Founded in 1983, Information Station Specialists is the USA's best
known source for Information Radio Stations (TIS/HAR), advisory
the specialized services required to
transmit spoken messages to citizens − the only such source
providing products entirely made in America.
things to consider in setting up an ALERT AM
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: Choose a general location for
On a local
map, find the approximate geographic center of
the listening area you want to cover. The ALERT
AM signal will propagate to a radius of 3-5
miles (25-75 square miles) from this point in
all directions. If this coverage does not
encompass the desired listening area, consult us
regarding adding synchronized
transmitters for your system. See
the Signal Penetration webpage, regarding
in-home/in-vehicle listening parameters.
Step 2: Determine National Weather Service
reception of a National Weather Service channel
(162.400-162.550 MHz) at the desired location.
You can see coverage areas online at
this NOAA web link.
Step 3: Choose a specific antenna
multiple stations are required, select a
specific building or property near the
geographic center for antenna installation.
Consult with us on the proposed location,
before the decision is finalized. We offer the
following antenna installation styles:
Yard Style Installation
(most popular) The equipment is in a building with the
antenna/groundplane system in an adjacent yard.
Advantage: high security. Example:
Installation The equipment and antenna/groundplane
system are on a pole, if there is no building.
Advantage: high flexibility of location.
Requirements for yard and isolated styles: There
should be no underground obstacles or structures
taller than 25 feet in the immediate vicinity of
the antenna and at least a 40x40-foot area of
open ground for pole and groundplane
installation. Make certain 120 volts of AC power
and telephone service or, if remote control via
a network is desired, that network service is
Note: We do not recommend installing antennas
on rooftops or within 50 feet of buildings that
contain electronics because of the potential for
VP9000TM Vertical Profile Antenna
System (an option for either yard or isolated
style) If ground space is at a premium, choose
the optional Vertical
Profile Antenna System (VP9000). Because no
groundplane is required, only one square foot of
open-ground area is needed. All wiring is inside
the pole. The VP9000 is aesthetically pleasing,
highly secure, and is the only antenna solution
that meets hurricane wind standards in all parts
of the United States.
Requirements: pole placement 50+ feet from a
building in grass, dirt or paved areas; no
objects taller than 25 feet in close proximity;
coaxial cable may be buried or strung overhead
to the support pole; pole is set in 6’ post hole
with good earth contact in the lowest 4’ of the
hole. (When used on AM frequencies below 1000
kHz, a 20’ solid groundrod is driven beside the
pole.) Concrete, asphalt or tamped dirt may
surround the pole to 2" below grade to stabilize
An optional 2X Signal BoosterTM offers up to
double the efficiency/range of the station’s
antenna, allowing the transmitter to run at less
wattage or allowing the signal to have twice the
signal intensity at a given distance. It
functions with upper-band (typ:1610-1700)
antennas only and is recommended for federal
government agencies that do not have a signal
intensity limitation; also for any operator in a
challenging environment that requires maximum
signal intensity to cut through woods, buildings
and obstructions. (Note: local government
licensees must seek a waiver of
governing these types of stations to allow a
signal intensity above the standard 2.0 mV/m
Step 4: Conduct a
provide a menu of AM frequencies that meet FCC
separation standards from which to select. We'll
even give you our seasoned recommendation with
suggestions and instructions on how to test them
ahead of time! Make your choice, and we will
prepare and submit to the FCC the application
on your behalf, immediately.
Step 5: Apply for a
and return to us via email or regular post a simple License Application
Questionnaire (download a single station form or
multi-station grouping form), so we may secure
your operating license from the FCC in a timely
manner. The questionnaire requests basic contact
information and details about the proposed
antenna location and frequency chosen for
broadcast, with which we can also assist you.
When we receive your completed questionnaire, we
will prepare the necessary engineering work and
submit your formal application to the FCC for
approval, which often takes a few months. As
part of an overall license package,
handle any additional filings you may require to
get up and running, such as temporary licenses,
minor adjustments and the required FCC
notification that your station has been built.
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 Information Radio station already in that
vicinity might need to change frequency. We can
Step 6: Consider
options you require.
4-day battery backup option to keep the station
on the air during loss of AC power. If the
station is in an unattended location, consider
getting a Power Loss Notification Module.
