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.
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The Source Highlights 
Special Event Application Highlights
Finishing Strong
Special Event Radio Stations Mitigate Communication
Snafu's for Major Venues
Queens Cup steeplechase
Riders in Queen's Cup Steeplechase near Charlotte, NC. 
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Steeplechase Foundation 
CHARLOTTE, NC:  The 2022 Queen's Cup Steeplechase Race was a thundering success for the horses and jockeys and almost all of the patrons. But an unexpected cellular network overload made it obvious to organizers and safety officials that when that element stumbles out of the gate, it can take a lot down with it.

“The outage caused an emergency issue for medical and fire apparatus just with getting people onto the race grounds,” Chairman Bill Price told The Source. “The 2022 event became a traffic nightmare.”

Incoming patrons count on their GPS systems for directions and can become disoriented if that service would be disrupted. So this year, event organizers will operate an EventCAST Radio System on 1620 AM in parallel with their other communication systems to make sure everyone is on the same page, no matter what.

Price stated, “With a 3-mile radius, the EventCAST station will be a great way to communicate a variety of things to patrons that will make their trip in and their access to the gate easier.”

Virtually everyone has a car radio right in front of them, which allows attendees across a spectrum of technical abilities to receive parking, traffic and event background information in advance of their arrival.

The EventCAST System can also be employed to transmit live public address audio during an event. The Queen's Cup will broadcast the call of the races and will have the capability to make instant announcements if needed. The nearby Town of Mineral Springs, North Carolina, will hold the FCC license for the radio service.
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Motor City Concert Venues Greet & Guide Guests
Music Theater Crowd313 Entertainment, which manages Pine Knob and two other amphitheaters in the greater Detroit area, in 2022 provided three separate EventCAST Systems for concert attendees on 1640 AM in cooperation Oakland County Emergency Management. 2022 was the 50th anniversary of the Pine Knob Music Theater, where the radio service was used to set the theme for their summer of celebration.

If an emergency (traffic, cellular, safety, severe weather, etc.) were to occur at an event, EventCAST Systems provide an efficient way to apprise patrons, who can be instructed what to do, and especially how to make an orderly exit. Emergency messages can be kept on hand for instant insertion and broadcast by security personnel.

See also the story " Lightfest Adds Soundtrack in Wayne County, Michigan, to Direct Thousands through a Mega Light Display."
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Safety:  a Fair Question
Texas State Fair Cowboy StatueDALLAS, TX:  On October 19, 2012, visitors to the Texas State Fair watched in disbelief as their historic 5-story talking mascot caught fire before their eyes. “Big Tex,” the Fair’s gargantuan greeter and personified public address system, had experienced an electrical fire that forced him into early retirement at age 60.

The same year, the State Fair launched an Information Radio Service whose parallel job it is to welcome and inform patrons – though over a much larger area. The 1650 kHz signal is heard all around downtown Dallas each summer and fall. The “howdy pardner” style broadcast directs motorists to available parking lots and suggests efficient travel routes in a distinctly urban environment.

The next summer the Fair made their broadcast antenna and their FCC license permanent, expanding the operation dates to coincide with "Summer Adventures at Fair Park," which runs through August.

The Texas event joins the South Carolina and Kentucky State Fairs, which have employed Information Radio Stations in the recent past, to prepare patrons with event parking and traffic info, as they approach the state fairgrounds. Should visitors be required to exit parking lots due to an emergency, the service can become a critical conduit for public safety information for motorists in harm’s way who might be required to take alternate routes or who could become gridlocked.

Large gatherings, including major golf tournaments and music festivals, have provided this service to visitors in the past, and so have smaller ones. In June 2013, the Douglas County (Nebraska) Department of Emergency Management employed a portable Information Radio Station to inform and advise 30,000 visitors at the College World Series games in Omaha. Allegan County, Michigan’s Department of Emergency Management provides a similar service to alleviate traffic congestion at an annual music festival "Birthday Bash," which draws 70,000 people. The Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, reaches out to its 150,000 attendees using the EventCAST Radio Station
 (rental) provided by Information Station Specialists.

Meanwhile, the Texas State Fair continues to upgrade and enlarge their Information Radio Service for patrons. And Big Tex has returned too – with all new wiring – to keep guests informed and safe and providing them an occasional "howdy" along the way.

See also the article "South Florida Fair Answers with Special Radio Frequency for "Patron Communication."
Annual Hamvention Event Uses Radio Broadcasts to Counter Congestion
XENIA, OH:  Like a match made in – well, Ohio – Amateur Radio and Information Radio were on display at the same venue in 2018. The Amateur Radio “Hamvention,” that happened near Dayton, Ohio, utilized an Information Radio Station on AM 1620 as a new tool to push out traffic, parking and event details to attendees, as they approached the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. The service has since been used at the national event..
HAM operator
Portola Valley, CA's, Amateur Radio Operator
Mark Bercow (W6MSB) at Work
Courtesy of Portola Valley Radio Club
Perhaps it’s good that Xenia’s name means “hospitality,” because the town braced to host an influx of nearly 30,000 “HAM” radio operators – roughly doubling its population for the weekend. Due to the web of two-lane roads that served the venue, a shuttle-bus operation was set up to alleviate traffic congestion. Helping people understand the need to park at the special shuttle lots and how to find them was a key goal of the new radio service.

The Information Radio signal blanketed Xenia and 3-5 miles into surrounding Greene County, Ohio, directing approaching motorists to the five special park-and-ride facilities.

Hear an example recorded at Orlando's Hamcation Amateur Radio Convention in 2022.  
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Nation's Grand Prix Road Race Acquires Info Radio Station
Mark Smith Long Beach Grand Prix 1993 Indy car race CART
The Grand Prix of Long Beach course was comprised of streets near the City's convention center.  Photo Cheryl Day Anderson, CC BY-SA 3. via Wikimedia Commons
LONG BEACH, CA: Event planners and city officials are taking a victory lap after the success of their new information radio service that debuted at this year’s Grand Prix in April. The Nation’s longest running road race regularly draws more than 200,000 spectators to the IndyCar course comprised of city streets near the City's convention center. The upshot: locals need to know which streets are closed or re-purposed and suggested alternate routes; visitors are hungry for parking and event information; should schedules be disrupted by weather or a security issue, everyone needs to know how to conduct an orderly evacuation and other safety information.

“It worked perfectly,” stated Director of Operations Dwight Tanaka, unequivocally. “The City was very pleased.”

Echoing Tanaka’s assessment, Long Beach’s Wireless Communications Manager John Black added, “The system was an excellent investment. The coverage was phenomenal and it’s absolutely unbelievable that a 10-watt station can be heard nearly 6 miles away in an urban environment with many tall buildings.

Hear the Grand Prix of Long Beach broadcast message.

The Long Beach station was licensed to broadcast on the frequency 1680 kHz for the 2015 event. Attendees learned about the radio frequency by encountering trailer-mounted changeable message signs that were positioned on incoming routes. The signal was delivered by a RadioSTAT portable station. According to Black, the City is making arrangements to use the service for other events throughout the year.
 
     
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Information Radio Station is a generic term synonymous with Travelers Information Station (TIS), Highway Advisory Radio (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, wattmeter, 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.