Mailbox open/close sensor

Lgkahn, this is similar to the Samsung multipurpose sensor. This design works well on my patio door, since both the sensor and magnet are used. For my mailbox sensor I did not use the magnet and told SmartThings that it is attached to a garage door, so it has the capability to detect horizontal from vertical. Unfortunately, according to smarthomer, the multipurpose sensor needs a gradual change from vertical to horizontal, and vice versa. The mailbox door is opened and closed within a few seconds, whereas the time from when the garage door is open to the time it is closed is considerably longer.

I had more hair before I began this smart addiction. :slight_smile:

Got an idea from another thread on here… used a linear/gocontrol door/window contact sensor. The key is the device supports an external wired contact sensor, so I bought one for <$5 on amazon, hooked it up to the terminals and then ran that wired sensor inside the mailbox… leaving the z-wave transmitting contact sensor on the outside. Success! No more metal box blocking the signal (I, too had tried with a tilt sensor inside before.)

Successful in my tests so far, we’ll see how it holds up in real life!

Closest repeaters are a z-wave switch in my garage (door closed,) z-wave switch inside front door of house (on other side of bricks + closed door) and one outdoor z-wave plus repeater I use for a pipe heater. However, the sensor I am using is not z-wave plus… so suppose if I still have issues I bet if I upgrade it might get it the extra little bit of range it needs to talk to the outdoor repeater that little bit better.


I installed the sensor body facing this way (obscuring useless LED) because I’d rather remove the slotted battery cover than try to pop the entire device back onto the battery cover and because the z-wave antenna is on this side, which I figured would be better if it stuck out from the brick more. Secured with 3M VHB, not too worried about it going anywhere.

With this thing 1" higher under the metal of the mailbox bottom) it did NOT work. I would imagine it’d be a lot easier without a brick + metal mailbox… but if I can get this working surely others can!

As you can see you can’t really see it from most angles, so not worried about looks too much. I wasn’t about to just stick it anywhere else on the brick, though. I think this is a good compromise.

Have had a bit of mail theft in the area for quite some time, so look forward to seeing if anyone is snooping around by having the exact timestamps to reference on my security cameras. (Plus I’ll know if the mail has come!)

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I also have a metal mailbox in a brick enclosure. My ideal end to this was to get a text message when the mail was delivered, and to turn on the Aeon Labs Doorbell Gen5 with a custom sound. As it is, I can check the log to see if the mailbox door was opened.

try the ecolink zwave plus sensors i recommend they will work in that configuration if they work inside my metal mailbox 100 feet from my house…

i use .the stock notify me when smartapp to send messages when the mailbox is opened… ie mail arrived.

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Thanks for the recommendation. I ordered an Ecolink Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Tilt Sensor so hopefully this is the same sensor you have.

You say it works INSIDE your metal mailbox? How does the signal radiate?

Same company but I use plain door sensor

Thanks for the recommendation. I ordered an Ecolink Z-Wave Plus Garage
Door Tilt Sensor so hopefully this is the same sensor you have.

You say it works INSIDE your metal mailbox? How does the signal radiate?

Also making sure u have s powered z wave device in closest outlet u can to
mailbox.

Thanks for the recommendation. I ordered an Ecolink Z-Wave Plus Garage
Door Tilt Sensor so hopefully this is the same sensor you have.

You say it works INSIDE your metal mailbox? How does the signal radiate?

Eric, looks like a winner. I’m going to try this using the Aeotec by Aeon Labs ZW056 Doorbell. I’ll use a custom .wav file that announces the mail has arrived.

Thanks.

Looked up that ecolink z-wave plus sensor, looks like it has a terminal for external wiring as well which should make it the perfect long range external mount for a mailbox sensor. So far I’ve had 1 mail drop be missed by the sensor where it’s at now in about a week, all the rest succesful.

I do have a z-wave plus repeater outdoors - not sure if I should consider moving the transmitter somewhere more conspicuous on the side or rear of the brick (bleh) or step up to a z-wave plus sensor and probably get the range I need.

At least I have in my back pocket a free range upgrade if I need it… but is almost $40 really the going market rate for these? Ugh. https://www.amazon.com/Ecolink-Intelligent-Technology-Operated-DWZWAVE2-ECO/dp/B01N5HB4U5?th=1

Damnit, it missed a 2nd delivery today. Signal just too weak on that side of the mailbox! Really don’t feel like running the wire around to the other side, will look too janky. So I think I am going to have to look for the ecolink when it goes on sale and hope z-wave plus gets my range over the tipping point! Any other ideas??

Edit: Going to try monoprice z-wave plus sensor… has same external wiring capability for $20 instead of the ecolink’s $30, let’s see if this gets me my range I need.

