Hi everyone, I thought maybe I'd run this one by the community before I start inventing stuff.
I've tried the motion sensor in the mailbox, but have had range issues since it's just outside the garage, and the sensors I've tried sometimes don't catch it every time. So I switched to the Zooz tilt/shock sensor, which works wonderfully, and detects shock every time. I can't use the tilt sensor because my mailbox door does not tilt all the way open. It's also lithium battery and has 700 range, so overall a good choice for where it is.
The problem is the garage door rattles the mailbox when it opens, triggering a false alarm. I have a tilt sensor on the garage door, so I have been thinking I might be able to write a rule that integrates the garage door and the mailbox to eliminate false alarms.
Something like "If garage door is changed, and mailbox shock is detected" within 15 seconds of each other, then the mail probably has not actually arrived. Any ideas?
Is switching to a plastic mailbox a possibility? Mine is plastic, and a cheap motion sensor (Zigbee) works great even at a distance of nearly 100 feet. In fact, I thought battery life would be an issue but it has been almost a year, even through a cold winter and it is still going.
Hi @kilowatts, since you already have sensors that appear to have adequate range and reliability for your application, I think that all the hardware based suggestions given, although all sincere efforts to help (this is a great community) may not be what you are looking for.
All the above having been said, I must say that your own idea of making a rule to announce a mailbox opening only if the garage door sensor is not triggered simultaneously is an excellent one and much simpler than all the suggested hardware change based ones. Should be pretty easy to set up in RM5.1.
Use garage door sensor not active as a required expression and the mailbox sensor as a trigger, the action being your notification or announcement. As long as your garage door sensor is active, your rule will not run, so the trigger (mailbox sensor) will not fire the action. Much simpler than trying to work in some time dependent conditionals. Hope this helps.
Okay, I built in a delay just in case the messages get crossed. I think this should do it - if for some reason the garage shock takes a little longer due to bad reception, it will cancel the notification.
I need to build in a "once per day"... Perhaps with a private boolean?
Yes @kilowatts, some delays may end up being necessary if there is a significant lag with your garage door sensor and it reports slightly later than your mailbox sensor.
I had a similar problem with “coordinating” the timing of reports. In my case, I use a camera system with object recognition (Camect can recognize logos on vehicles and can tell you whether it is an Amazon truck or a USPS truck etc) so that I can discriminate between different types of deliveries. The problem was, it takes a couple of seconds for the object recognition to make its way into Hubitat and so the vehicle type was not coordinated with the opening of the mailbox (in the case of mailbox deliveries) or the PIR motion sensors (to tell me which entrance a package was left at). So I used my sensors to trigger virtual switches that stayed on for a period of time so that the signals would “overlap” and I would only be notified when both virtual switches reported “true”. In your case, it would of course only report when only the mailbox sensor reported “true”.
Let us know how it works out (I would assume that the garage door sensor would always report first which will make the rule extremely simple, unless the garage Zooz has a significant lag time in reporting). I’m no expert but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once, lol. Hope it works!