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  1. #1

    Remote control mailbox indicator flag

    I wonder if someone can lead me in the right direction.

    I have a rural mailbox on a state highway. I currently have a flip-up flag on the mail box door that tells me when the door has been opened. If the flag is up the door has been opened and there is mail in the box. If the flag is down the mail delivery person did not put any mail in the box that day. This is a common system used to save trips to the mailbox just to find there is no mail today.

    My problem is that being on a state highway I'm always concerned that someone may steal the mail if it remains in the box overnight. The flag is up for anyone to see. I only get mail in this box once every few weeks so don't really want to head to the mail box every day.

    I thought a solution might be to put a battery operated transmitter in the box that sends a signal when the mailbox door is opened. When the door closes the signal stops. This could be accomplished with a plunger switch that presses against the closed door, a proximity sensor on the door itself that closes when moved to horizontal or any other likely switch option.

    I would then have a receiver inside my building about 50' away. The trick is that the receiver would need to be able to turn on a light or flip a flag up.....either on it's own or by sending current to a relay. Once triggered this indicator device would stay on even after the mail box door is closed and the transmitter stops sending a signal. I would go get the mail and then manually reset the indicator light or flag.

    Does anyone know of an RC system that could be readily modified to do this task? There are remote control garage door "open" indicator systems that I might modify but thought I see what you good folks might suggest.

    Thanks,
    BH

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bhd View Post
    I wonder if someone can lead me in the right direction.

    I have a rural mailbox on a state highway. I currently have a flip-up flag on the mail box door that tells me when the door has been opened. If the flag is up the door has been opened and there is mail in the box. If the flag is down the mail delivery person did not put any mail in the box that day. This is a common system used to save trips to the mailbox just to find there is no mail today.

    My problem is that being on a state highway I'm always concerned that someone may steal the mail if it remains in the box overnight. The flag is up for anyone to see. I only get mail in this box once every few weeks so don't really want to head to the mail box every day.

    I thought a solution might be to put a battery operated transmitter in the box that sends a signal when the mailbox door is opened. When the door closes the signal stops. This could be accomplished with a plunger switch that presses against the closed door, a proximity sensor on the door itself that closes when moved to horizontal or any other likely switch option.

    I would then have a receiver inside my building about 50' away. The trick is that the receiver would need to be able to turn on a light or flip a flag up.....either on it's own or by sending current to a relay. Once triggered this indicator device would stay on even after the mail box door is closed and the transmitter stops sending a signal. I would go get the mail and then manually reset the indicator light or flag.

    Does anyone know of an RC system that could be readily modified to do this task? There are remote control garage door "open" indicator systems that I might modify but thought I see what you good folks might suggest.

    Thanks,
    BH
    That's interesting , cause I have an RFD mailbox also , and in my area the little flag is used to alert the carrier that there is outgoing mail waiting in the box to be picked up . If we have something to send through the mail , we put it in the box and put the flag up . Now , when the carrier comes by , and sees the flag up , they know that there is a piece of outgoing mail to be picked up . This way , if the flag is not up , and there is no incoming mail for that day , the carrier can just go on to the next box without having to stop at each one to check for outgoing mail .......

  4. #4
    Hah......too funny. Right there to be found at Amazon.
    Thanks for pointing it out to me.
    BH

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
    That's interesting , cause I have an RFD mailbox also , and in my area the little flag is used to alert the carrier that there is outgoing mail waiting in the box to be picked up . If we have something to send through the mail , we put it in the box and put the flag up . Now , when the carrier comes by , and sees the flag up , they know that there is a piece of outgoing mail to be picked up . This way , if the flag is not up , and there is no incoming mail for that day , the carrier can just go on to the next box without having to stop at each one to check for outgoing mail .......

    Yes.....typical operation. That is why most notification flags are a color other than red and located on the opposite side of the mailbox.
    Mine is just a 10" long spring that sits on the outside of the box. It has a plastic flag on it that gets closed into the door. Open the door and the spring and flag pop up. Gives a new mail person a good shock the first time!

    BH
    Last edited by bhd; 01-23-2014 at 08:04 AM.

  6. #6
    raptureboy's Avatar
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    Wow, amazing how many varieties. I think there has only been one day that I never got any mail. Theres always junk mail so I just p.u on the way in from work.
    Quote Originally Posted by flyinwalenda View Post
    If what you believed to be true was false would you want to know the truth?

    "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free".

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by raptureboy View Post
    Wow, amazing how many varieties. I think there has only been one day that I never got any mail. Theres always junk mail so I just p.u on the way in from work.
    Yes....lots of different situations.

    Our mailing address is a PO box. However every now and then a customer will mail something to our street address. If we don't want it returned to the sender we have to have a rural box out front. The only thing we get is occasional junk mail and every now and then that errently sent item.

    BH

  8. #8
    flyinwalenda's Avatar
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    Seems like the easiest way unless you want(are capable) to make something. Trying to use parts from a RC system would be difficult as the transmitter would need to be in the box.
    Brian Ray


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