June 2019 Issue  
 Publisher:  Information Station Specialists
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High and Outside
FCC Allows Emergency Management Agency to Place Info Radio Antenna on 12-Story Building
OMAHA, NE: They threw out the first pitch at the Men’s College World Series finals Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. Douglas County Emergency Management, which has set up a temporary Information Radio Station at the event this year is pleased that the
The backdrop for TD Ameritrade Park is Omaha's city skyline. Circled area depicts the location of Douglas County's information station.
 FCC didn’t throw out their license application. Why? Because the Agency proposed locating the service more than 200 feet in the air on the roof of a downtown building – more than 150 feet higher than normally allowed by Commission rules.
Setting Up the RadioSTAT Portable
Radio Antenna for the Men’s College World Series
Pictured: Whitney Shipley (left), Assistant Director of the Douglas County EMA; Jim Westcott (right), local Amateur Radio Volunteer
The Agency, which owns a portable RadioSTAT Emergency Radio Station, exercises it each year to provide parking, directions and visitor safety information during the event.

But in past years, the system’s range has been hampered by obstructions. It was decided that the solution would be to rise above them. Because the Agency’s portable license includes a 49-foot antenna height restriction, something extraordinary was required to allow its placement on a 12-story parking garage that overlooks the venue. That something took the form of a Special Temporary Authority (STA) from the FCC that relaxed the height restriction – with the condition that standard signal limitations are maintained. Whitney Shipley, Assistant Director of the Agency observed: “We checked all the usual points around the perimeter of the event and found we had a strong, static-free signal.”

She tells The Source she is pleased that the FCC agreed to play ball.
RadioSTAT Portable Antenna Deployed Atop a Building
Please Don't Go!
Kentucky Emergency Managers Advise When Not to Enter the Interstate
LA GRANGE, KY: Ramp metering controls the rate at which drivers merge onto a busy thoroughfare. But Oldham County Kentucky’s emergency managers are going one step farther by advising motorists when not to enter their busy highway – at all!

The County, adjacent to Louisville, is bisected by Interstate 71, a major commute route into and out of the city. When a major incident backs up I-71 traffic, unaware drivers often inadvertently add to the congestion by entering the fray at one of the County’s four interstate interchanges. Often an emergency is in progress in the interstate corridor and safety officials would prefer that motorists take surface routes to steer clear of the incident while responders are working it. Now, eight wirelessly controlled, solar-powered signs have been installed in advance of the associated entrance ramps to tell people to stay on the surface streets when interstate gridlock sets in.

When activated, the signs’ 12” amber beacons flash to attract attention, while “Stealth Sign” LED displays can be independently selected to advise against going north, south or both north and south.

Designed in coordination with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the unique system is controlled on a VHF radio frequency from the Oldham County Emergency Management 911 Center at La Grange, Kentucky. It may represent the first instance of a local department of emergency management advising drivers on the status of traffic conditions on a federal interstate highway.

NOAA News Is Good News?
New York’s Homeless Weather Radio Station Apparently Scrapes Together Down Payment
NEW YORK, NY:  The city’s Weather Radio Station has been missing for 19 months now. KWO-35, the service on 162.550 MHz that residents of Southern New York and North New Jersey have counted on for weather alerts and forecasts for decades lost its building lease in November 2017 and went silent except for a few brief appearances. The National Weather Service explains that the transmitter was moved twice during the ensuing period, and that finding “possible new locations was challenging.”

Maybe it’s like finding a decent apartment in the city?

Now, the search is apparently over.

After being on the street for an extended period of time, last week the National Weather Service issued a public statement saying that KWO-35 is expected to “return to service in Autumn 2019.”

Observers have commented on the inclusion of the “2019” in the public statement…as if readers might not otherwise be sure they meant this year. Writes one New Jersey Information Radio Station licensee who once relied on the KWO-35 weather broadcasts for emergency alerts, “I will believe it when I see it.”

Despite the understandable cynicism, the National Weather Service statement hits an inspiring note, after all, saying, “If all goes well, we could have the transmitter back sooner than anticipated.”
Part 15 Times 10
New “Range Extender” Product Enlarges Part 15 Coverage Areas
New Range Extender, flanked by
Talking House (iAM) Radio Transmitter
ZEELAND, MI: A decade ago, a decision was made to discontinue a most unique product named the “Range Extender.” This device served to extend the signal coverage of an unlicensed (FCC Part 15) “Talking House” Radio Transmitter from 300 feet to a half mile. Now, by popular demand, Information Station Specialists has brought the Range Extender option back - with a newly designed, professional look, industrial design and an improved antenna format.

Company president Bill Baker showed amateur radio hobbyists one of the first units off the production line at the Hamvention 2019 event last month in Ohio.
“Range Extender (RE 2.5)" is unique in a number of ways,” states Baker. “When paired with a Talking House Transmitter, its cost is a fraction of other Part 15 outdoor systems on the market today. But the main reason it deserved an encore is its exclusive, FCC-approved design that includes coaxial cable.” Cable allows the transmitter and audio gear to be housed in a building or enclosure for safety and convenience with the antenna mounted high on a roof or pole for maximum range.

“The difference between a 300-foot signal and a half-mile signal doesn’t sound like much; but it really is,” asserts Baker. “It’s bigger by a factor of ten.”

Who uses unlicensed AM transmitters in the 21st century? Some common examples include . . .

   * Radio Hobbyists
   * Summer Camps
   * Historic Sites
   * Antique Radio Collectors
   * Public Health (PODs)
   * Visitor Centers

* Churches
* Realty & Developers
* Parks & Wildlife Areas
* Airports - pilot / tower monitoring
* Auto Dealers
* Outdoor Ad Agencies

© 1983-2021 • Information Station Specialists, Inc. • All Rights Reserved
PO Box 51, Zeeland, Michigan, USA, 49464-0051, Phone 616.772.2300, Fax 616.772.2966, Email

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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, 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.