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.
               Information Station Specialists website 
 


The Information Station
 
FCC-Licensed Travelers' Information Station / Highway Advisory Radio
AEL/SEL Category 04AP-09-ALRT  
 
 
Customer Reviews

“We have already gotten many positive and enthusiastic responses. We are very happy we decided to do this!”
Lauren Fenstermacher, Manager
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitor Center Pennsylvania Game Commission
 
“The signal quality is amazing, far better than I thought, with no static. I am very pleased. Thank you, this is an amazing tool!”
Alexander Watson, Regional Naturalist
Minnesota DNR Parks and Trails 
On the Air
First National Network of Info Stations
Customs & Border Protection
CBP installed Information Stations at key land border ports of entry, providing information to approaching motorists with the intention of expediting their passage across the border, i.e., El Paso, Laredo, TX; San Luis, AZ; and Calexico (East), CA. Additional sites are planned.

The stations broadcast time-sensitive messages developed at the local ports of entry, in addition to messages developed at the national level by CBP Headquarters.

Project manager Daniel Piscopo states that the broadcast messages include “how to use high-tech travel cards, information about CBP's Trusted Traveler Programs, basic border crossing rules and regulations, emergency travel information and updates, and border wait times.”

CBP will be able to communicate directly to travelers about how to expedite their border crossing, for example, by broadcasting information about CBP programs such as the Ready Lane — an expedited travel lane for people with radio frequency identification technology enabled cards -- and Trusted Traveler lanes for pre-approved, low-risk travelers.

Radio broadcasts can be heard for several miles around the port.   

Related Links

Download a brochure.

Plan your station

Review technical specifications.

Compare the Information Station to out other licensed systems.

Learn more about this type of radio station per the FCC.

Introduced by the Federal Communications Commission in 1977 as a Travelers' Information Station, the Information Station is now the most installed system of its kind in the United States, with more than a thousand stations licensed to date. Its popularity stems from its versatility and affordability in a package that makes installation and operation simple and seamless.

Today government agencies broadcast information to the public about emergencies, public health, airport security and border control – in addition to conventional traffic, travel and visitor information content.

Information Station Specialists is the sole provider of the Information Station in the United States and offers 24/7 remote technical support for the life of the product. State and local governmental entities may purchase our products without going to bid, if they join the HGACBuy purchasing cooperative as end users. Membership is free. Here's how easy it is to join.

Below we describe the two styles of Information Stations, who commonly operates the stations, licensing, antenna setup methods, what comes standard, options and last but not least ways to acquire a station. At the bottom of the left column, you will find links to technical specifications, planning steps and more.
Two Styles of Information Stations
IP Edition USB Edition
Manage the broadcast program via an Ethernet network or locally using the station’s front-panel controls. In an emergency, message files can be loaded physically via SD card with a USB adapter. The Information Station IP affords full 5000 Hz audio quality plus the convenience of a network-accessible message library. Update the broadcast program from a simple flash drive through the station’s USB port. The USB Edition of the Information Station combines high quality 5000 Hz bandwidth with the convenience and flexibility of flash drive control. The length of the program is only limited by the flash drive size, so virtually any length and number of messages is feasible.
For both editions, audio creation software is provided to allow you to create, edit and process natural voice messages for broadcast. Archive the messages on the PC, laptop or device of your choice for quick call-up.
Plan Your Station / Request a Quote
Contact Bill Baker to help plan the best configuration for your setting and to get a quote. See Typical Planning Steps for planning an Information Station.
Who Operates Information Stations
North Fork Fire Department Sundance, UT
Federal, state and local governmental entities can license Information Stations to broadcast noncommercial voice programming related to travel, public safety, visitor/tourism historical/interpretive or emergencies.(Click here to learn more about permitted broadcast content.)

