Adding New Mail Text Message Notifications to your Mailbox with Z-Wave

Adding New Mail text message notifications to your Mailbox with Z-Wave

by Eric McIntyre, Editor – 12-05-2016

fibaro-door-windowWe’ve recently automated our mailbox and added Z-Wave text message notifications so when now know when the mailman has delivered the mail.    This is a very simply installation and isn’t something the mailman has ever asked about.   We used a Fibaro Door and Window sensor, and connected it to an external wide gap magnetic sensor that we found on amazon.   We then added a Fibaro RGBW LED controller with Z-Wave to turn on a blue colored LED to let us know we have new mail.   Here’s how we did it:

We first purchased a Fibaro Door and Window sensor, which has options for an external sensor instead of the built-in magnetic sensor.    We mounted this Fibaro sensor on the bottom of our mailbox using outdoor double sided tape and connected the two wires to the external sensor contact on the Fibaro sensor.   See this image for details on how to connect an external sensor to the Fibaro Door and Windows sensor.
Once we connected the wires to the Fibaro sensor, we then ran two wires around the edge of the mailbox and inserted the wire into one of the very small holes in the top rear of the metal mailbox.    These wires were then tucked along the top edge of the mailbox and out to the front edge of the inside of the mailbox.  Lastly we mounted a wide wap external magnetic sensor that we purchased on Amazon.  We selected a wide gap sensor so we would have less chance of the two parts being too far apart to trigger the sensor.   You can see how we mounted the external sensor with the main sensor on the inside of the mailbox and the magnetic part on the inside of the door in the screenshot below right.
mailbox2 (Custom)

Once you have the sensor mounted on the inside and outside of the mailbox you want to pair the Fibaro sensor with your Home automation plaform. In this case, we paired with our Vera Edge Z-Wave controller.  Once the fibaro door and window sensor was paired with Vera, we simply setup a scene to trigger a SMS Txt message to inform us the mailbox sensor was triggered.    This scene also sends a signal to the Fibaro RGBW LED controller with Z-Wave and this turns a LED strip blue for 10 minutes to let us know the mail was delivered with a visual indicator.

Connecting external sensors can be a great way to make a normal door and window sensor into something more custom for your needs.   We hope that you can use this information to automate your mailbox!