Information Station Specialists is the best known source of traveler's information stations, highway advisory radio, advisory signs and services needed to reach motorists. Learn more about Information Station Specialists.
     
 
The Information StationTM
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Travelers Information Station / Highway Advisory Radio

Information Station Electronics Enclosure
ENcastTM
Clients with compliant Emergency Notification Systems (ENS) may link their Information Stations via ENcast and broadcast alert notifications over the air.
AEL/SEL Category 04AP-09-ALRT
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Minneopa State Park 
“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 | Parks and Trails  
 
Customs & Border Protection Deploys 1st National Network of Info Stations
Customs & Border Protection Entry Point
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 (TIS), 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.

Two models are available to meet your needs – IP and Classic. 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.
Two Stations
Information Station IPTM Information Station ClassicTM
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

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 program on CD produced by Oregon State University. Just email your name and postal address to info@theRADIOsource.com; be sure to mention the program title Making Waves.

See a list of National Parks that have used Information Stations over the years.

Frequency and Licensing
Vail, Colorado, Police Department
Uses Twin Information Stations
Vail, Colorado, TIS Operator

Photos courtesy of
Jennifer Kirkland, Vail, CO

The stations are strategically positioned to cover local streets and the I-70 corridor, as it travels through the well-known resort community. The programming is managed by computer and is distributed to the stations across the city’s fiber optic system. Vail Public Safety Communications Center Interim Director Jennifer Kirkland praises the Information Station: “The system is extremely beneficial to our guests and citizens, as it provides up-to-date, recorded information that is useful and valuable."      
Vail, Colorado, TIS Sign

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

See a Yard-Style Illustration.

See a VP9000 Yard-Style Illustration.

See an Isolated-Style Illustration.

Equipment Array  
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 SignsTM with remote-controlled flashing beacons may be installed to notify motorists of the station’s signal at key locations along streets.
  • VP9000TM 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 BoosterTM 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.
  • HQ5.1 broadcast quality audio processor for increased audio quality, intelligibility and range.
  • Workstation Audio ControlTM may be optioned for the Information Station Classic to provide onscreen PC-based program control.
  • StreamCastsSM This 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 HearMoreInfoSM) website..
  • Signal Measurement Radio ReceiverTM allows you to measure the Information Station’s signal intensity and verify compliance with FCC signal limits.
  • ENcastTM 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.
Details about the above options are available on the Technical Specifications webpage.
Travelers Information Station Antenna at Entrance to Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park's TIS Antenna 
Complete Package

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 (PINS) for the life of the station.

The Information Station may be purchased “sole source,” or specifications can be provided for agency bid procurements. Lease-to-own terms are also available. Inquire for details.

Your information. Your station. Our dedication.

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