The primary audience? Motorists in a 3-5-mile radius area. Operators commonly include . . .
  • Federal, state and local agencies, e.g., cities and counties use Information Stations for public affairs, public health and emergency management.
  • Recreation areas and historic sites commonly uses these systems for visitors. The National Park Service is among the first proponents of Information Station technology and is the largest nationwide user of these systems fororientation and interpretive applications. (Listen to what interpreters across the country say about how and why they operate Information Stations. Request a free Making Waves program on CD produced by Oregon State University. See a list of National Parks that have used Information Stations over the years.)
  • Points of entry (airports, borders ports).
  • Universities and colleges for parking, security and venue information.
See user case studies.
Frequency and Licensing
The FCC grants to government entities licenses on available AM frequencies on a first-come-first-served basis, secondary to commercial broadcast stations. In 1991, the Commission opened to Information Stations all frequencies in the 530-1700 band, subject to separation requirements. Information Station Specialists can help identify the optimal frequency at your location and will apply for your station’s FCC license.
Antenna Styles
The two most common formats:
  1. Yard Style:  The Information Station may be installed at a building with the electronics securely indoors and the antenna pole mounted in the adjacent yard, connected by an underground cable. This style is recommended because it is most economical and affords the greatest security for equipment. A 50’ separation from buildings is recommended.
  2. Isolated Style:  At remote locations where there is no building, a weatherproof cabinet containing the electronics is attached to the antenna support pole. The location must have electrical power and, if equipment is to be remotely controlled, telephone, two-way or network service..
If a yard- or isolated-style installation is not possible, a custom installation on a building roof is possible in some instances. Lateral separation of the antenna from large, nearby objects by at least the height of the object is suggested to prevent signal degradation An Information Station can be installed by the buyer, his agent or as a service of Information Station Specialists. Included in the package is the FCC type-accepted transmitter, digital message system, cabinets, antenna, factory-assembled groundplane, lightning arrestors, cables, connectors, mounts, hardware and illustrated instructions. Options include . . .
  • HQ5.1 broadcast quality audio processor for increased audio quality, intelligibility and range.
  • Flashing ALERT Signs with remote-controlled flashing beacons may be installed to notify motorists of the station’s signal at key locations along streets.
  • Vertical Profile Antenna Support and Grounding System allows the antenna system to be located in tight spaces – the yard of a building, for example – with the station’s electronics inside the building for security. No horizontal groundplane is required. VP.9000 is compliant with hurricane wind standards for shoreline and critical installations.
  • StreamCASTnetwork audio interface allows streaming of the broadcast program directly to smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs. Listeners gain access to the stream by merely scanning a QR tag or by clicking a unique link on your (or a special HearMoreInfo) website.
  • Broadcast Quality Audio Processor for increased audio quality, intelligibility and range.
  • Signal Measurement Radio Receiver allows you to measure the Information Station’s signal intensity and verify compliance with FCC signal limits.
  • ENcast automatically converts text-based alerts from your compliant emergency notification system into voice audio and interrupts the standard program to broadcast them over the Information Station.
  • Cell Modem for remote system control, when a wired network is not available.
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for backup for momentary power interruption or when generator starts in a power outage.
  • Outdoor Electronics Enclosure of weatherproof, gasketed, NEMA4 steel construction. It is pole or wall mountable (includes wood pole mount). Can be used indoors or outdoors. Its back panel has wiring harness, local test phone. Includes AC-terminal block and power-surge arrestor. Pad-lockable design.
  • Message Recording Services.
Details about the above options are available on our Technical Specifications webpage.
Planning & Purchasing
See Typical Planning Steps for the Information Station and/or contact Bill Baker for assistance in planning the best configuration for your setup. Bill can then provide a formal quote. See optional methods of purchasing.

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


As you would expect, Information Station Specialists provides a full menu of technical services to help you put and keep ALERT AM system on the air. We are here to help, even with professionally recorded audio messages, so your broadcasts are ready to air as soon as your station is turned on.

Best of all, each system comes with
Remote Technical Support for the life of the station.
Your information. Your station. Our dedication.
   
ABOUT PRODUCTS RESOURCES SERVICES SITE INDEX
Contacts All Products at a Glance Alert Stations across the USA Customer Support Policy Site Map
Customer Support Policy For Emergencies Case Studies FCC Frequencies & Licenses
Founding & Firsts For Health Applications FAQs Installation, Testing, Training
Privacy Policy For Highways FCC-Permitted Broadcasts Professional Recordings
For Visitor Information Glossary of Radio Terms Purchase Options
  For Other Common Applications News from The Source Rentals  
For License-Free Stations Operators' Zone Streaming
  Why Customers Say They Buy


©  1983-2020  • Information Station Specialists, Inc. •  All Rights Reserved
PO Box 51, Zeeland, Michigan, USA, 49464-0051, Phone 616.772.2300, Fax 616.772.2966, Email Form

The USA's best known source for information radio station equipment, related products and technical services.


 Trademarks: 2X Signal Booster, ALERT AM Emergency Advisory Radio System, ANXX AM Radio Antenna, AP55 Digital Message Player, ENcast Emergency Notification Broadcast System, FAS6000 Flashing Beacons & Controller, FASTrack Quick-Erect Sign, FlashCAST Internet Broadcast Service, Flashing ALERT Sign System, FlexPlane Factory-Assembled Groundplane, Free-Radiate On-Premise Radio Broadcast System, HearMoreInfo Internet Broadcasts, HPR0990 High Performance Antenna, i A.M. Radio Transmitter, Information Station Specialists, InfoRadio Format, Information Station Classic, Information Station IP, InfOSpot License-Free Radio Station, IP8 Digital Message Player, IP76 Digital Message Player, ITS6000 Highway Advisory Radio Network, LIGHTNING LED Portable Changeable Message Sign, NX.8.R Digital Message Player, EventCAST Portable Information Radio Service, RadioSAFE Wide Area Emergency Broadcast System, RadioSTAT Portable Emergency Advisory Radio Station, Severe Storm Detector, Signal Measurement Radio Receiver, Stealth Sign, StreamCAST Internet Broadcast Service, SS3000 Free-Standing AM Radio Antenna System with Tower, Stylized ISS Logo, SX200 Wattmeter, Talking House AM Radio Transmitter, TR6000 Transmitter Model HQ5.0, TR6000 Transmitter Model 15.73, VoiceStar Portable Highway Advisory Radio Station (with or without Changeable Message Sign), VP9000 Vertical Profile Antenna Support and Grounding System, Wireless Audio Link.

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.