I was inspired to make this project as during the peak of winter, the last thing I want to do is to go out to check my mailbox and be faced with an empty one.
What it does
When the mailbox is opened, the mailbox sends a signal wirelessly to the server-side unit, which sounds a buzzer, displays "You have snail-mail" on an LCD screen, and sends an email notification to an email of your choice.
How I built it
I built this using two XBee radios, programmed using an XBIB-U-DEV module. Each XBee module was connected to an Arduino Uno, and programmed to interact with different electronic components. A python script was used to handle sending the email out to notify the user upon their snail-mail delivery
Challenges I ran into
It was my first time ever using software-defined radios (SDR), and the learning curve was steep as there was not a lot of documentation available for programming the XBee radios, especially as they were legacy 900 MHz models. However, after some research, I was able to learn the basics of the ZigBee radio protocol and was able to successfully implement my XBee radios with my Arduinos to achieve long-range wireless communication between two Arduino Unos.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Making a functional project using software-defined radios and Arduinos.
What I learned
How to use XBee radio modules, basics of SDR, python scripting for Arduino interfacing
What's next for SnailMailer
I want to put everything onto a PCB and actually implement it using a PID sensor for the consumer market.