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DIY Alert Systems Improve Home Convenience
FARM SHOW contributor Tony Bunniss is always looking for simple ways to make life easier. One such innovation involves an alarm system in his mailbox.
“I can’t see my mailbox from the house, even though it’s only a couple of hundred feet from it,” says Bunniss. “There are too many trees on the road.”
His solution was to install a driveway alert on the back of the mailbox. “I drilled a hole in the back of the box, made a bracket to hold the sensor, installed a spring to hold it in place, and put silicone on it so it wouldn’t leak.”  
The alert stays silent until the mailbox door is opened. Then, it sends a signal to the receiver that Bunniss has set up in both the garage and living room. Now, the whole family knows precisely when the mail arrives.
Beyond announcing the mail delivery, Bunniss has found his sensor solution will alert him to the occasional human error.
“One time, it warned me that the mailbox was open. (Evidently, it hadn’t been closed properly.) The sensor chimed every time a car went by. I knew it wasn’t the mail because it was going off around midnight.”
Another system that has simplified life for Bunniss is a pass-thru door in the garage. Says Tony, “I built it in the ‘80’s because I was sick and tired of finding wet packages that had been delivered unknown to me. I was also finding them dropped all over the place.”
He uses the same type of receiver as is installed on the mailbox for the pass-thru door, as it can connect with numerous transmitters, each with a different programmable chime.
Since the garage is heated, Bunniss can order liquids and not worry about them freezing. Likewise, it helps him get to frozen food fast.
“I had ice cream delivered in July, and without the alarm on the pass-thru, we would have just had milk,” says Bunniss. “The delivery time was supposed to be the next day, but they delivered the groceries at 10 PM instead. Thanks to my alert system, I had the ice cream in the freezer in about 5 minutes.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tony Bunniss, Webster, Minn. (glennlee1964@gofast.am).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2