Snail mail notification system

[Mime] lives on one of the upper levels of an apartment complex. The mailboxes, being located at the ground floor can be somewhat inconvenient to check regularly. [Mime] decided to rig up a device to let him know when his mailbox had been accessed. He started with a wireless doorbell, thinking he could use the door side button inside his mailbox as a trigger with only some slight modification. On the receiver side, he wanted an LED to flash, letting him know that it was time to check his mail. One simple circuit and a self blinking LED later and the whole setup was finished. Great job [Mime]

27 thoughts on “Snail mail notification system

  1. I was thinking about making this for a while, using an optical switch to determine if there is something or not in the mail box.
    I like this simple idea with sensing the open lid.

  2. I like it, I think it would be wise to include a small card inside the mailbox explaining what the device is. Mailmen have a hard enough job without being scared by a unknown triggering mechanism…

  3. Wouldn’t it be easier to use a light sensor? Mail is usually delivered in day light, so just set to signal when it detects light.

  4. @Madcatzfight I think the switch is even better than the sensor. plsu, the switch has the advantage of not needing any power to operate. a sensor will consume some power, somehow…

  5. I always thought it would be cute if the cluster of apartment mailboxes had a larger red mailbox flag the postman could raise. I like your work and execution mime.

  6. I was going to build one with a light sensor that told me when the mail box door had been opened. That would set it, then when I opened it, that would reset it.

    But the problem is, junk mail. It would go off every dang day anyway. So I figured I really don’t need one, I have to empty it out all the time anyway.

  7. I like it. However my mailbox doest have a slot, the mail man opens up the entire front to expose all boxes. I think this would freak him out to see the entire inside. I think I would have to tell him first, or as mentioned above, a card to explain it.

  8. Actually, a group of friends and I are currently trying to figure out how to implement something like this on my college campus that would send an e-mail when mail is delivered. We have to walk halfway across campus to get our mail, and would love a large scale system like this.

  9. What I would like is maybe a small IR ccd camera so you would have an idea of whats in the mailbox. I don’t want to waste my time getting bank statements and bills but when I get an ebay delivery I’d like to know.

  10. You could also just replace a transistor in the receiver with an SCR and post a little note asking the mailman to push the button if he/she delivers any mail…

  11. Haha, I wanted to build exactly this type of device for my parent’s mailbox when I was 12 or 13.

    I started by salvaging the transmitter and receiver of a radio controlled toy car. But I never got around to finish this project because I got overwhelmed by the complexity of building a reliable switch activated by the mailbox’s lid.

  12. @ Jacob, you mount the mercury switch behind the flap so they can’t see it. Would be impossible for the postman to see the electronics.

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