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Planning a RadioSAFE System


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The RadioSAFE program is all about large coverage; therefore, the planning process starts with a determination that an open frequency is available at the required location so the RadioSAFE system can operate at its full potential. Then FCC licensing / engineering, equipment procurement and installation can occur.

A RadioSAFE Broadcast System is installed strategically at a central location in the jurisdiction where a building (ideally an Emergency Operations Center) with automatic generator power is available. The electronics are installed inside the building with the antenna system located in an adjacent yard. Installation can be performed by local contractors with locally-supplied, cable and rack cabinet. Or, we offer options in which everything is provided as a turnkey project. Contact Bill Baker to get the process started or to obtain a quote.

RadioSAFE Range Requirements*

• 7-10 mile radius range, 24/7.

• Capability for coverage up to 20 miles in radius under FCC emergency authority.

This broadcast-class facility is licensed to an agency as a Travelers' Information Station under FCC Rules Part 90.242. With FCC emergency authorization, a higher powered AM transmitter may be substituted for the 10-watt transmitter, which can produce a signal coverage area that rivals that of a commercial broadcast station.

The wide-area coverage potential is made possible by an innovative antenna system – the HPR.0990 – which is capable of operating at hundreds of watts in an emergency but can also function at 0-10 watts in compliance with FCC rules (Part 90.242) on a daily basis. A HPR.0990 Antenna can make the transition to high-power operation with no physical modification or re-tuning required. This allows RadioSAFE RSF.500:10X systems to be tested and exercised at lower power as Travelers' Information Stations, so they are ready for high power operation when needed. The antenna system is installed away from obstructions in an open area that affords vertical room for the 50’ antenna and horizontal room for the antenna’s grounding system – comprised of a 25’ or 50' radius groundplane. If horizontal room is not available, a Unirod” groundrod is an option.

The delivered RSF.500.10 package includes the engineering document required to obtain emergency authority from the FCC to initiate high power operation on short notice. It also includes a waiver application for expanded signal intensity limits when operating at 10 watts.

(*) 20-mile radius signal coverage is nominal and presented here for example purposes only. Actual signal range will vary based on antenna mounting position, local ground conductivity, terrain, interference sources and the specific broadcast frequency utilized.

• 7-10-mile radius range, 24/7.

This variation of the RadioSAFE service operates full time at 10 watts – with a FCC waiver to allow expanded field intensity – and is intended for operators in communities that don't require 20 miles of coverage but do require a signal greater range than normally allowed by FCC rules.

RadioSAFE RSF.10X shares the high efficiency HPR.0990 antenna as its centerpiece, so that maximum signal coverage can be produced. The signal radius of 7-10 miles is suitable for many counties and medium-sized cities. Stations can be synchronized in groups to increase the coverage footprint. RadioSAFE RSF.10X systems are provided with a waiver application that requests signal limits that exceed the standard signal level of 2.0 mV/m at .93 mile.

• 3-5 mile radius range, 24/7.
• Capability for future upgrade to RSF.10X  (requires waiver).

RadioSAFE RSF.10L also operates at up to 10 watts but with a signal limitation of 2 mV/m at 0.93 miles. It is intended for compact communities that do not need wide-area coverage. The signal radius of 3-5 miles radius is suitable for most small to medium-sized cities as well as large educational campuses and government facilities.

It is possible to upgrade a RadioSAFE RSF.10L Station to RSF.10X class with the application for a signal waiver if desired at a later date and if spectrum and geography permit.

Like RadioSAFE RSF.10X, RadioSAFE RSF.10L stations can be synchronized in groups to increase the signal coverage footprint.
*These specifications are subject to change without notice.

RadioSAFE system options include various audio management methods and redundancies, antenna grounding and supports, associated signage and installation services. The broadcast program can be linked to IPAWS and/or your Emergency Notification System and can also stream to your website to be monitored on PCs and portable devices. The broadcast antenna is generally installed in a fixed format, though portable antenna systems are possible on a custom basis. Inquire.

Many current Information Radio operators may be able to upgrade an existing station to RadioSAFE status. It may also be possible for certain communities to begin with a more modest RadioSAFE system and upgrade the coverage at a later date. It all depends on your geography and the local frequencies available. Inquire.

We provide all RadioSAFE Systems with 24/7 operational support for the life of the product.
First Steps

It is important to obtain an initial frequency search before undertaking a RadioSAFE project, since adequate frequencies are not universally available. Contact Bill Baker for help determining if a frequency is available and the best configuration for your particular application and to get a quote. See also purchasing options.

A waiver is required for a licensee to exceed the 2.0 mV/m signal level at 0.93 mile on a daily basis. And the use of more than 10 watts requires a waiver and an emergency Special Temporary Authority (STA) from the FCC. The engineering and filing of these documents is a service available from Information Station Specialists.
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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, 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.