Satellite Bird Bath/Pond and an Update

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About: museum visit pic

What to do with an old TV Satellite Dish? Make a "Satellite" Bird Bath with Spray. I had an old satellite dish that needed to be repurposed, rather then just going to the scrap metal bin.

Step 1: Materials Required

Satellite dish, electrical submersible pump, hose to fit pump, spray paint, overflow tube ( I used a extension piece used for in ground lawn sprinklers) not pictured 5 gallon plastic bucket, spray nozzle that came from another pump set

Step 2: Tools Used

Flat blade screwdriver, Philips screwdriver, pocket knife, hacksaw, electric drill, stepped drill bit, a 3 foot level, respirator with combination HEPA / Chemical cartridges.

Step 3: Construction

Find the center of the dish, mark it and drill appropriate size hole for your overflow tube that you are going to use

Step 4: Construction Cont. Disassembly

Disassemble the LNB with blade screwdriver and pocket knife. Remove the feed horn and amplifier and keep for a future project. The bracket holding the LNB was screwed together with two Philips screws.

Step 5: Construction Cont. Painting

Parts were spray painted. It only took about 1/2 a can of paint. The brand of paint I used is great, I've used other spray paints from them over the years on outside applications and they stand the test of time (decades). I paid for the paint and I just think they have a superior product. No endorsement implied.

Step 6: Construction Cont, Measuring Height of Overflow Tube.

I put the overflow tube in the drilled hole, using the level I marked where the level is and cut it off below that so that the Bird bath wouldn't over flow.

Step 7: Assembly

I attached the pump adapter and nozzle to the hose. I then threaded the hose through the LNB, set the nozzle just a bit inset from the edge, the hose is then held in place with narrow Ty rap, clip the LNB housing back together. Then attach the LNB back into the 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 filled (with water) 5 gallon bucket. I had to slightly modify the bucket so that the Satellite mounting bracket would fit level on the bucket.

Step 8: Testing and Checkout

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. Then plug the the pump cord into the extension cord and enjoy.

When I get this permanently set up out side I hope to be able to post pictures of birds enjoying it.

Step 9: Update, It's Installed in Its Permanent Location.

In the first picture if you look very closely in the upper right hand corner you can see part of my first Instructable:

https://www.instructables.com/id/From-Washroom-to-...

Plants grow up around it in the summer, but its nice to see it running in the Spring.

But back to the new bird bath,

I dug a hole about a third of the height of the 5 gallon bucket, padded it with sand put the bucket in and leveled it, then filled around the outside with more sand to stabilize it. I whetted down the sand as well.

Filled the bucket, installed the pump which is Ty-rapped to a piece on limestone block ( that I had on hand), placed the dish, put in some Amethyst and Quartz, and plugged it into a GFI protected outlet, in my garage.

We just have to wait for the birds to discover it now.

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    22 Discussions

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    Dawsie

    2 months ago

    I love it it’s a great idea I have the old style dish’s one is for their food the other one i know will be great as a bird bath formthem :-) thanks for sharing

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    john pedersenDawsie

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thanks Dawsie, that's a good idea using one for food.

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    Dawsiejohn pedersen

    Reply 2 months ago

    Lol when I first pit out for them they would not use it, it took them a couple of months then suddenly they love it more space for them to run around all the seeds LoL it’s so funny watching them eat on it now:-)

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    TeresaM7

    2 months ago

    OMG, I am so annoyed! When I first bought my home five years ago, it came with an old satellite dish. What did we do? Threw it away!!! Doggone it! I hate it when I waste a good piece of junk that could have been repurposed into something great. I'll know if I ever come across another one. On another note, remember those monster things people use to get back in the 80's and 90's? What a bird bath one of THOSE would be!

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    DawsieTeresaM7

    Reply 2 months ago

    :-) I have two of the 1980-90’s dishiest I am using one as a bird feeder as it’s s big they have room to eat it’s easy to clean and they love to run around the rim and then down to the Center and back :-) the other one I have been saving so I can make their own drinking and bathing pool for them once I have cleared the area for it. This gives me so many ideas for it now better than I had thought of originally :-)

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    john pedersenTeresaM7

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you TeresaM7 for the comment, this particular dish had been up in my garage raffters for the past ten years. The big dish would work as a pond, but it would need a liner I think, since most of them I've seen were mesh.

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    john pedersensbkenn

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you sbkenn, once I get it installed in its permanent location, I'll put some in just like I have in my other bird baths. I've noticed that bees, when they end up in the bird bath whether intentionally or not, apprecieate something to crawl out on.

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    sbkennjohn pedersen

    Reply 2 months ago

    I don't understand, a perforated dish doesn't quite work ;-)

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    jtechian

    2 months ago on Step 8

    Very inspiring! I can also see these used as a stacked water feature, say 3 dishes with water fall and bottom dish as bird bath. Thanks for the share!

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    john pedersenjtechian

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you for the comment jtechian, that's a good idea would take some enginerring but it could probably be done.

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    bfarm

    3 months ago

    One thing about bird baths (we have several). They get dirty pretty quick with droppings and gunk. Instead of recirculating the water, would go with a water valve / timer hooked to a hose that would just refill it once a day or so. Depends on how many birds you attract. Liked the use of the LNB.

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    dart70cabfarm

    Reply 2 months ago

    Scraps of copper placed in the bath will keep the algae under control and make cleanup easier.

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    john pedersendart70ca

    Reply 2 months ago

    I haven't had an algae problem yet, but I'll keep this in mind, Thank you for your comment though dart70ca.

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    john pedersenbfarm

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thanks for your comment bfarm, I'll have to see how it goes, I have a couple of other bird baths, one stationary that I have to clean out every two days and another with recirculating water that I have to clean every 3 or 4 weeks, it will be interesting to see how it turns out gunk wise.

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    Matlek

    3 months ago

    Nice reuse of the satellite dish. Do the birds like it?

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    john pedersenMatlek

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you Matlek, I hope to have it located to a permanent place in the back yard in the next couple of weeks. When the birds and squirrels start to visit it I hope to get some pictures that I can post.

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    john pedersenMatlek

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank You Matlek, I hope the birds will like it, I just finished it last night, I'll post some pics when it goes into permanent operation.