Satellite dishes are a common site these days, although admittedly most of them are Ku- and Ka-band dishes. The older C-band dishes are still around, though, just less frequently in people’s yards. [Greenish Apple] decide to cut the cable and start watching free TV so he built a C-band dish. The trick is, he made the dish out of wood.
The design is the offset type, not a prime focus dish–that is, the electronics are not in the center of the dish but on the side. Wood isn’t particularly good at reflecting RF, of course, so over the wooden skeleton, he used flashing.
The finished project looks distinctly homemade. The diameter of the dish is 108 inches, but due to the flat areas in the dish it performs more like a 36- to 39-inch dish. However, [Greenish Apple] did learn one lesson: When the sun lines up right, the bare flashing concentrates enough heat to melt the receiver. An overcoat of paint fixed that problem.
Of course, you might want to harness the heat. If were going to make a dish, we’re not sure we’d make a C-band dish–there isn’t a lot of unencrypted programming these days. However, the general technique could apply to any place you need a high gain antenna. Maybe you could even borrow some WiFi.