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Author Topic: What is the best sensor for mailbox notifications and where to get it?  (Read 4669 times)

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Offline toze_feup

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Hi!

I live in an apartment, first floor. The building mailboxes is right below my balcony.
The mailboxes are half a cube and metalic type.
What is the best sensor for mailbox control to receive notifications whenever the mailman puts a letter in it?
What sensors of this type work best with Almond+? Will it have enough range to reach the Almond+ being inside the aluminium mailbox?
Where can I get one?

Cheers!

Offline toze_feup

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Re: What is the best sensor for mailbox notifications and where to get it?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 06:35:01 am »
Ok problem solved.
I bought a Fibaro door module (magnetic sensor), powered by a 3.6V battery all included.

Right now my problem is Zwave radio range, not reaching the mailbox.
I'm gonna try to solve that problem when installing the fibaro shutter modules for the blinds, that supposedly repeats the Zwave signal.
One of the shutter modules will be almost directly above the mailbox so I hope it has enough range and works!

Cheers!

Offline mparadis

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Re: What is the best sensor for mailbox notifications and where to get it?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 11:38:18 am »
Was the door sensor working when within range or at the mailbox but not inside it? The issue may not be strictly range but the metal mailbox may be greatly reducing or interfering with it. I can also say that those sensors are pricey and for US devices there are much cheaper so you may be able to try out a few different ones to see if one works better in that setup than another.

Offline toze_feup

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Re: What is the best sensor for mailbox notifications and where to get it?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 12:35:39 pm »
Hi!

Thanks for the tip. But I live in Portugal and have an Almond+ with EU specs, so I cannot use US sensors...
The one I got outside of the box already doesnt have range. Didnt try it inside the box because as you said its worst for sure...
Perhaps using multiple shutter modules in that wall that supposedly repeat the Zwave signal I might be able to comunicate with it!

If not, what other solutions do I get?

Cheers!

Offline toze_feup

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Re: What is the best sensor for mailbox notifications and where to get it?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 07:25:48 am »
Ok the Fibaro Shutter module repeats the Zwave signal as I stated above.
With 2 shutter modules in the inside wall directly above the mailbox I can get sufficient signal in order for the fibaro door module to send the notification through the Android beta app whenever the mailbox door is opened/closed!

Good work!!!

Offline Blueiris8

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Re: What is the best sensor for mailbox notifications and where to get it?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 10:25:27 am »
I tried something similiar, unfortunately, because my mailbox is exposed to the weather, i had to put the sensor inside the mailbox.  The metal on the mailbox completely interferred with the signal as it worked just fine outside the mailbox.  I may need a new mailbox...

Offline fgtech

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Re: What is the best sensor for mailbox notifications and where to get it?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2015, 03:59:00 pm »
What you need is a sensor whose antenna can be placed on the outside of the metal mailbox. To work best, the antenna would stick out above the metal or at least be given a centimeter or two of room away from the metal with a non-conductive (wood or plastic) spacer. If the antenna-bearing part is not weatherproof it could be sealed inside a plastic container. A little silicone caulk would close off any holes you might have to make for the wire to go through the mailbox or weather-proof container.

The water sensor might be a good candidate for this because the probe part is at the end of a long wire and the electronics (including antenna) are in a small box. Converting the water probe into a switch would just be a matter of replacing the electrodes with a switch that would get tripped when mail is delivered. The Almond+ would then report your mailbox as "flooded" but you'd know it's mail. :-)

This is a bit of a hack, of course, but I might try it once the weather warms up here in snowy New England.

 

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