A free-standing mailbox on your property doesn't sound any signal when the mail carrier opens the flap to put mail in. But a portable alarm can be used to sound a buzzer when the mailbox is opened. Supplies from a hobby store will be needed, as will tools commonly found around the house. Adult supervision is needed if someone underage is involved in making the mailbox alarm, since power tools will be used.
Things You'll Need
- Spool of electric wire, 12-gauge
- Wire cutters
- D-cell battery pack
- Soldering iron
- Electric bell, DC-powered
- Magnetic switch
- Magnetic switch plate
- Metal screws
- Electric screwdriver, Phillips tip
- Duct tape
Cut three 8-inch lengths of electric wire from a spool of electric wire, using wire cutters. Place a D-cell battery pack on a work surface with the side that has the wire contacts facing you. Heat a soldering iron for five minutes.
Solder an end of one of the wires to the positive-labeled contact on the battery pack. Solder an end of another wire to the negative-labeled contact on the battery pack. Let the solder cool for two minutes.
Place an electric bell on the work surface with the end that has the two contacts facing you. Solder the free end of the wire attached to the positive-labeled contact to one of the two contacts. Solder an end of the remaining wire to the other contact on the electric bell. Let the solder cool for two minutes.
Place a magnetic switch on the work surface with the side that has the two contacts facing you. Solder the free end of the wire attached to the battery pack to one of the two contacts on the switch. Solder the free end of the wire attached to the electric bell to the other contact on the switch. Let the solder cool for two minutes. Unplug the soldering iron.
Open the flap at the front of the free-standing mailbox. Pull the flap all the way down.
Place a magnetic switch plate on the inner top edge of the mailbox. Screw metal screws through the plate and into the mailbox using an electric screwdriver with a Phillips tip.
Place the magnetic switch at the top front edge of the flap. Screw metal screws through the switch and into the mailbox using an electric screwdriver with a Phillips tip.
Place the electric bell and battery back into the mailbox. Tape the two to the inside of the mailbox with strips of duct tape. Insert batteries into the battery pack and close the flap. Your mailbox alarm's bell will now sound when the flap is opened.
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