It would be nice to have something to use with my rural mailbox to tell if
the mail has come when I don't have any outgoing. I oten forget to check by
that late in the afternoon - busy with other things like making my supper.
My delivery time varies, I suspect because different deliverers. Currently
it's late in the afternoon, sometimes after 4 PM.
I'e not tried Googling yet.
You know it's time to clean the refrigerator
when something closes the door from the inside.
Depends on the style of mailbox. If you have the "traditional" rural
box with the rounded top, there used to be an outfit that made a pop up
flag (yellow panel parallel to the roadway for high visibility at the
house) that attached to the top. The trigger was just an extension that
slipped beneath the mailbox door when YOU closed it (armed it<g>) which
would allow the flag to pop up when the carrier opened the door to
deposit your mail.
Should be easy enough if you're at all handy to make up something along
that line. Alternatively, maybe a yellow tennis ball on a nylon cord
rigged to fall out when the door is opened (hint: forewarn the carrier
so he/she doesn't get upset) and would hang there in plain site when the
mail was delivered.
Lastly, I think I've seen radio alert units that do the same thing
sending a signal to a receiver in the house.
My #2 daughter gave us one of those a couple years ago.
Our (steel) mailbox is about 100' from the house and I thought it was
the dumbest thing I'd ever heard of: "Dinky little radio inside a steel
box, AAA batteries... give me a break!"
Works like a charm and the batteries last at least 3 months - maybe
six... I haven't been keeping that close of a track.
Has anybody got experience with the mechanical approach?
In my little fantasy world, I would think that a strong-enough spring
and, maybe, polyethylene moving parts would be pretty much
I visualize a wand that gets bent over and is secured by a trigger-like
latch that gets released when the box is opened.
i.e. No moving parts save the latch - and that has to release if/when
the box gets opened.
But that's just my little fantasy world and the Real World does not
always get the word...
About three decades ago, Popular Mechanix
had a gadget in article. It was a swing
arm. When the letter carrier opened the door,
the swing arm showed over the top of the mail
box. My first thought was the first snow or
freezing rain, and it would not pivot. I can
remember it well enough to draw it on paper,
if you want.
This isn't it:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
but might do your required task.
Not in my part of the U.S. The boxes are solidly mounted with the
door facing the road. It's red flag up to alert the mail carrier to
stop. The carriers keep moving it they have no mail to drop off
and the flag isn't up.
Using Opera's mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
I saw a setup once where the box & post swayed back and
forth whe mail was put in it. The swaying could be stopped
when the owner retrieved their mail. I once drove down a
street it must have been just after delivery because half
the boxes there were swaying. I thought it was what I had
for lunch until a proud homeowner saw me stopped, and
came out to explain what she and her neighbors had
installed(!) She got her mail out of the box and pressed a
button on the post - the box stopped swaying.
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