[Technology] TIS/HAR Stations on AM BCB

spongella

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
May 12, 2012
1,510
1,109
Central NJ
At the top of the AM broadcast band, from 1600 - 1710 KHz, Traveler's Information Stations (TIS) and Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) stations can be found broadcasting local highway information such as traffic, construction, delays, weather, etc. In addition, many communities have set up these stations for the benefit of their residents in the event of an emergency, severe weather, or just routine community announcements. Your city, town, local tourist attraction may have one of these up and running. So if you have an AM radio, even a car radio, try tuning this area of the AM band and you might find one. Most stations will announce their call sign along with location and operating authority (such as the local Office of Emergency Management) to give you an idea of their location.

For AM DX'ers it's an attraction since these stations are limited to a 50 foot antenna and 10 watts. Distant ones will fade in and out as band conditions change. At this location I've logged some from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority, Hillsborough OEM and Manville OEM. Announcements are from robo-human voices, with some actually using real people. Lots of times they'll be rebroadcasting the local NOAA weather station.

Try it while in the car or at home. Fun.

Attached is a pic of the upper end of the BC band using an SDR dongle, SDR#. I zoomed out to spread out the band. Right now on 1700 KHz am hearing a distant female robo-voice very weak, hopefully it'll get strong enough to identify.
 

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jegrant

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 5, 2005
1,204
170
We have one at 530 AM in my neck of the woods, but boy is it super low bandwidth. Almost as bad as XM's 4kbps AMBE(R) traffic channels. Then add AM static and the fact it's fairly low power... I can barely hear it even in the designated coverage area sometimes.
 

Blindowl1234

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 16, 2008
2,034
90
SouthWest Ohio
Got one at 530 and one at 1610 here in greater Cincinnati. As big as our tri state area is they aren't much use for any traffic info. We've got the big changeable signs along most major interstates which are more useful. As far as Dx'ing them here you might as well forget that. Too weak to pick them up.
 

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