Hot answers tagged

14

I have two suggestions that seem, to me, to be very simple: Walk to the mailbox to check for mail. Very few people get enough exercise, so a few extra laps will, most likely, be beneficial. Of course, your dad may not get around very well these days, so that may be very impractical, which leads me to... Check once, later in the day, after the latest time ...


12

The simplest option is usually the best. High tech solutions won't easily work here - you could put a wifi extender on your garage that would halve the distance of the wifi signal, but that would still involve cost and effort of engineering a motion detector or some other kind of signalling device and a way of communicating that to the house owner. I'd ...


10

I bought a pro-sumer wifi unit for about $300 on Amazon (Amplifi is the brand and came with 2 repeaters). It's low configuration and self-meshes with repeaters for total coverage. It's overkill for a lot of houses but I have an odd setup and it should cover virtually any house. I offer it here for comparison to the $200 "pro setup wifi". 1000ft of Cat6 is ...


10

This driveway alert is what I use. Put the sensor in the box, and it will beep when the mail carrier opens the door. My mailbox is 600 feet away.


9

There's a very simple, non-electronic solution to this. A large, typically spring-loaded (could also be gravity/counterweighted) flap or flag, (can't make the mailbox too hard to open or you violate postal regulations) which pops up, or out, or down (depending how it's mounted) when the door of the mailbox is opened. This is different from the "carrier ...


6

Get a UPS No, not that UPS. An uninterruptible power supply, also known as a battery backup. This is a box that takes normal AC (e.g., 110-120V in the US) and uses it to charge a battery and power your devices. If power goes out (technically: voltage out of range) then it uses an inverter to power your devices from the battery. All automatically. You ...


6

There are rf-solutions that have further range than wifi though at lower bandwidth (not an issue for a yes/no issue like yours). For example LoRa, individual modules are available that you could work with. This way whatever method you use for detecting mail can then be sent over the air to your receiver.


5

The simplest way is to install blanks into the unneeded openings, they are commercially available:


5

Maybe, but there are lots of details about digital signal processing that are more complicated than just using a reflector. Luckily, one of them is a simple off-the-shelf solution: your antenna. Most consumer wifi equipment uses an omni-directional antenna, so it can receive and send in any direction. For a fixed power you can imagine that some of your ...


5

It can work. It works much better if there are no obstructions in the beam path - using a reflector or other beam-concentrating antenna does not make "the problems with trees and buildings in the way" go away. I have played around with this just using a stainless steel bowl as a crude reflector. For actual deployments, I use real antennas built ...


4

Tungsten loads have inrush issues resistive loads don't Tungsten (incandescent/filament) light bulbs have a positive temperature coefficient of resistance. This means that as the bulb heats up during operation, its resistance increases, and thus the current drawn by the bulb decreases. This inrush current when turning on a cold bulb can be a significant ...


4

Don't downgrade to a plastic box. Metal boxes are better and what's more, they are often essential in distributing grounding to other boxes. Further in some cities (e.g. Chicago) they are required by Code. The purpose of a box is to provide grounding and fire protection, and metal boxes do that better than plastic ones in all respects. Plastic boxes ...


4

Get a switch plate that has 2 blank spaces in it, like this one (link for illustration only, not a recommendation):


4

Um, I don't know where you got the term "power stealing". What you describe as that, is exactly the normal way to do that thing, and the right way... unless you are aware of some capacity issue on the transformer (as is sometimes seen in transformer-relay combos). As far as the R and C terminals, any HVAC transformer has two pins on the 24V side... They ...


4

The problem you have is that your current switch is wired as a switch loop. This means that a hot lead comes into the switch box and a switched hot lead leaves the box. There is no neutral wire in a true switch loop. Commonly a white wire is used for the line to the switch, but it is supposed to be marked with black tape or a marker to indicate it is hot. ...


4

Because unlike a normal switch, the wifi switch needs power, so it needs a neutral wire to complete a circuit at the switch between the unswitched hot wire and neutral for that power. The neutral wire to the switch cannot be a light-gauge wire (at least if you are in an area subject to NEC codes; likely similar elsewhere in the world) because codes are ...


