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

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 - ?

I had a spare motion sensor and tossed it in the back of the mailbox a few days ago. Working great so far.

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Nice. Any particular SmartApp or just a basic notification? I think this is where I am headed for this integration.

Just the notify when app set to text when there is motion. Get a text when the mail gets here and another when my wife or I check the mail.

I want to connect my mailbox, but it’s a metal one about 90 metres from the hub.
My neighbours WiFi reaches it easily though rather than trying a WiFi extender for my home Wi-Fi, is there a WiFi motion sensor I could use in it, on my friends WiFi, but still get notifications on my SmartThings app?

Battery WiFi solutions are limited because of power usage and thus limited battery life.

However, I’ve successfully used the following WiFi solution:

It also needs a sync module within range.

My sensor is doing the same thing. Unless the mailbox is opened to a position lower than horizontal, it will not trigger as “open”. The only fix would be to mount the sensor with its front facing the door. Ended up using an extra PEQ motion sensor that I had sitting around.

Mine couldn’t transmit through the metal. Frustrating.

I ended up attaching a lead to an contact sensor which I mounted under the mailbox. I put a super strong magnet on the door so it would read closed even if the mail carrier doesn’t close it all the way, which they usually don’t.

Since it is out of view, I’m going to change the battery system soon. I’ll give it a couple AA’s if that will work and pack it in a project box. Someone had this idea on the forum.

Yeah, that’s why the original post puts it in the thin electrical box, so you can mount it in the proper direction (backwards) and to wrap it in a sandwich bag and add an optional AA battery pack for cold weather. Open the cover and you seem the switch ( small silver beer can), it is angled one direction. it can not operate mounted normal on a mailbox, it’s designed opposite for the back of a garage door. See post 27 for pic of mounted box, a little rheft proof too.

Can anyone post instructions/link on how to add a battery pack? Like two AA’s please?

surprised no one has brought this up yet. zwave travels 328 ft. there are obstructions that can minimize the distance travelled. metal kills the signal. consider yourself extremely lucky if the signal is found.

I didn’t realize, but we are on the very thread where the idea was presented. Scroll up.

You can get battery holders on Amazon via links posted above. You can also get them on Parts Express. (I have no idea why they haven’t gotten into the z-wave business. . . . )

You can get a project box for them there as well or you could hide them in an electrical box.

Roughly: Swapping power sources will depend on the kind of battery the device uses. CR123a’s are 3 volts. The Ecolink contact uses CR123’s, like a lot of stuff. AA and AAA are 1.5 volts. Most batter holders wire the batteries in series. This will double the voltage. . . . Wires. Solder. . . .

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Not many metal boxes left in the stores… Why not put a hole in box and run antenna out it?

Post 10 has links for box and batt holder. Simply open your device and solder the AA batt holder power leads to the battery contacts that touch the 3v batt. My AA Batts are well over a year old and still 100% and no issues in cold weather like the batt that comes with it, also much cheaper. Some devices have some breakout pins you can plug into the board without soldering, check manual if you see some pins for help identify our ask a friend with some basic electrical skills.

I’ve been following this thread for a while, and wanted to update what is finally working for me… I tried 4-5 different options - most of which have been mentioned above. None of them would work reliably enough to even bother monitoring my mailbox.

My mailbox is plastic, and is about 60 feet from the house.

What finally works for me is the Iris Contact Sensor.

The only change I would make is mounting the smaller sensor on the box and the larger sensor on the door. I have it the other way around and when there are larger items in the mailbox, I’m sure the mailperson is cursing it out. Other than that, it’s been working 100% for at least a month now.

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I have Iris Contact Sensors lying around looking for a purpose, so I’d love this solution. Problem is that my mailbox is metal.

I might try attaching the sensor to the door so that it swings open and might see the network when needed.

Is it possible to run a wire, as an antenna, out the metal box?

Yes and no. You cannot modify the antenna length. But you can move the antenna in a way. I have a contact sensor sitting under my mailbox to protect it from the rain. The wires for the reed switch go through a hole in the bottom. I’m using a super strong magnet on the door and a reed switch inside. It’s been working nicely. As long as the metal doesn’t become magnetized, it should last for a long time. (I should probably have put some plastic or something between the door and the magnet.)

I’m using this switch, but there are cheaper alternatives.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HR8CT8E/

After dealing with the zigbee drop offs of the Iris door sensor, i finally upgraded to a https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HPIYJWU in my mailbox! Zwave seems to be stronger in my house, hopefully this will be a more stable solution!

I bought a MonoPrice Z-Wave plus door? window sensor it has the internal connector for a reed switch, so I ordered the one you suggested and hope it being NC when magnet is near will work with this. I will mount it outside the box and hope for the best.

That’s perfect, I just pulled a gocontrol/linear door/window sensor apart hoping maybe I could connect an external antenna, but a couple of you dissuaded me as that would change the length, etc and ruin the reception.

However, I remember seeing the external/secondary switch connector inside there… and indeed that should let me mount a wired door/window sensor inside the mailbox and mount the z-wave transmitter underneath the front! It still has to get around some brick, but at least it’s in the open air and I do have outdoor z-wave repeaters so I think this will work. Thanks for the idea!