The EcoLink garage door sensor sends an open/closed output which is exactly what I needed. I mounted it on the outside of the door. This sensor uses a CR123 battery which should last longer than the coin battery in the Samsung multipurpose sensor

This has been working flawlessly. I have the Aeon Labs doorbell playing a custom .wav file when the mailbox door is opened As soon as weather permits I am moving the sensor to the inside of the mailbox door. “Unless I am wrong, and I’m never wrong” the sensor should broadcast when the door is opened. The battery is still at 100%, whereas the coin battery in the Samsung sensor would have been at no more than 30%.

@Tom_Guelker
As my Army Drill Sargent said, “I may not always be right, But I an NEVER wrong!”

Brian

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Sorry I’m a bit late to your thread, but figured I’d share my setup too. I have an odd shaped metal mailbox (it’s a giant shotgun shell - hey, it was a gift) so I wound up gluing a microswitch inside and running a wire off to a “dry contact” sensor outside the box. So far mine has been working perfect too - I have mine change the color of some of my inside bulbs to blue as well as open my visitor gate (in case they have packages to deliver and are too stupid to punch in the gate code put on the package.) I have it setup with Alexa so when I get back in from getting the mail, I tell her to shut off the mail light and all the blue lights go back to soft white.

FYI, mine is roughly 120 feet from the hub, and that’s through a layer of brick as well.

I’ve been in and out of this thread and similar others threads many times trying to find a solution for my situation.

I am not concerned about distance as I can handle that. My issue is that my mailbox is in a bank of 8 with others. The mailboxes are metal and then the bank is enclosed in a brick outer layer (somewhat irrelevant). The mail carrier delivers mail by opening a single large door on the back of the bank of 8 and feeding the individual boxes. We retrieve our mail by opening our individual door on the front.

Metal box aside as I think I can handle that too, I can’t think of a solution to the issue presented by the single back door delivery. The opening of the single back door does not necessarily mean I got mail that day.

Am I missing an obvious solution here? My current thought is that I may have to go with ‘the mail has been delivered today’ even though we may not have gotten any mail ourselves.

Prince Humperdinck was wrong. The sensor does not work inside the mailbox. I was hoping when the door was opened that the signal would transmit. The sensor is back on the outside of the mailbox door. Unless it gets direct rain there should not be a problem.

The setup I now have seems to work reliably. AFAIK there is no Z wave or Zigbee IP65/66/67 tilt sensor so I bought an Ecolink tilt sensor and attached it to the outside of the mailbox door. Before mounting, I wrapped it with several layers of clear packing tape at 90 degree angles to make it waterproof. The only way this sensor is going to get wet is if someone points a fire hose directly at the sensor and blows the tape off.

I considered using clear silicone sealer where the cover meets the body, and the hole in the front for the LED, however replacing the battery might require damaging the cover, so that idea was not implemented. Removing the tape to replace the battery might be an issue but all I have to do is cut along the seam where the cover meets the body. I’m hoping the battery lasts a while.

We have had several single digit nights and the CR123 battery is still at 94%. This is a great improvement on the coin battery in the Samsung multipurpose sensor that might last a week.

Check out logmor.com. We have a cellular Cellular Alarm Contact Sensor that you can power with a usb solar panel https://www.logmor.com/product/cellular-alarm-contact-sensor-and-power-outage-monitoring/

This forum is for people who are using the Samsung SmartThings ™ home automation platform. So all of the questions and answers are assumed to be in that context.

Is your company planning to develop an integration with SmartThings? If so, when do you expect to release it?

Design points:

  • totally out of sight
  • nothing to obstruct a small box from fitting in the mailbox
  • reliable Zwave connection from inside the cast metal mailbox (nothing visible from the outside)
  • no mail alert reset needed after delivery
  • long lasting battery

I ended up using an Ecolink Zwave Plus Flood & Freeze Sensor, White (FLF-ZWAVE5-ECO) ($30 Amazon).

I was able to piggyback onto an existing bolt at the inside top to attach a flat metal bracket to mount it out of view and out of the way if packages are delivered.

I unscrewed and removed the water sensor contact wire, replacing it with 2 wire leads to a micro switch (taken from an old Keurig coffee machine).

I need to find a small magnetic reed switch to mount out of the way near the latch but in the short term the wired normally open micro switch works well (it is mounted on the top left inside the mailbox but not sure how long it will last in SoFlo’s humidity/rain).

The mailbox is ~40’ from the house and I have a post light with a GE zwave smart bulb midway and a zwave repeater just inside the garage. May be overkill but it works.

I sprayed everything with Rustoleum gloss black spray paint.

Operationally, on the new SmartThings app, wet=open and dry=closed. I set up notifications to text “You got mail” to me and my wife (each have to opt in to receive texts) and it turns a lamp on for 10 seconds when mail is delivered).

Happy that I got a working solution for now with some future switch tweaking in plan.