4

That is correct. In the mains power world, we have 3 wires. EQUIPMENT SAFETY GROUND/EARTH which is not used for anything ever (except during a fault condition, of course)... HOT which is what humans consider the "source" of power... and NEUTRAL which is what humans consider the "power return". Obviously, it's AC, which makes "source" vs "return" ...


4

Although it is true that Ethernet is bidirectional, it is still necessary that the packets from your fiber bridge reach the router before going to your other devices (and visa versa). This is because one of the functions of your router is to take the devices on your network and represent them to the outside Internet as a single device (actually multiple IP ...


3

You should be able to access it over WiFi, and most require you to set them up via a local network. To disable internet viewing, you simply block the IP from outside access (use a static IP for the CCTV). Your system you purchase should have instructions for that. – Jeff Cates 2 days ago


3

I would suggest you go for the conduit option suggested by others and negotiate on it with the builder. Go price the conduit and boxes for yourself so you can reliably say "materials for what I want are approximately $x" and then discuss how much you are willing to pay for install. One thing I haven't seen in the other answers is any real discussion on ...


3

Look for the junction of brown wires and attach your C wire to that On the wiring diagram for your furnace, the brown wires are all C wires, and they come together at a junction that should be somewhere near where the mains wires come in. Connect your C wire (which can be any unused wire in the thermostat cable) to that junction, perhaps with a length of ...


3

The adapters that you purchased should be unaffected by the so called "cheaters". Power strips and surge protectors include basic electronic components that can cause noise or other interference to the powerline adapters, but the basic two-prong adapter is just a few sicks of metal. Also, the adapters you chose use the "AV1000" standard. That, along with ...


3

The garage door needs safety switches, as well as a reversing switch, a switch to detect end of travel (limit switch) and a switch to detect that correct force has been applied to keep the door closed. Simply turning the power to the whole door-opener on and off does nothing. If you want to use the Gosund outlet to bypass the remote control terminals, you'...


3

Send this switch back This is cheap Cheese junk dumped onto your shores, illegal and unsafe for its purpose, and the seller knew that and took your money nonetheless. Send it back. The various logos on it are the ones they stick on all their fakes. None represent a real testing lab. The fact is the switch will cause safety problems, and if anything else ...


3

It depends on how DIY you are. You could put an optical sensor in the mailbox to detect when the door is opened (or a mechanical switch, or a tilt-sensor on the door) that trips a latch circuit or relay to turn on a light on the back of the mailbox. Battery/solar powered. A simple Google search showed lots of products and plans for building something similar ...


3

If I personally were to take on this challenge, I would put a microcontroller with LoRa in the mailbox (something like https://www.adafruit.com/product/3403 combined with https://www.adafruit.com/product/3231, with an antenna that extends outside the mailbox, through a little hole in the back, perhaps). The setup would be powered by a solar cell that ...


2

There are a few issues you will have to overcome here, and most are solved much more easily by running cable. Solar power has limitations. For example, in Scotland I would need a pretty big solar panel to power the camera, wireless router, and charge a battery (for night time) and for many days of the year I wouldn't be able to get any charge (sunshine at ...


2

First step is to get an 802.11ac router. You're probably going to want wireless anyway, so just do that now. Live with that until you decide either you are happy with it, or you need to upgrade. And remember: you won't get ac speeds unless both the router and your device are ac. If you do need upgrade to wired, buy 2-4 small gigabit switches. Terminate all ...


2

Had the same issue with the Carrier thermostat shown in the picture. Exact same symptoms - connected to the home network, but would not stay connected to the Carrier network, could not link to weather forecasts, etc. However, had an older Carrier thermostat upstairs (on the same network) and it was working fine. Noted that the DNS settings on the ...


2

I don't believe there's a neutral in this box. I say this because neutrals are generally not switched, and as far as I can see every wire in the box is connected to a switch terminal (except the grounds). The bundle of bare wires twisted together capped with a yellow wire nut are grounds. Grounds can be bare or green. This will be a problem. the ...


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