What to do with an old TV satellite dish, rather than just going to the scrap metal bin? I’d been thinking about it for a while: just orient it 90 degrees or so and it would make a great bird bath, and using the arm and LNB housing it could even have a shower attachment! It sits on a 5 gallon bucket as a reservoir, and the water is circulating so there shouldn’t be any issues with mosquitos.

MATERIALS

Satellite dish
Electric submersible pump
Hose to fit pump
Spray paint
Overflow tube I used a snap-off extension nipple used with ground lawn sprinklers.
Cable tie aka tie wrap or zip tie
Plastic bucket, 5gal
Spray nozzle I got one from another
pump set.

TOOLS

Flat blade screwdriver
Phillips screwdriver
Pocketknife
Hacksaw
Electric drill with stepped drill bit
Level, 36″
Respirator with combination HEPA / chemical cartridges

 

1. PREP THE DISH

Find the center of the dish, mark it, and drill a hole to fit your overflow tube.

2. DISASSEMBLE THE LNB

Disassemble the LNB with a blade screwdriver and pocketknife.
Remove the feed horn and amplifier. The bracket holding the LNB was screwed together with two Phillips screws.

3. PAINT

Parts were all spray painted with about 1/2 a can of paint. The brand I use is Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover. It has stood the test of time (decades) on many of my outdoor projects.

 

4. MEASURE THE OVERFLOW TUBE

Put the overflow tube in the drilled hole. Then place the level across the dish, mark the tube where the level is, and cut it off below that, so the bird bath won’t overflow.

 

5. ASSEMBLY

Attach the pump adapter and nozzle to the hose. Thread the hose through the LNB and set the nozzle just a bit inset from the edge, then secure the hose in place with narrow tie wrap. Clip the LNB housing back together, then attach it back into its mounting bracket. Thread the hose down the arm and then attach the mounting bracket to the dish arm.

The hose then attaches to the pump and is put into the 5gal bucket filled with water. I had to slightly modify the bucket so that the satellite mounting bracket would fit level on it.

6. TEST IT

Fill the dish with water to just below the overflow opening. Make sure the bucket and dish assembly is on a level surface such as a deck or patio.

Using an extension cord plugged into a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) socket, plug the pump cord into the extension cord and enjoy your bird bath.