You've got mail! Real mail

project_sensors
project_mailbox

(Tom Steele) #1

I was trying to come up with a very easy way to know if mail had been delivered. I have a few options available right now. I bought a SmartThings multipurpose sensor over Memorial Day with the 20% off deal and it is sitting here awaiting a purpose, but I thought that I saw something about making sure the dog bowl doesn’t run out of water (I need to check…) and wanted to use it for that.

My co-worker who is a smart home junkie like me spotted a go-control kit for $26 at Home Depot. It is the kit with three door sensors, a motion detector and siren. He bought a couple and sold one to me. I figured at that price, why not just get them to play around with and try to find something to use them for.

The sensors are a little large for the mailbox door. He got one to work on his mailbox and has it routed through Alexa and she tells him when the mail is delivered. He likes having a female voice cater to his needs. He is not married and I think he believes this is how things work when you are married. I don’t want to burst his bubble.

I could not use the door sensors though, so I got the bright idea that maybe the motion sensor might be cool. Mount it in the back of the box and send me a message when it detected motion, assumedly only twice a day.

I installed it and it does not work in the mailbox. I don’t know if this is because it is too far, in an aluminum box or because it doesn’t work in a tunnel environment. But it does not work there. Bummer. I thought that would be the most elegant solution.

I’ve seen the tilt sensors used for this, but I don’t have a tilt sensor. Do you guys have an elegant solution to mail delivery notification?


(Mike) #2

Hi Tom,
I have seen folks do this with just a basic small door sensor. Good Luck


#3

You will find many forum threads where people discuss mailbox notification, it’s a very popular use case.

Tilt sensors are popular for this. :sunglasses:

Some people use a contact sensor:

Kumostat sensors have the longest range, but you need to get their Ethernet bridge as well.

And discussion about some of the specific issues with putting a sensor inside a metal box. This thread is talking about zigbee, but the exact same issues apply to Z wave or Wi-Fi.


#4

Hi @tsteele93,

Take a look at this:

[RELEASE] Iris Smart Plug (3210-L) Zigbee Plug with Z-wave Repeater


(Bernie H) #5

I use a Iris door sensor in my mailbox and it works great. It’s a plastic mailbox, the metal box is going to hurt your signal.