Rural mailbox question

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I'm talking about those standard roadside USPS boxes.
Mine's in front of the house and I'm wondering if there's a gadget that can tell you by sight, or maybe electric trip switch, if there's something in the box.
Thanks
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One of the gadget catalogs had a yellow plastic thing that you preloaded when you got the mail and it would pop up when the door was opened.
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The older couple across the street from my house just flip their flag up when they get their mail. They know when the mailman has come by when they look out and the flag is down.
Kurt Gavin wrote:

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I'll bet the mailman likes stopping to pick up mail that isn't there. The red flag is for "flagging" him down to pick up mail. I think like another poster said, that I've seen boxes advertised that have a red flag on one side and yellow on the other side. The yellow automatically pops up when the door has been opened. However, in this day and age, I'm not sure I would want to advertise that I have mail waiting in my box. While living in the Phoenix area, the post office advised that you not mail/receive any thing with a check in the box in front of your house as thieves were following mailmen around (especially around the first of the month) and stealing mail in order to find checks they could alter to obtain the money themselves. Would even use checks to order new checks to further empty a persons bank account. We have a rural mailbox but also rent a box at the post office and give that address out to any place that might send us checks or things of a personal matter such as medical records.
Tom G.
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wrote:

And mine often "forgets" to lower the flag.

--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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That makes the postman stop and check the box when it's empty, costing him some time. Rubbermades make a box that has the standard red flag to indicate there is mail to be taken away and a yellow flag that gets raised when someone opens the box.
nhurst wrote:

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And it works well,. I can easily see the flag from the house. It had been up for a few years now and has withstood the snow plow also.
I've seen attachments you can put on a box also. Can't remember where, but they do exist.
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wrote:

We had one. It used a weight to lower the flag.
There was a bracket (probably attached with set screws to the lip at the opening of the mailbox, on the side. The yellow flag was on a metal arm, pivoting in the middle.
The bottom of the flag arm was a piece of moderately stiff sheetmetal. One set the flag arm horisontal and closed the mail box door on top of that piece, so the flag was down. When the mailman opened the door, the weight went down and the flag went up.
If you can't find one for sale, you could make one.
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Sooner or later, they'll get told to cut that out.. the flag is supposed to indicate outgoing mail.
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Kurt Gavin wrote:

Check out: http://www.smarthome.com/searchweb.asp?q=mail+box
--
Joseph Meehan

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Kurt Gavin wrote:

http://www1.acehardwareoutlet.com /(5g4wqq45q4wb0bnpdyuvrgf0)/ProductDetails.aspx?SKUR668&Source=froogle
http://www.getmymailbox.com/amazonstore/iws?request=8&asin 002MSR2E&merchantId82&browse_id8100
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When I was a kid, we lived on a rural route in Canada. You had to purchase your Rural Mail box through the post office. It was a big heavy brute. It was designed on a 90 degree swivel. You installed it parallel to the road when it was empty. For the mailman to fill it he had to turn it 90 degrees so that he could open the door, it was now at right angles to the road, as most mail boxes are now. It was easy to see from quite a long distance if there was mail. When you removed the mail you would turn it back to parallel with the road. If you had mail for pick up, you would leave it at right angles to the road so the delivery guy knew to stop even if he had no mail.
Now they are all fixed base units the same as used in the US.

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On 08/30/06 01:43 pm Kurt Gavin wrote:

Radio Schlock used to[1] sell a system with a light-triggered transmitter that goes in the box and a receiver (with a wall wart) that goes in the house. When the box is opened, the light triggers the transmitter, and an audible and visual alarm goes off at the receiver -- the sound is temporary, the flashing light continues.
[1] I say "used to" because I think that when we bought ours at a fraction of its original price it was because they were discontinuing them.
Ours has not been foolproof. Sometimes the alarm has gone off several times in one day. Sometimes it has not gone off at all even when the box was opened, but our mailbox is across the street, so of course the truck is between the transmitter and the receiver and reduces the signal strength.
Maybe there is another similar device but better.
Perce
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wrote:

I just can't recall the last time my mail box did not have mail in it, junk included. It is checked six days a week, excluding Sunday and Federal holidays.
Oren
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We get mail every day too, but at various times between 1 and 6 pm, earlier on Saturday. We can't see the mailbox from the house anyhow, so I just pick it up when I head out in the morning, along with the paper.
Keith
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Kurt Gavin wrote:

A good tinkerer can make a simple device like that. Open the door and it trips a flag. Of course you'd have to reset it every time you got your mail.
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On Wed, 30 Aug 2006 17:43:26 +0000, Kurt Gavin wrote:

COPY and PASTE to a text editor such as notepad so you can make sense of the crude drawing.
Mailbox not to proportion. ___________ front k||\\ /| rear || \\ cord/ |\\ || \\ / | \\ ||___\\O/___| B fishing bobber
|| = door & front opening of mailbox k = knot O = 3/8" flat washer. B = fishing bobber Cord = string as found on blinds approx.1/8" dia.
Drill small hole in *door* near top to run cord through and tie knot.
Cord goes inside mailbox with a 3/8" *flat washer* tied in the middle with a single overhand knot so washer position can be adjusted.
Drill small hole in back of mailbox and thread (pass) cord through and connect fishing float (bobber) to end of cord so that when door is opened, the bobber is pulled to top of the rear of the mailbox.
The 3/8" flat washer is enough weight to hold the bobber high on the back of the box once the door has been opened and mail deposited.
Retrieve mail and pull bobber to the down position.
Debur and smooth hole in rear of mailbox so cord lasts longer.
I used one like this for years. Looked out the window to see if the bobber was up. Saved walking 100' to the street to check if mailman had run. I'm now overweight to prove it.
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On Thu, 31 Aug 2006 01:12:50 +0000, RLM wrote:

The holes drilled in the front door and the back of the mailbox should be at approx. the same height from the bottom of the mailbox (higher = better) and positioned to the same side of the mailbox, so the cord and washer stays to one side and out of the way.
Parts list:
3' or so of braided nylon cord approx. 1/16" to 1/8" in diameter. 3/8" flat washer. Fishing float ( bobber) of bright color 1" or larger in diameter.
Tools required:
Drill motor 1/8" drill bit. Small scrap of sandpaper to debur holes.
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Good idea.

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On Fri, 01 Sep 2006 00:09:40 +0000, Kurt Gavin wrote:

Thank you.
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." -- Attributed to Albert Einstein --

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