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]


  1. woutervddn says:

    [mime] or [meme] make up your choice :p

  2. bogdan says:

    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.

  3. Casey O'Donnell says:

    oh man, cant believe i didnt think of this. i was gonna run cables.

  4. harut says:

    gave me a idea

  5. woutervddn says:

    Hmm.. since I go outside almost every day I just peak into the lid.. :)

  6. Olestra says:

    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…

  7. dmcbeing says:

    Lovely idea!
    +1000 for the flip-flop implementation :P

  8. Madcatzfight says:

    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.

  9. bogdan says:

    @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…

  10. Hirudinea says:

    Very clever, but shouldn’t it be in a stuffed animal of some sort?

  11. truthspew says:

    Interesting use of an SR-NOR latch.

  12. blue carbuncle says:

    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.

  13. SageofLightning says:

    All you really need is a wooden pressure plate, and some redstone. Oh wait real life not minecraft, never mind.

  14. George Johnson says:

    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.

  15. Austin says:

    It should send an email notification :P

  16. Mike Bradley says:

    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.

  17. Matthew says:

    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.

  18. vtl says:

    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.

  19. M4CGYV3R says:

    I see they’re getting as lazy in Denmark as we are here in the US. GG Europe.

  20. M4CGYV3R says:

    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…

  21. mrb says:

    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.

  22. grammar police says:

    Just train a monkey to fetch mail, and condition it by mailing bananas to yourself.

  23. blackman says:

    No uC! Yay. Great work, simple and effective, not over engineered either. Love it.

  24. Davo1111 says:

    i did this like 5 years ago for an high school project. Seriously.

  25. This s humorous! How about a little walk by the mailbox now and again?

  26. Jacob says:

    Just wait til the postperson sees it and calls in the bomb squad!

  27. Davo1111 says:

    @ 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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