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.
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ITS6000TM Planning Steps
Highway Advisory Radio Range Map

Below are things to consider in setting up an ITS6000 HAR service in your area. Feel free to email us for personal planning assistance (or call Bill Baker at 616.772.2300 Ext 102). We have a network of representatives across the country; and, after initial brainstorming, we can put you in touch with one in your area who can visit your site(s), help test frequencies and find the best antenna location(s) — even install the system — whatever is needed.
Step 1: Order a frequency search.
To order a frequency search, just email us the general area where the radio station(s) might be located. The per-location cost includes the license-application work, once you decide to move forward. We will develop a list of AM frequencies available and send them to you with our suggestions and instructions on how to monitor them. See cost and other details for FCC services on this webpage.
Step 2:  Survey onsite listening.
Survey the highways where listening is required with an automobile digital AM radio tuned to your candidate frequencies. Monitor all the candidate frequencies throughout the listening area at least once during daylight hours and once after dark. Report your results to us on this frequency-monitoring form. (See why nighttime monitoring is important in this TechTalk article.)
Step 3:  Choose a general location for coverage.
On a local map, find the approximate geographic center of the listening area you want to cover. The HAR signal will propagate to a radius of 3-5 miles from this point in all directions. If this coverage does not encompass the highways that require coverage, consult with us regarding adding satellite stations.

If a specific highway or intersection is critically important to cover, consider locations within ½ mile. Mark the map to show the area within which the antenna should be located to meet your coverage goals. Consider where signs will be placed to announce to motorists entering the area that the signal is available.

NOTE: We do not recommend installing antennas on rooftops or within 50 feet of buildings that contain electronics because of the potential for interference and equipment damage. This does not apply to non-building oriented situations such as isolated-style installations in which a cabinet with the electronic equipment is attached to the antenna support pole.
Step 4:  Determine your desired 'All Hazard' warning coverage area.
Verify reception of a National Weather Service channel (162.400-162.550 MHz) at the desired location. See coverage areas online at this NOAA web link.
Step 5:  Choose a specific antenna location.
For best coverage, the immediate location should be free of objects that exceed 25 feet (about 2 stories.) This includes tall buildings, trees, terrain features, lighting, power and communication poles and towers, overpasses and highway signs. Make certain 120VAC power and telephone service are available at the site and that there is a 40'-by-40' area of open ground for cabinet and antenna installation. A conventional, vertical profile or super antenna system may be used. Consult us for assistance.
Step 6:  Complete the FCC License Application Questionnaire.
Complete a FCC License Questionnaire found on this webpage that gives us the information needed to prepare and submit the 10-year FCC license application on your behalf. On the questionnaire, you will be asked to provide information on your antenna operating area, your frequency choice and required names and addresses. The FCC typically takes 3 to 6 months to process authorize it. While waiting for the 10-year license to be granted, you may procure the equipment and build the station, if you wish.

IMPORTANT: You must have a FCC license in hand to operate; the station must be on the air within 12 months of the license grant date, or the authorization will expire. Special Temporary Licenses (STA) might also be available from the FCC, if immediate operation is required.

NOTE 1: Because FCC processing time is unpredictable, we recommend you request licensing and other FCC documentation services as soon as you know for sure you will have a station – definitely no later than when you place your radio equipment order.

NOTE 2: The FCC considers 10-year, renewable licenses for Information Radio Stations secondary to full-power broadcast stations. This means, that in a rare situation in which a full-power station might move into a given area, an advisory radio station already in that vicinity might need to change frequency. We can assist.
Step 7:  Consider equipment, options and services you will need.
Many options are available to customize the HAR for your application:

Consider, for example, extra backup batteries so each station remains operational if AC power goes out. If the station is in an unattended location, also consider getting a Power Loss Notification Module.

If you want to notify motorists that critical messages are being broadcast, ask about the FAS6000 Flashing Beacons and Flash Controller for highway signs that may be triggered via pager or two-way radio.

Phone-based NX8RTM audio control is standard. You might want to consider IP76TM for added flexibility.

If vandalism is an issue, our VP9000TM Vertical Profile Antenna System is an option.

If more than one station is needed, GPS Frequency Stabilization to minimize interference among satellite stations.

Consider whether you need a Signal Measurement Radio ReceiverTM for ensuring FCC compliance of your signal long term.

And you can stream broadcasts via HearMoreInfoSM StreamCastsSM or broadcast text system alerts automatically via our ENcastTM option.

Planning assistance is free. Email (or call 616.772.2300 x102) us. We can provide a formal quotation. Just let us know:

√ Your name, agency, phone and fax numbers, email address, if desired.
√ Product name: ITS6000 Highway Advisory Radio Network.
√ Options desired.
Step 8:  Prepare your transmitter site.
We provide detailed, illustrated instructions on how to prepare your transmitter site, based on the antenna system you choose. This allows you to prepare the site yourself; subcontract the work; or, if you prefer, request a quote for installation services for your configuration.
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