Interactive mailbox

Discussion in 'Leaping Arches, Driveway Arches & RGB Arches' started by ShellNZ, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. ShellNZ

    ShellNZ Senior Elf

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    Here is the mailbox that I made last year for donations.

    [​IMG]

    This year I am wanting to make it so when someone puts something in the mailbox will light up and/or play something like Santa saying "Merrrrry Xmas".

    I know there is the input pup from LOR, not entirely sure how it works and I what I would need to do to it to achieve the above.

    Any ideas on how I can do this? Cheapest and easiest way is best :)
     
  2. AussieDoug

    AussieDoug Full Time Elf

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    I think you forgot to attach the file Shell
     
  3. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

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    Could you rig up a pivoting door like they have at the top of charity bins and also the post boxes that take large envelopes. The one where you pull the slot open put in your item and then shut it and the item falls in. Could put a sensor/switch on the pivot to set it off. Got no idea how to do the electronics so the switch sets off the lights/sound though.

    Just realised you may not have the same systems for the post office accepting your mail in NZ. Let us know if this makes no sense and I'll try and find photos.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    ShellNZ

    ShellNZ Senior Elf

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    Yes we have them at the bank. Not really what Im looking for tho thanks Bundy :)
     
  5. Jago

    Jago New Elf

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    Those dumb or smart pixels?

    Triggering lights is easy, arduino bit of code and IR beam or pressure sensor or some other way to trigger. To play sound you can do that but would add $30 odd dollars more as it would require a shield.

    Thats if you want this as a standalone device.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    ShellNZ

    ShellNZ Senior Elf

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    Hi Jago, not sure I want to get into Arduino? lol

    Yes I want it as a standalone feature.

    They are dumbrgb 60led p/m
     
  7. davrus

    davrus Silent Elf

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    Shell, this is probably bad forum etiquette, but, your photo reminds me of something that has been running around in the back of my head for a while. So.... asking a completely different question that has absolutely nothing to do with your thread, other than that it was triggered by your photo.


    How do people cope with having leads and props all over their lawn, at a time when the grass is growing very nicely ? I had two extreme thoughts - first was just to spray weed killer in appropriate places, so the grass would die. Second was to put down black plastic sheeting (and again the grass would die). The third horrible thought was to move everything around once a week. At that time, I ran out of further ideas.


    Ohh .. sorry ... can't help you with any solutions for your problem.... but I will be interested in the solution that evolves.
     
  8. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    If you had a "deeper" mailbox you should be able to rig up some sort of sensor inside - either an electric eye or a spring-loaded switch that is tripped as the mail drops past......

    Switch would need to be connected to a digital input on something(eg LOR Mini Director http://store.lightorama.com/midiwimp3pl.html) to make lights flash, music play etc.....the mini-director is probably a bit of overkill/$$ for what you're doing, but there should be simpler/smaller ways to do the same.....

    Cheers!
     
  9. arw01

    arw01 Full Time Elf

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    The music part.


    one of those cheap cheap cheap mp3 players that takes a battery and starts playing as soon as power is applied. One of ray's little $3.00 testers if they can be set up to start a test as soon as power is applied (oh those are smart pixels aren't they)


    Then a ir based relay with a little timer chip that you can set to apply power to light tester and mp3 player (maybe use a little bitty battery powered speaker like we get for the smart phones).


    I'm sure the hardware hackers can whip up the little circuit for next to nothing on a bread board and you should be good to go.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    ShellNZ

    ShellNZ Senior Elf

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    Thanks guys

    Davrus, I mow the lawn weekly during showtime. Hubby is a lawn contractor with 3 staff and I dont trust them to do it lol, so I do it. That way if I run over a cable its my own fault.

    Also, I asked hubby to kill the edges with weedspray but all he did was weedeat down to the dirt and said that will do it. It didnt, 2wks later it was back so he ended up using weedspray. Of course I put the ground objects out last (mid/end November) as well. When I do mow it I near mow it to the dirt :)

    Thanks everyone for your input.
     
  11. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Like Shell, I don't trust anyone to mow other than myself. Does need to be done weekly although sometimes I leave it for two weeks. I have some cables under pieces of black rubber strip and mow up to that. Other areas, I just move things a bit - just needs to be done to keep it looking good especially if people come into the property and wander amongst the lights. And like Shell said, give the grass a no.1 hair cut.
     
  12. Ɠαяєтн

    Ɠαяєтн Mae gen i C.L.A.P ei heintus iawn

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    Anybody got a link to one of these testers?

    Thanks
     
  13. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    A 12V PIR motion sensor could trigger it Shell. There are a bunch of PIR flood lights that I know that Jaycar sell. With a bit of creative thinking the 12V led lamp that they use could be swapped out for an mp3 player and a simple LED chaser. The PIR sensor would have to be positioned so that it "saw" the hand as it was about to place money in the slot.

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/DC12V-input-WS2811-LED-smart-pixel-controller-for-testing-max-100pixels-controlled/701799_652082488.html is 1 of the testers. There are 5V and 12V versions. They are only for 2811 pixels though not the dumb strip that Shell is using.

     
  14. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Maybe something like this?
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/DC-12V-24V-8A-Automatic-Infrared-PIR-Motion-Sensor-Switch-For-lighting-light-New-/360777957063?pt=AU_Home_Personal_Security&hash=item54000abec7&_uhb=1

    Or

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/PIR-SENSOR-DETECTOR-SWITCH-Wired-For-LED-Strip-Human-Movement-Detector-12v-DC-/261451527910?pt=AU_Home_Personal_Security&hash=item3cdfb9b6e6&_uhb=1


    Or

    http://www.waytronic.com/alarms_show.asp?/27.html
     
  15. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    A neighbour of mine who, admittedly was a robotics person, made a letter box the shape of an owl with two newspaper holes for the eyes and the letter slot for the mouth. It had sensors inside that triggered a speaker to hoot like an owl when a letter or papers were placed in the slots. It also was connected back to the house and inside he had a ceramic type owl on the wall with two lights for the eyes and one for the mouth and the lights lit up when something was placed in the slots so he knew when letters or newspapers were delivered.
     

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