Mailbox monitor

I’ve combined a Wyze motion sensor with a camera mounted inside a front window to let me know when my mail has arrived. I mounted the motion sensor inside the back of my wood mailbox at the curb:

Here is the video capture triggered by the motion sensor when the mail arrived:

I find it interesting that the mailbox being opened is way at the end of the 12 second clip, but that may be due to the camera also being set to capture motion.

The motion sensor is about 100 ft away from the camera with the bridge (not the same camera that’s recording the video); about 85 ft outside and 15 ft inside; through one exterior wall which is mostly glass. The signal strength of the sensor shows good (three bars).

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Addendum: Why I used a motion sensor instead of a contact sensor. Three reasons:

  1. Difficulty of lining up the parts since no access to the inside of the box when the door is closed,

  2. Possibility of the components getting knocked off by the mail going in and out, and

  3. Exposure to moisture of the component mounted to the door when the door is opened in heavy precipitation (although probably not an issue if the passive magnet portion were to be the part attached to the door).

In any case, the motion sensing seems to be working perfectly fine.

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Do you have an opinion about whether the Wyze motion sensor would work from inside a metal mailbox, rather than inside a wooden mailbox like yours? This is a wonderful idea for using the Wyze motion sensor, and I’m on the notification list for when Sense becomes available, but it would be great to know whether the necessary signal strength to operate the Wyze motion sensor can pass through a metal mailbox. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Sorry, I’m not an RF expert and I really have no idea. If I had to guess, I’d say that if it worked at all the range might be significantly reduced. You may need to replace the metal with a plastic or wooden mailbox for this to work for you.

Thanks for your input and prompt response.

How are you powering the camera? it needs to be plugged in.

So that’s a battery-powered motion sensor good for about 12 months in the mailbox (not available publicly yet; only announced on these boards), triggering the recording of an AC-powered Wyze cam from the house. Shows the flexibility of the new motion sensor triggers. So the camera in the house is powered.

Interesting demo, Loki! The only extra I’d add is to turn off the motion sensing of the camera to prove it is the motion sensing of the sensor that triggers the recording.

BTW, something like this could go into Tips & Tricks. :+1:

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The Wyze Sense sensors were available for pre-order through early access in the app for a while, but have now sold out by that method. They are anticipated to start shipping in May (nothing has shipped yet). If you missed the pre-order, you can sign up to be notified when they’re available here: https://www.wyze.com/wyze-sense/

When you go to the sensor’s page in the app, it shows you a link to the video that was triggered by the sensor detection right in the list of events. So no need to turn off detection in the camera to prove it works. See below:

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Cool :+1:

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Don’t u need electrcity for it to run?

Nope. The Wyze Sense sensors work on small batteries that last about a year. The camera that views the mailbox looks out through a window and has a power supply from inside the house. That’s kind of the beauty of this setup. :slight_smile:

BTW, since setting this up a few days ago, I have not had one false alert. If I had just tried to use motion detection from that camera, even with a small detection zone, I’d be getting “non mailbox” alerts all the time.

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Thank you Loki. I was under the impression that the sensor had to be attached to the "powered"camera for some reason? Wow. I have a camera setup like u, pointing out thru the front window, this will work then…Thanks again…

You’re welcome. The sensors are stand alone and don’t need to be wired to anything. They just have to be in range of the bridge unit which is plugged into the back of the camera. There is no specific range quoted because there are too many variables, but for the freq band these operate on, it’s generally in the 100+ foot range. As I mentioned earlier, mine is about 100’ away through one wall and shows three bars of signal.

And one more thing: the camera that the bridge is plugged into doesn’t have to be the camera that records the video (as long as they are all on the same account). In my case, it is not. In my setup, the camera that’s in the window is hard to access. So I plugged the bridge into another camera that’s in my foyer, about 10 feet back from the front wall. Not that it would make any sense to do so, but you could trigger a video on a camera in New York when a sensor in California is tripped, as long as both cameras are on the same Wyze account.

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A-Ha. I knew I read something had to be “plugged in to the camera” lol. Thanks for explaining it again in detail, makes so much sense now with the battery.

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I might be able to find some uses for the sensors After all .
I will get some when they are in stock

Unfortunately neither the motion sensor nor contact sensors worked with my metal mailbox. The signal strength was very inconsistent between the motion and contact sensors, but neither worked even once.

I’m mostly curious as to what you all are expecting in the mail that you need prompt notification of…hahaha. I’m mostly getting junk mail and bills…I’ll retrieve them at sunset—every 2nd day. :grinning:

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My mailbox is out of sight at the end of a driveway, and because there is a lot of mail theft, I’d like to pick it up as soon as it’s delivered.

I wish someone would come and steal my mail…the junk mail piles up, they can have it all!

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I’m with you, I have a camera out front , so, I know when the mailman comes But I wish they would stop stuffing my mailbox full of crap that I have to throw away.
Anything that is important does not go through the mail anymore for me , Small packages I know when they have been delivered
You should have option to turn off Junk mail to your address , It’s ridiculous