My post office won't stop unless there is mail to be delivered. [which
is every day- so no inconvenience for me]. On my box, the flag is
just a courtesy to the mailman so he is ready to drag the mail out,
before he throws the mail in.
That's on my rubbermaid box-- pretty simple.
I've also had the 'yellow ball in a eye-bolt' deal on my mailbox. When
the door is opened it drops the ball. I think I liked it better--
but it might just be that my eyes aren't as good as they were then --
I have a hard time seeing the little door-flag from the house.
Here's another style;
Popular Mechanics had such a trick, about forty
years ago. The trick was to put a weighted flag on
the blind side of the box. When the driver opens
the box, the bottom weight pulls the flag
vertical. Of course you have to reset this after
you get your mail out. Not much use in freezing
One other variation was the button inside the box,
wired to a buzzer in the house. Or, low voltage
door bell that bing bongs when you mailbox door is
If not a flag, then a motion sensor wired to small light on the front
down where you can see it. Put a lens over the light so it looks like a
reflector. Or make the light a little down light from landscape lighting.
I think you can find sliding trays for mailboxes so you don't have to
reach in.... you can pull the mail to you. It wouldn't be hard to
fashion your own.
So um, why don't you walk up to your mailbox? You rest, you rust.
I'd use a spring switch with a top plate that covers the bottom of the
mailbox. Make sure the spring is strong enough to hold the plate up but any
additonal weight will trip it. Use a battery to light the led, put the
switch in between the led and battery. When there is mail, it will trip the
switch and light the LED. When you remove it, the spring will will push the
plate up and it will go off. You'll probably need a resistor between the
battery and LED depending on what type of LED you use.
Ohhh! That triggered an idea!
Get one of those spring snakes you find in trick boxes of peanuts and jam it
in the box.
When the (presumably) female mailman opens the box, the high-pitched scream
will alert you to a delivery.
Anybody make a clear mailbox, or one with clear panels on top and on the
back, so you can look out the window with binoculars and tell if mail is
in there? I suppose you could blacksmith a metal box- add a swath of
semi-clear (so people driving by can't see in) across the top, or an LED
light powered from the landscape lights in OP's case. Then add a window
in the back.
Personally, it is a moot point for me. I'm almost never home when the
mail is delivered. I just approach from that direction (tiny loop road
subdivision), and check it as I get home.
If you make a clear backed mail box (excellent
idea). Please buy some of the diagonal reflective
tape sold at trucking places. Put that on the
inside floor of your mail box, so that you won't
be straining to see if that white in the box is
the mailbox, or a similar colored letter.
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