Software apps and online services
Hand tools and fabrication machines
Always wondering when the mail comes? Tired or listening for the mail truck or peaking out the window? Well no more!
This is a really simple and useful project to get a text message when the mail comes. This isn't anything brand new, many have done very similar projects, but this is something I really wanted because I was tired of not knowing when the mail came!
And it really couldn't be a simpler project. We put together the entire thing in less than 30 minutes, so it's a great intro for people if they want to get started.
The heart of the project is the door switch. This is really just a plastic over molded reed switch that is normally open. When a magnet comes near it, the switch closes. So we solder the two ends to the battery shield (or you can use a proto shield or some other way if you don't want to solder directly to the battery shield) between GND and D0. Stack this with a battery shield and you have the following:
You do need a Twilio account to send the SMS. Twilio is an online service that allows you to send SMS, make calls, and many other things through a simple API. It isn't free, but it is very cheap. You can signup for an account on their website.
Now, you just need to flash the sketch to the bluz board. Then you can create a webhook on the Particle system, swapping in your Twilio credentials. You can do this either through the CLI, or through the online Dashboard through their new integrations page (I recommend this). For more information on webhooks, check out the Particle Docs.
Now, you need a way for bluz to stay online. This is easy with the bluz Gateway Shield and a Particle Photon. Depending on your mailbox location, you can leave the gateway inside your house and it will reach the mailbox just fine. With this type of configuration, you get a great low powered device that will run for months on a battery.
Finally, install the rig into your mailbox and place the reed switch sensor near the lid. Stick the magnetic part on the lid so they will be close enough to close the switch when the mailbox door is closed.
And you're done!