If you need more coverage than one station can
provide (a 3-5 mile radius from the antenna,
approximately 28-78 square miles),
the GPS Frequency Stabilization option. ALERT AM
synchronization works well with leased land
lines, fiber or wireless audio control. The
Vertical Profile Antenna System is ANSI/TIA
rated to withstand hurricane-force winds as well
as for essential communications in critical
areas where failure of a structure could damage
buildings or present a hazard to life. The 2x
Signal Booster offers up to double the
efficiency/range of the station’s existing
If you want to notify motorists that critical
messages are being broadcast, ask about the
ALERTTM Sign System, which can be triggered via
your community's or agency's own existing 2-way radio systems.
If you want to control your system "drag and
drop" style via a computer interface, yet retain
the ability to have override control via
telephone in an emergency, consider
Audio ControlTM. This option also provides
virtually an unlimited number of messages and
recording time, ideal for creating a large
library of contingency messages. And you can
stream broadcasts via HearMoreInfoSM StreamCastsSM
or broadcast text-based system alerts
our ENcastTM option.
IP-Based Audio Control includes network-based
control of the audio program (with flash-drive
backup) and an audio management software suite.
See a comparison chart of audio control methods
to help you decide which you're most interested
Provide us the following details to receive a precise
Your name, agency, phone and fax numbers; email
address, if desired.
Product name: ALERT AM
Emergency Advisory Radio System.
Installation style: yard or isolated.
Options of interest.
installation or whether you will prepare your
own transmitter site.
Step 8: Choose 'All Hazard'
counties for NOAA warnings.
automatic Emergency Alert System and National
Weather Service warnings and watches from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, consider which counties you
want to have programmed into your system. Consider adjacent counties in the
direction from which weather approaches.
Step 9: Complete a
system configuration form.
sure you might want to purchase an ALERT AM
System, please complete and fax or email us
programming questionnaire, so we can prepare
the system for you.
Step 10: Prepare
your transmitter site.
will not be contracting us for "turnkey"
installation, you may get ready by preparing
your transmitter location yourself. This preparation is
detailed in our instructions manuals for ALERT
Contact Bill Baker to request an
advance copy of your station's manual, which
details exact site preparation procedures. Let
him know you are interested in the ALERT AM
Emergency Advisory Radio System and which
installation style and options most interest
Step 11: Tell
listeners about your station.
important way to let motorists know about the
station is with signs. It's also important to
begin developing other types of communications
(such as refrigerator magnets, news releases and
posters) as soon as you
purchase the system, so listeners can be made
aware as soon as your station becomes
operational. Then continue communicating about
the station at regular intervals throughout each
year — to keep it present in listeners' minds.
We can send examples and templates of these
types of communications on compact
disc at no extra charge.
US Patents: PowerPlane Flex Factory-Assembled Groundplane (5,495,261),
Vertical Profile Antenna System (7,027,008).
Trademarks: 2XTM Signal
Booster, ALERT AMTM
Emergency Advisory Radio System, AP55TM
Digital Message Player, ENcastTM
Emergency Notification Broadcast System, FAS6000TM
Flashing Beacons & Controller, FASTrackTM
Quick-Erect Sign, Flashing ALERTTM
Sign System, HearMoreInfoSM
Internet Broadcasts, Information Station Specialists, InfoRadioTM
Format, Information Station ClassicTM,
Information Station IPTM,
Radio Station, IP8TM Digital
Message Player, IP76TM
Digital Message Player, ITS6000TM
Highway Advisory Radio Network, LIGHTNINGTM
LED Portable Changeable Message Sign, NX8RTM
Digital Message Player, OP2200TM
On-Premise Radio Broadcast System, Potential Interference Notification
ServicesTM (PINS), Power
Loss Notification ModuleTM,
Factory-Assembled Groundplane, PowerSTATTM
Portable Power Source, evINFOSM
Portable Information Radio Service, RadioSTATTM
Portable Emergency Advisory Radio Station, RoadRunnR®
Portable Highway Advisory Radio Station, Signal Measurement RadioTM
Internet Broadcast Service, StealthTM
Sign, StreamCastSM Internet
Broadcast Service, Stylized ISS LogoTM,
SX200TM Wattmeter, TR6000
Vertical Profile Antenna System, VoiceStarTM
Portable Highway Advisory Radio Station (with our without Changeable
Message Sign), Wireless Audio LinkTM.
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.