Thinking outside the metal (steel) mailbox

Thanks for the reply MrWidget.
You have a very clean simply mounted transmitting unit inside your mailbox. However there are two situations that can be easily fixed.

  1. If the transmitter is bumped by mail or packages the unit will separate from the battery door that is attached to the inside surface of the mailbox. Also the separation impact could damage or break the solder joint for the antenna.
  2. In your current setup, changing batteries requires the transmitter to be separated from the battery door. Swinging back the transmitter to access the battery will put strain on the antenna solder joint.
    The fix to the above scenarios is to flip over the unit and attach its opposite face to the surface of the mailbox. The old adhesive should be removed from the battery door. Battery changes will not put strain on the antenna connection.
    As further step could be to attach a bumper bar in front of the unit to guard it. I would use small screws for the attachment.
    In the post referenced below is a method of providing bumper protection I used. Also shown is how I attached the magnet without relying on adhesive tape.

You’ve got mail part two post #1, Feb 18.

I’m seriously considering making a 3D printed cover to go over the transmitter to protect it. I have to make sure I can easily remove it though as I just got an alert that the battery is getting low (I’ve had the kit for a long time, but am just getting to deploying it). I didn’t look at the marking on the battery though so I’ll have to take the other one apart to figure out what it is.

The wire I used is a nice floppy silicone jacketed wire, but the putty may hold it in place such that it could pull away at the solder joint - that actually happened with the original antenna while I was trying to straighten the coil and is why I decided to replace it.

If I continue to use putty to hold the antenna in place, it’s relatively easy to loosen it and then get a lot of slack before opening the battery compartment. I was actually surprised how easy that was (since it looked like a sealed unit at first), so as long as the adhesive holds, I think I’ll use that, and when it fails, I have some really strong (3M) double stick tape…

I might just glue the magnet to the door when it eventually falls off or use the same tape as above.

What I like right now is that I have a solution that I think will work until the technology becomes obsolete, and when it does, I can remove it all with very little trace of it ever being there, and I should be able to find another solution that I can adapt.

I was going to roll my own, but doing extremely low power stuff well can be a pain - and I had this stuff on hand.

Since your battery is dying, this is a good time to disengage the sending unit from its battery door and replace the 1632 coin battery with a fresh one. Then peel off the battery door from the mailbox surface, slap a piece of the 3M where the old adhesive was, and place the opposite side ( twist the unit 180 deg ) against the new 3M adhesive. Next, clean the original adhesive off of the battery door and snap in place on the sending unit. You will have removed the weak link ( battery door interface ) in the connection to the side of the mailbox. The antenna wire will no longer be moved during battery changes, and the sending unit will be more resistant to mail impacts. Maybe 15 minutes work?
It will also look as good as before.
Whatever you do, carry on.
Victor Maletic.

I remember you mentioned 3D printing up a protective device for the sending unit. In the following post, I describe a 3D printed surround for the sending unit that LachLan6 printed from a file I developed and emailed to him. This printed item was meant for a contact sensor with an external reed switch. The wire slot in, your case, would not be used and simply filled in with epoxy or caulking. A hole for your antenna would be drilled as needed. This 3D printed unit would provide extra resistance against impact while maintaining access to the battery door. It also has a larger base accommodating more 3M tape, hence more resistance to being dislodged.
If you want I can email you the STL file and you could print as is or modify it to remove the wire slot while keeping the door opening recess.
Or I will send you a printed one that I have on hand at no cost to you. Or both a file and a unit.
My Wyze Smart-ish Lock a Printed Approach Because of the enclosure configuration the magnet will need to engage closely because the reed switch is behind the door opening recess.
Let me know if you would like the file, the print, both or none.
Till later, Victor Maletic.

I had to go find your youtube channel to see what you meant about the My Wyze Smart-ish Lock a Printed Approach - very clever!

You may be interested in the following posts that use modified motion sensor units. A more benign modification than the external antenna:

Thinking outside the metal (steel) maillbox - 2

Here is another link using modified contact sensors:
My Wyze Smart-ish Lock a Printed Approach

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