Author Topic: You've Got Mail!  (Read 290 times)

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Offline WeatherHost

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You've Got Mail!
« on: June 07, 2018, 12:40:36 PM »
OK, so the point of the mag switch state thread was for this gizmo.  Once I got the switches I needed, the rest was simple ...  sort of.

My rural mailbox is sort of a ways from the house.  Not real far, but enough that it was annoying to walk out to it if nothing was there.  Not a big deal in nice weather, but in ice/snow, it can be a bore.  Tried to think up different ways of seeing if there was mail from the house.  Considered wireless cameras, driveway alerts, etc.  Ended up going simple and so far it seems to work fine.

Mine is a large box that I rigged to have a rear door so I don't have to step out in the road.  Used one Mag switch on the front/carrier side that when the door is opened it causes a DPST relay to latch energized using one of the sets of contacts to hold the relay.  The other contact is used to turn an LED on that is visible from the house.  When I open the back door, another Mag switch breaks the latch circuit, de-enregizes the relay and turns the LED off.

It's all powered by a small 12V SLA battery.  Since neither the relay or the LED will be 'on' for any period of time in most cases, the battery charge should last quite a while.

Now, I can simply look to see the light or not.

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Offline wxthomson

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Re: You've Got Mail!
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 08:24:59 PM »
Very clever!

Offline DanS

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Re: You've Got Mail!
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 12:18:43 AM »
Good idea. Do you have a little solar cell on top to keep the 12v SLA going?

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: You've Got Mail!
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 08:50:49 AM »
This would probably be fairly simple for someone to develop and market, if they had the resources.  Could be a smaller 5V battery tied to a solar cell on top of the mailbox.  The LEDs now are quite bright and can be encapsulated to be fully weatherproof.  Even blinking ones are cheap enough.  I have one that blinks red and blue that I got for a buck or less.  Not the one I used in this project however.  I went with a bigger white one that has a 12V resistor built in.  5V relays are cheap too, but there's probably a way to do it solid state to use even less current.

If somebody decides to try it, I want royalties!!!




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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: You've Got Mail!
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 08:56:34 AM »
This would probably be fairly simple for someone to develop and market, if they had the resources.  Could be a smaller 5V battery tied to a solar cell on top of the mailbox.  The LEDs now are quite bright and can be encapsulated to be fully weatherproof.  Even blinking ones are cheap enough.  I have one that blinks red and blue that I got for a buck or less.  Not the one I used in this project however.  I went with a bigger white one that has a 12V resistor built in.  5V relays are cheap too, but there's probably a way to do it solid state to use even less current.

If somebody decides to try it, I want royalties!!!
I think the Markles will be fine with you having their royalty but not sure about the Queen's family.... :mrgreen:

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Offline SLOweather

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Re: You've Got Mail!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 10:36:54 AM »
If somebody decides to try it, I want royalties!!!

Have you searched on mailbox alarms?

Offline Bushman

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Re: You've Got Mail!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 10:40:00 AM »
https://www.amazon.com/Mail-Chime-MAIL-1200-Wireless-System/dp/B00103FDDU  I made one using a cheap Wirelesstags sensor.  Don't really use it much since there is so little snailmail these days and I'm bound to walk past mine regularly.