
  • 2X Signal Booster offers up to double the efficiency/range of a high band (1610-1700) station’s antenna, allowing the transmitter to run at less wattage or allowing the signal to have up to twice the intensity (recommended for federal agencies and for operators in challenging environments who require maximum signal intensity to cut through dense foliage and obstructions.
  • Broadcast Quality Audio Processor for increased audio quality, intelligibility and range.
  • Workstation Audio Control may be optioned for the Information Station Classic to provide onscreen PC-based program control.
  • StreamCast network audio interface allows streaming of the broadcast program directly to smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs. Listeners gain access to the stream by merely scanning a QR tag or by clicking a unique link on your (or a special HearMoreInfo) website.
  • Signal Measurement Radio Receiver allows you to measure the Information Station’s signal intensity and verify compliance with FCC signal limits.
  • ENcast automatically converts text-based alerts from your compliant emergency notification system into voice audio and interrupts the standard program to broadcast them over the Information Station.
  • Cell Modem for remote system control, when a wired network is not available.
  • Message Recording Services.
Details about the above options are available on our Technical Specifications webpage.
Planning & Pricing
As you would expect, Information Station Specialists provides a full menu of technical services to help you put and keep your Information Station on the air. We will help plan and implement your station, including frequency and site selection, FCC licensing, installation, staff training and the FCC-required field survey and documentation. Even professionally recorded audio messages can be provided, so your broadcast is ready to place on the air as soon as the station is turned on. Each system is provided with Remote Technical Support and Potential Interference Notification Services for the life of the station.

Sole Source. We frequently are the only source for the products and services we offer and can send you support letters to affirm that for your purchasing documentation.

HGACBuy. If you are a state or local government agency anywhere in the US and you are a HGACBuy cooperative member - or want to join as an end user - you can purchase our products without the necessity of going out to bid. Membership is free to villages, towns, cities, townships, counties, state agencies, departments, authorities, districts, councils or nonprofits doing work for such entities. Here's how to join.

Competitive Process. If you must seek competitive bids or quotes, we can supply specifications (in text form) so you can easily integrate them into bid documents.

Purchases by governmental entities can be made by purchase order, agency order on letterhead, VISA/MC (up to $3,500) or simply by signing and returning our quote sheets. Standard terms are Net 30 days.

Lease-to-own terms are also available. Inquire for details.

Related Links

Brochure to Print pdf

Audio Control Methods Comparison

Feature Comparison with Our Other Systems

Glossary of Radio Terms

Installation Scenarios

Limitations

Planning Your Station

Sole Source Letter pdf

Technical Specifications

  Your information. Your station. Our dedication.
   
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Features Compared FCC-Permitted Broadcasts Rentals
Highway Advisory Radio Glossary of Radio Termis Streaming
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©  1983-2018  • Information Station Specialists, Inc. •  All Rights Reserved
PO Box 51, Zeeland, Michigan, USA, 49464-0051, Phone 616.772.2300, Fax 616.772.2966, Email info@theRADIOsource.com

The USA's best known source for Travelers' Information Stations, Highway Advisory Radio & related products/services.


 Trademarks: 2X Signal Booster, ALERT AM Emergency Advisory Radio System, AP55 Digital Message Player, ENcast Emergency Notification Broadcast System, FAS6000 Flashing Beacons & Controller, FASTrack Quick-Erect Sign, Flashing ALERT Sign System, Free-Radiate On-Premise Radio Broadcast System, HearMoreInfo Internet Broadcasts, i.AM.radio , Information Station Specialists, InfoRadio Format, Information Station Classic, Information Station IP, InfOSpot License-Free Radio Station, IP8 Digital Message Player, IP76 Digital Message Player, ITS6000 Highway Advisory Radio Network, LIGHTNING LED Portable Changeable Message Sign, NX8R Digital Message Player, Potential Interference Notification Services (PINS), PowerPlane Flex  Factory-Assembled Groundplane, EventCAST Portable Information Radio Service, RadioSTAT Portable Emergency Advisory Radio Station, Signal Measurement Radio Receiver, SpotCast Internet Broadcast Service, Stealth Sign, StreamCast Internet Broadcast Service, Stylized ISS Logo, SX200 Watt Meter, Talking House , TR6000 HQ5.0 Transmitter, TR6000 15.73 Transmitter, VP9000 Vertical Profile Antenna System, VoiceStar Portable Highway Advisory Radio Station (with our without Changeable Message Sign), Wireless Audio Link.

Information Radio Stations is a generic term synonymous with Travelers Information Stations (TIS), Highway Advisory Radio Stations (HAR) / Highway Information Systems & Low Power Radio Stations (LPR). Operation of the stations is governed by FCC Part 90.242 Rules. A FCC license is required. Information Radio Stations may be fixed or portable. Subcomponents may include transmitter, antenna and ground system, digital voice player, wateter, cabinet with conventional or Corbin locks, lightning arrestors for RF, power and telephone lines, coaxial cable. Most stations employ black maximized antennas to discourage ice accumulation and security measures to prevent unauthorized program access. Options include synchronization, battery backup, solar power, remote programming by local, network or telco, multi-station audio distribution via RF or LAN / WAN or wireless network.