Remote Mailbox Automation Ideas

Where I live we have community mailboxes. This mailbox is located about a block and a half away from my house. I'm trying to find a way that my wife and I can be notified if one of us has already checked the mail.

I'm thinking it would have to be a sensor or button that used either of our cell phones to relay a notification. Is there any battery powered button that could be pushed that would use our cellphone to send a notification? Or perhaps a Bluetooth sensor that when our phones connected to it, it would send a signal?

I could use a nfc tag and our phones but just wanting to try and automate it as much as possible so we don't have to remember to do anything extra. So a sensor would be ideal but obviously it's too far from the house to tie directly into hubitat.

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Look at LoRaWAN. Does not require any paid service or licensing. The signal is in the 900Mhz range so it travels a long way. You could set up your own gateway or if you are lucky someone already in your area has one on The Things Network you could use.

Why not simply have a virtual switch on your dashboard that says "Mail Checked". You could set up a rule that turns it back off again at midnight.

If you have android phones, you could program an NFC take to call a web link. If that virtual switch was connected to the maker API, you could automatically turn the switch on that way. I've used this method a few different times. It's a quick and cheap way to get NFC control for Hubitat. Scanning the tag would open your browser unless you had a system that overrode that or could take actions on the NFC tag reading.

This looks interesting. Unfortunately no gateways in my area so might be a little more costly than I'd want to endure for this one automation. Good to know about for other things that come up in the future.

I think the NFC tag would definitely be the easiest and I'd just use Tasker on our Android phones as you can just tell Tasker to send a SMS to the other person saying they got the mail when the NFC tag was scanned.

Was just hoping someone knew about a sensor, something like a Tile Tracker, the type you use on your keys, that maybe uses low energy Bluetooth where when we stopped the car beside the mailbox to check the mail, our phone would see the Bluetooth signal and then I could use Tasker to send a text to the other person.

A Bluetooth Beacon device should work for you and be detected by your phone etc

If you're already using Tasker, then your possibilities open up greatly! However, I think you are going to have trouble with BLE detection. People have reported limited sucess using the Tasker native BLE device support as it can take a minute or more to detect the BLE device. Only something that is manual is going to get you the type of reliability you are looking for, IMHO.

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Or you could make it a separate place in life360 and set that in a new connector and make RM use that presence as a trigger for the notification (or whatever kind of way you want the other to be notified).

Only if you never drive by the mailbox normally.

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