Re-purpose That Dish!





you have gone through your "New Customer" discount period with your satellite TV provider and you two have parted ways. Now you have that ugly post in your yard with the dish antenna stuck on top and you call the company to ask when they will come and take it away because you saw them put it in and so you know that there is concrete just below the surface holding the thing in the ground. The perky little guy or gal on the phone tells you, "Oh, that is yours. We do not want it so you can do whatever you want with it."

What do you do? Well, I have a suggestion; actually two suggestions, neither of which will involve digging or concrete, so proceed on and through the magic of digital photography I will be more than happy to share.

Step 1: The DISH

I do not have a surviving picture of what was there on the last day of Direct TV at our house, but I am pretty sure you have a clear idea of the obnoxious thing that was in our yard. Rosie, my wife and all 'round nice lady, did not like it before it was erected, but since the alternative was holes in the roof of our house, she finally agreed that we should take advantage of the generous discounts from the provider. That was over two years ago, so our discounts ran out and we became "Born Again New Customers" of AT&T that does not use satellites since they are in the telephone business. Of course, AT&T has bought Direct TV now, so......that is another story for the future!

I began to think about what to do with this ugly monster sculpture and came upon the idea that the dish part of it would make an excellent wading pool for the critters that grace us with their presence every day. All kinds of birds and small mammals frisk and flutter about and on a hot day, the bird bath in the yard has a waiting line. There was a small pile of broken concrete and rocks and even some broken tile that was left from construction that made a perfect support for the dish. Using the debris, I fashioned a "nest" for the dish once I removed it from the "sculpture" by removing the bolts that were holding it up. The dish antenna is neither complicated nor hidden, so this was an easy task. I used the bolts that I removed to seal the holes in the disk with a piece of rubber.

I had two pipes in the backyard that drain rain water from the gutters all around the house and that was a perfect place for the "nest" and for the satellite dish to take advantage of rain to help keep the wading pond refreshed. I used a carpenter's level to make sure the dish was both stable and level to contain the maximum amount of water. The constant gentle slope of the dish provides the birds with a perfect place to splash about but still not be vulnerable by getting their feathers too wet. This has turned out to be a very popular spot and has even caused a few confrontations among the critters using it.

Step 2: The Post

I then turned back to the post sticking up in Rosie's garden and spent several hours looking at it and thinking about what I could do with the mechanism that until recently had held the dish antenna. With the help of a hacksaw and a set of wrenches, I found that I could rearrange the parts of the adjustment components of the support so that I could bolt a piece 2"x 8" board in a horizontal position to form a shelf. The old adjustment mechanism even served as an adjustment to make sure the board was level. One end of the shelf was just right for a small dish that we had from a broken garden decoration and it even had a little bird statue on it. The other end of the board had room for one of those cute little bird houses that Rosie buys at the farmer's market and craft shows. We even had a hanging feeder to suspend from the house end of the board.

Well, that is it and even though I did not go into detail, I suspect detail is not necessary for such a simple project. The idea is the value. Enjoy your creation.



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3 Discussions

Pat D

2 years ago

The board is pressure treated, Bobo, and with the air circulating around it freely I will be rotting before the board does I suspect.


2 years ago

Maybe you should paint or treat that wood somehow, to slow down rot. Looks like you're in a fairly damp area, so that board might start to decay pretty quickly.


2 years ago

Yay for you! I love hearing a disconnect story. ☺