On February 5 1948 WDTR began official broadcasting. With 2,000 watts of effective power the station was mostly limited to Detroit and its nearest suburbs. WDTR was listener-supported and non-commercial, broadcasting mostly classical music, jazz and educational content. By 2003 the facility was abandon, and from what I can gather they sold their licence to another station that still holds the 90.9 MHz frequency.

I went to the site looking for a relic or image to respond to through this project and found these plastic flowers. Initially I considered an alternative image, but these the flowers felt more symbolically relevant than other content discovered.

In studio I decoded the image through PD240 Slow Scan TV (SSTV) into an audio output. SSTV is a common method of image transmission for Amateur radio hobbyists and has been in use since the late 80s. I then built a transmitter with an audio looper embedded, playing the decoded image as audio over FM Radio.

On February 25 2023 WDTR made its final transmission at a mere 7 watts. I installed the battery-operated transmitter on the roof of the building, it probably ran for 5-8 hours. I walked away from the abandon facility with an FM receiver and recorded the transmissions as they decayed with distance and interference.

Thanks Ena for the pic.