Why?

Because we don't check our mailboxes

What it does

Alerts for new mail

Abstract

An alert system based on an Arduino and Adafruit FONA that sends you text messages when ever your mailbox is opened. Uses light sensors to detect the opening of a mailbox during daytime hours. Additionally may be able to detect presence of other people approaching your mailbox via ping sensors.

How we built it

Here's how the Textbox works. First, we created a simple circuit with a photoresistor attached to an analog pin on the Arduino to read values from it. Next, we attached the FONA to the breadboard and wired the necessary pins (TX, RX, RST, KEY, Voltage, and Ground) to the Arduino. We bought a 2G Ting SIM card that we connected to the FONA that can send messages, take calls, and register to networks. The FONA is attached to a LiPo battery and also has an antennae at its side. After wiring all the parts together, we uploaded our code to the Arduino that uses the FONA library code to send messages. The code sends a message to a given person and phone number (written in the code) when the photoresistor value is over a certain threshold; this would occur when a mailbox is opened and someone is putting in mail. We added a 1 minute delay to the text so one will not get multiple texts in a row and also made sure that one will only get texts after a transition from a dark state to one with light. In addition, we added a battery to power the Arduino and fit everything together on the breadboard. We made the design compact so it can fit into any mailbox without taking up too much space. We soldered the photoresistor and extended it so one can place it wherever in the mailbox where it would best receive light.

That's it for our Textbox - we hope you'll use it because who really checks their mail nowadays.

Built With

Share this project:

Updates

posted an update

Here's how the Textbox works. First, we created a simple circuit with a photoresistor attached to an analog pin on the Arduino to read values from it. Next, we attached the FONA to the breadboard and wired the necessary pins (TX, RX, RST, KEY, Voltage, and Ground) to the Arduino. We bought a 2G Ting SIM card that we connected to the FONA that can send messages, take calls, and register to networks. The FONA is attached to a LiPo battery and also has an antennae at its side. After wiring all the parts together, we uploaded our code to the Arduino that uses the FONA library code to send messages. The code sends a message to a given person and phone number (written in the code) when the photoresistor value is over a certain threshold; this would occur when a mailbox is opened and someone is putting in mail. We added a 1 minute delay to the text so one will not get multiple texts in a row and also made sure that one will only get texts after a transition from a dark state to one with light. In addition, we added a battery to power the Arduino and fit everything together on the breadboard. We made the design compact so it can fit into any mailbox without taking up too much space. We soldered the photoresistor and extended it so one can place it wherever in the mailbox where it would best receive light.

That's it for our Textbox - we hope you'll use it because who really checks their mail nowadays.

Log in or sign up for Devpost to join the conversation.