Mailbox monitor using Shelly Wifi Motion sensor & Blue Iris

jaydeel

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I recently purchased for testing one of the new Shelly Wifi-operated motion sensors.
More Info: Shelly Motion | Shelly Cloud

Features (partial list):
  • Wi-Fi operated, always connected to the Wi-Fi network (not going into sleep mode)
  • Powerful CPU, the lowest power consuming Wi-Fi modem in mass production in the world
  • Over 1 year battery life, with regular home usage estimated for 6 hours/day motion detection
  • Real time response, detects motion in less than 200 ms and immediately triggers action to other devices
  • Adjustable sensitivity, with 256 levels of sensitivity adjustment based on distance and type of movement to which the sensor reacts
  • Tamper detection, 128 levels of vibration sensitivity will notify you about the slightest vibration and if someone moves or dislocates the sensor
  • No hub required
Specifications (partial list):
  • Working temperature -10 to 50°C (14 to 122F)
  • Operational range (depending on local construction) up to 50m outdoors or up to 30m indoors
  • Battery 6500mAh 3.7V
My first experiment has been using the sensor inside my mailbox... So far I'm very impressed.
1617391458012.png 1617391586580.png

The sensor has has a build-in webserver and can send http commands in response to a variety of scenarios per the next screenshot.
I set up the 'Motion Detected' action to send two Blue Iris HTTP interface commands:
http://192.168.1.3:8600/admin?camera=DW2&trigger&memo=Mail%27s%20Here!
http://192.168.1.3:8600/admin?camera=DW2&preset=21
1617392167459.png 1617392199398.png
And I configured the preset referenced in the 2nd HTTP command as follows:
1617392247180.png

RESULTS:
1. Extremely fast response time - below is a typical trigger image from Blue Iris.
2. Not a single false alarm 4 days into the experiment.


1617392464511.png
 
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wittaj

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WOW - that looks cool and fairly cheap too!

Have you noticed any difference in your wifi speeds? A lot of times one device furthest away with less strength slows the network down? I would assume this sends very little data so probably not like using a tablet in the far corner of the house.
 

jaydeel

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UPDATE… I’ve now been using the Shelley motion sensor as a mailbox sensor for 3 months, so 110 days total and ~90 mail-delivery days.
My observations so far…
  • <10 false negatives - that is, the sensor failed to trigger when mail was dropped into the box. On 4/21 I moved the sensor from the side (see original post) to the bottom of the box (see screenshot below). This significantly reduced the frequency of false negatives.
  • 1 false positive - that is, the sensor triggered on its own when no mail was dropped into the box. This occurred in the middle of the night. Reviewing my camera recording revealed no obvious events (like tampering); however I’ll note that I’ve previously been surprised by bees, yellow jackets, and spiders when removing my mail. :wow:
  • No false positives when my neighbor uses their mail box (our mail boxes are adjacent, sharing a support post).
  • The sensor’s battery level today is 38% - it was last fully charged on 4/1, so it is consuming an average of 0.56%/day.
  • I estimate that 80% of the triggered alert images capture the mail person “in the act” - that is with their arm still extended towards the mailbox (see original post).
  • No positive triggers were delayed beyond the time when the mail person re-entered the vehicle. A typical example of a “delayed” response is shown in screen #2 below.
1626826277550.jpeg 1626826563063.jpeg
 
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LopezEL

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This is cool. Are they outdoor rated? Can it be exposed to water?
 

jaydeel

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Are they outdoor rated? Can it be exposed to water?
Neither, as far as I've been able to determine.
I think it could be used outside if protected -- e.g., located under a patio cover, or under a roof eave, or otherwise shielded from direct contact with water.
 

jaydeel

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Looks like your mailbox is molded plastic.
it is indeed.… an older version of this mailbox <link>.

If I had access to a traditional style metal mailbox, I’d test it. I’m curious now if it might be able to connect during the time the door is opened and motion is triggered.
 
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