Best Mail Box Sensor for Under $30 (Ecolink Garage Door Z-Wave Tilt Sensor TILTZWAVE2-ECO)

[quote=“jimmay3, post:23, topic:10540, full:true”]
Should be able to drill a hole and run antenna thru to the outside?
[/quote] Any tips on how to attach the antenna to the sensor? What would work for the antenna? Thank you!

If I recall, there is one in the Ecolink Tilt, just pop the case open. I don’t think you can change the length of the antenna, else you will effect the wave length and reception of the sensor, but should be able to drill an 1/8" hole in case and mail box and route it outside the box. Just a thought, I haven’t had mine apart for over a year with the AA Battery mod and it’s still at 100%…

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I didn’t read the whole thread so ignore if this doesn’t help\and or isn’t relevant, but I toyed with adding a mailbox sensor for a while too. I didn’t like the idea of the open\close sensor because I thought there was a good chance it would get knocked off. I decided to try a motion sensor that I could put in the back of the box, but the mailbox blocked every z-wave sensor I put back there. The one sensor that did work was the smartthings multi-sensor which transmits zigbee, so I placed it in the back and it worked flawlessly. I ended up taking it out several days later because I was afraid it would get fried inside the box! The temp outside reached 80 one day and the temp in the box was registering well over 100! I live in a climate that routinely gets over 100 during the summer so I was positive it would likely melt my sensor.

Just sharing my mounting option of my Ecolink Tilit Sensor with AA Battery Pack Mod. These boxes for about a $1 and HD or Lowes have plenty of room to mount sensor and extra battery pack inside and the mail man has never complained and pretty hard for him to knock off.

The plastic mail box and mounting box show no signs of signal loss… and the AA Battery pack is still 100% battery level after over 1 year and 2 harsh cold Buffalo winters… No issues in summer heat either…

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HI all I thought this was a very interesting thread. @joelw135. Here is what I did to solve the same issue. I used a magnet sensor extension with wires. So essentially the magenetic contacts are inside the mailbox and the main sensor is outside the mailbox (not shielded by metal, and therefore increasing the signal to the house. Here is a brief idea of how this looks on the doorbell application.

Idea was first put forth by @Mike_Maxwell and is brilliant. I just used it for the mailbox application.
I used the Ecolink Sensor and it is about 40ft away from the house, and the nearest repeater. Seems to work like a charm. I hope this helps you.

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My solution is not as affordable ($60.00), but not only does it send motion events, but you can literally see the contents of the mailbox, increase security and check on false alarms:

It is extremely easy to set up but I think a metal box would be a challenge.

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It is a great idea, but my HOA viewed the box I painted white and sent me a violation letter so out it went.

Do you have a link to this box? I tried Lowe’s and they didn’t have anything close to this box. I searched HD online but didn’t see anything similar. Your box seems like a low profile one which is perfect.

Did you have to configure the alert on “close” rather than “open”? Since it is a garage door sensor it seems I has to be installed upside down in order to work with my mailbox so the state will be reverse, i.e. an open door shows closed and vice versa.

I use ST SHM Custom settings for mailbox Open and Left Open messages, it allows push and text notification. Nothing backwards or upside down.





Mailbox or Garage Door?

Mailbox link still good, both stores have a equivalent… about 3/4-1" Deep.

http://m.lowes.com/pd/CANTEX-8-cu-in-1-Gang-Plastic-Old-Work-Wall-Electrical-Box/3198737

Mailbox. Lowes shows that lowes.com no longer carries it and my local Lowe’s store claim they no longer carry plastic electrical boxes due to code. I’ll check with HD and see if I get a different answer.

Thanks, I’ll try to figure out why it reverses it for me, saying that the sensor is open when the mailbox door is closed and vice versa. I may try to use a Micro Limit Switch like this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8TTWG4 so I can stick the sensor and the batteries inside the mailbox and skip the box. They will take very little space since a box will not be needed to protect them and it may be more reliable than the metal ball tilt sensor. I’ll let you know if I decide to go this route and what was the result.

Should be able to site to Store free delivery on the box, comes up good with my zip.

Not sure if you’re still going this route but FWIW plastic electrical boxes are still very much code compliant. There are few circumstances where metal boxes are required but you should have no trouble finding plastic boxes. The one linked to was probably just discontinued. Here are some still stocked at Lowe’s:

http://www.lowes.com/pl/Electrical-boxes-Electrical-boxes-covers-Electrical/4294653959?refinement=4294965728

@le_avion

As far as reading open when closed and reading closed when open, just rotate the sensor until it reads correctly.

I have an ecolink tilt sensor in my mailbox and it works fine, shows closed when closed and open when open.

Lowes still list them for $1.21

http://www.lowes.com/pd/CARLON-8-cu-in-1-Gang-Plastic-Old-Work-Wall-Electrical-Box/1099179

Might be a zip code thing? Try 14085…

19 Instock, Aisle 13, Bay 13…

Thanks everyone for your suggestions on getting the box from Lowes. Meanwhile I ended up getting a plastic box from Amazon that works very well.

It’s probably an Illinois law since I can find these boxes in Wisconsin but not in Illinois.

has anyone considered a motion sensor? stick it at the back of the mailbox and when it seems motion (the mailbox door opening) - it then signals…
advantage - it can be hid at the back of the box
disadvantage - ?