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Project: Letting you know you’ve got mail with YoLink

Picture robots screaming at each other over a corded telephone followed by the disembodied voice of Elwood Edwards saying “You’ve Got Mail” and your little heart skipping a beat because someone has sent you a communique. I mean, that’s what I would picture but mostly I wanted something to tell me when the mail actually ran as it does not consistently at my house.

TL;DR – not the most professional project, but useful to me.

I’m not complaining here believe it or not, I don’t care because it’s 90% “we want to buy your house for cash!” mailers, but I don’t really want to leave anything in the box particularly long as mail thieves roam the neighborhood, and occasionally there’s a package in my mailbox. All I wanted was something to inform me that the mail had arrived.

As part of the YoLink review I happened to have a YoLink Outdoor Contact Sensor. I’d had no real idea of what to do with the $24 sensor ($48 with hub). It is cool and all but I didn’t have anything outdoors that *needed* to inform me when it was open or closed. Except the mailbox.

I checked my mailbox and it was unfortunately in the dead zone. There’s an area with basically 11 feet of dirt and cement between the WiFi and also the YoLink hub directly in front of my house that is dead. It worked at two feet behind the mailbox, but the signal was just gone… so I moved the hub finally… the hub, once moved and no longer having 11 feet of solid between it and the sensor now worked.

There really were not a whole lot of mounting options on a metal mailbox, but thankfully the trigger points have a nice flat surface which some Loctite.

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Moving sensor is adhered to door. Other sensor to mailbox.

Now when the mailbox is opened I know to come down and grab my mail. I also now know when someone walks by and opens the mailbox at 3am.

Looks like Ring has some dedicated hardware for that if you’re in that ecosystem. Eh, was a fun project that involved glue, an unused YoLink Outdoor Contact Sensor, cursing, and below freezing temperatures while I have a cold going on. Good times.

Still not a huge fan of these sensors not being on WiFi, but with the battery life and working distance the addition of a low powered hub that can be almost anywhere in the house (unless you have 12 feet of concrete and dirt to bust through) isn’t terrible.

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YoLink Outdoor Contact Sensor
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As part of the YoLink review I happened to have a YoLink Outdoor Contact Sensor. I'd had no real idea of what to do with the $24 sensor ($48 with hub). It is cool and all but I didn't have anything outdoors that *needed* to inform me when it was open or closed. Except the mailbox.

Product Brand: YoLink

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 24.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.8

Pros

  • Price

Cons

  • Locked into YoLink ecosystem

Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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