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Old WDTR Tower gone

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Art Van Damme
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Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by Art Van Damme » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:41 pm

FYI: Passed by Lawton St the other week and noticed the old WDTR tower was gone. The transmission line support was gone, too. Building is still there. Some signs are still there. That building had quite a storied history. Thought I saw a video on YouTube of someone going through it some time ago.

Wasn’t that WTVS’s first studio and possibly first transmitter site? There was a small tower on the building itself. I think it still might have had a couple FM antennas
on it.



Arthur Mometer
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Re: Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by Arthur Mometer » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:11 am

9345 Lawton Ave. ERP 178 kW HAAT 540 feet. History Card.

http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/c ... r_id=84325

Still on VFR Map. Move over, zoom in.

http://vfrmap.com/?type=vfrc&lat=42.212 ... 53&zoom=10


"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

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k8jd
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Re: Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by k8jd » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:09 pm

I was in that building, some years ago, doing some long overdue maintainance on the Detroit Schools security radio system. I had to walk past some of the original TV transmitting equipment. Also a working studio for the FM station that is probably a back-up for the new broadcast facility in Wixom !
What an interesting collection of stuff left to get dusty there.
I believe the FM transmitter is now at the WWJ TV tower off 8 mile road.
Don't know where the Security radio system (8 UHF repeaters and a controller for trunking) is located now the tower is gone.



Arthur Mometer
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Re: Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by Arthur Mometer » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:45 am



"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

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"Lies have to be repeated and repeated to be believed. Truth stands on its own merit."

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MWmetalhead
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Re: Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:35 am

I can still see a tripod-like broadcast tower from the Lodge when driving inbound each morning in the vicinity of Forest and Cass.

I presume what I'm seeing is the Wayne State-owned TX site that WGPR (Hot 107.5) uses?

Was WDTR (the present day WRCJ) on that structure or a different one? I remember a building on Woodward Ave with a tower on its roof and big "W D T R" letters.


Jackie Green is single-handedly ruining WLAV!

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SolarMax
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Re: Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by SolarMax » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:04 am

There are two self-supporting towers visible from the Lodge. The one at Cass and Canfield is WDET's site. I don't think there are any other users on it.
The tower atop the Maccabees Building holds WGPR FM and some other non-broadcast services. WSU owns the building; I don't know if it actually owns and leases out the tower.
WDTR 90.9 was at the Lawton Ave. site, which was also the original transmitter site (not production) for WTVS 56 before it went to the WKBD tower on 11 Mile Rd. in '68 or '69. During the time that the Maccabees Building was owned by DPS, it had the H*** WDTR sign, even though no station facilities were then ever in the building. The sign was "WXYZ" through the 50s when they were in there, and "WDET" for many years (now says "Wayne State University").

I have been in the Lawton building, though it's been well over a decade. The FM transmitter for what was WDTR and became WRCJ, was in use at that time. The only TV transmitting gear left there was for DPS' old ITFS (2500MHz) System that transmitted programming direct to schools (antennas were on that tower). DPS had its own monochrome production studio in the building into the '70s. The old equipment, both TV and radio, was simply left in the building when DPS, under State of Michigan control, vacated the building. It was all long-obsolete and mostly non-working gear that truly had no further use, except maybe to a few collectors. The YouTube videos I've seen are mostly "ruin porn," with a lot of wrong information and conclusions about the building and its use.
WRCJ's studio origination is not at DPTV-Wixom. It is inside the Detroit School of Arts, just west of Orchestra Hall. WRCJ now transmits from a side mount on the 8 Mile/Meyers tower, moved a couple of years ago.



Arthur Mometer
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Re: Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by Arthur Mometer » Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:20 pm

How tall are the remaining towers at the WRCJ site? Are they registered? I couldn't find them using the ASRN site. Only a short 135 foot pole. When they demolished Genesee Towers, the two old supporting towers of the WFDF Hammock antenna on top of the Mott Foundation Building, used as the Main antenna from 1930 to 1941, and the AUX until 1952, had to be lighted within 30 days. To my knowledge, they never were lighted before, due to old regulations not requiring it.


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"Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

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SolarMax
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Re: Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by SolarMax » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:37 pm

As mentioned at the top, it appears that the tall tower (ex-WDTR, ex-WTVS)on the site has been taken down. I don't remember its height, may have been 600' or so.
There was, might still be, a short guyed tower on top of the Lawton building, probably the 135' you mentioned. Last time I saw it there was still a 4-bay horizontally polarized FM antenna on the top pylon, which might have held the original WDTR main or Aux antenna. Also on the same rooftop was a short frame structure that held a couple of large microwave dishes. These were probably the STLs by which WTVS received live and recorded feeds from its production partners, U of D and Wayne State University.



Arthur Mometer
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Re: Old WDTR Tower gone

Post by Arthur Mometer » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:25 pm

The tower that was taken down was 541 feet according to the VFR Aeronautical Map. The HAAT was 538 feet.

Here is the WDTR/WRCJ History Card. They were originally proposed for the 42-50 MHz band but it looks like it was modified before it went on the air. There is a 140 foot HAAT facility shown at some point. I'll also post the WTVS History Card later, as they probably used the same tower for both. The HAAT and possibly the tower height may be shown.

I don't know how many of you have looked at the History Cards, but they are interesting, but often hard to read and figure out. The Microfiche contrast varies considerably. They may need digital contrast enhancement to read some of the data, which might actually change some digits, like 5 and 6. The types of information vary considerably from card to card, and the detail varies greatly, particularly the AM station History Cards.

https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/ ... r_id=70238

Combining information from the Emporis site, it appears that the old WFDF support towers are 240 feet AGL, about 15 feet higher than the Elevator/Physical Plant Penthouse of the Mott Foundation Building. Apparently when an umbrella lighted antenna tower is taken down, the sheltered lower antenna towers nearby need to be reconsidered for lighting and registration. But I don't think a 135 foot tower would need to be registered yet, even if it apparently is registered.


"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

"Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

"Lies have to be repeated and repeated to be believed. Truth stands on its own merit."

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