Mailbox Sensor Installation

I received my new mailbox sensor, but there were no installation instructions included. I searched the Ring website and internet and also could not find anything.

  • Does anyone know what the switch is inside of the battery box and if I need to change it?

  • Is the round grommet placed on the cable end at the box, or somewhere else?

  • Does the sensor need to be placed like in the photos on the door, or can it be placed anywhere within the mailbox if the external antenna is used?

Anything else I need to know?

Thanks,

Mitch

Same here!!

I just received this:

Go into “Set up a device” within the Ring app and select “Mailbox sensor”. It will confirm your address and then walk you through steps once you scan the QR code.

That did it. I really wanted to understand how to set things up before starting the add device on the app, but I guess that is how Ring does things. It would be great to have that video available to view on the web site.

Thanks,

Mitch

Did yours come with the little rubber cable routing things? I got the one to put in a drilled hole (if using), but didn’t get any to help position the antenna cable like shown in the video.

Yes, it did. One of my questions in my first posting was asking what that was for. Now I see in the video that it is to be used for the hole that you drill if necessary, which I didn’t need to do.

This really needs install instructions for sure. Here’s the deal.

Assuming you have the bridge, just add the mailbox sensor in the app. Walk through getting it initialized. It will do a software update. When you’re finished, turn off motion detection for it while you install it. I was also unaware that you have to remove the rubber grommet in the antenna hole in the back case cover. So after you put the batteries in, put the back cover on and where you removed the rubber grommet, stick the antenna in the outside of the back case.

Do not permanently install the kit until you carefully work out the placement of each piece of the kit and you confirm that you can open and close the door without pulling the wire when you close the door or causing too much slack when the door is open. The square double sided tape is strong. Don’t use it until you work out the placement of it all and that you get motion alerts when you turn motion back on. If you do, turn motion off again for a bit.

I have a metal black mailbox and there’s a small clearance for the wire on the side edge bottom. I mounted the sensor towards the bottom inside door. I also used a piece of gaffer tape to protect the wire where the door is. The wire can fray and be damaged, protect it. I also taped the wire there to the door so it didn’t move around. Then mount the the outside piece. I put it on the mailbox stand itself under the mailbox, not on the mailbox itself. Again, make certain the wire works with clearance with the door. Clean where you tape and then use the double sided tape. Forget the two little rubber wire holders. They won’t stay stuck. Poor tape they use on the back.

What the other included mount is used for I have no idea. Seems like the motion sensor is a retrofit for this purpose. And it was terrible not to include instructions. Seems like a cobbled together kit, frankly.

Once you have it installed turn motion back on. After all that, I actually really like this thing. My mailbox is just far enough away to be an absolute pain to walk down the driveway and find the mail hasn’t come yet. Throw in rain and cold and snow and this little sensor is a gem.

2 Likes

Thanks for the detailed description; I am sure that that will help a number of people getting ready to install this device.

I personally figured most things out on your description before seeing your post after going through the app video that only comes up once you actually install the device. I need to add some tape per your advice, since I think that will be a good idea. Things tend to disintegrate quickly in the South Florida heat and humidity, so I will keep an eye on it.

I agree that the kit seems a bit strange the way they shipped it. I see no need for the mount with the “foot”. It must be part of a normal motion sensor kit and has no real function in this kit, assuming one is supposed to kep the sensor mounted on the mailbox door. It would have been good to included some more of the rubber guides and a basic instruction sheet. Maybe Ring will get that right in future packaging updates after this initial batch.

The wire as a whole should hold up. But if you have it routed in a door seam in your mailbox, you should definitely give the wire a wrap of duct or gaffer tape in that spot for added protection. The mailbox door will get daily use, as we know.

The other thought of placing the sensor at the back of the mailbox is not a good one. The sensor is battery operated and they will need changing out over time. You do not want to noodle with the sensor at the inside back of the mailbox, I do not think.

I received my sensor today and was also surprised by the lack of instructions. I was hoping to determine the best way to mount it before I ruin a mailbox. I don’t know the purpose of a few pieces I received.

I was thinking of drilling through the back (or maybe the rear bottom) of the mailbox and installing the sensor and “antenna” on the rear wall. That way the sensor would be out of the way of the mail person. The rear of my mailbox faces my house so I’m thinking that the sensor/antenna would have a better chance of connecting to my bridge. I realize the batteries will need to be replaced on the sensor occasionally so I was thinking of mounting the sensor by gluing strong magnets to it.

Any reason this won’t work?

@DavidDMoore wrote:

I received my sensor today and was also surprised by the lack of instructions. I was hoping to determine the best way to mount it before I ruin a mailbox. I don’t know the purpose of a few pieces I received.

I was thinking of drilling through the back (or maybe the rear bottom) of the mailbox and installing the sensor and “antenna” on the rear wall. That way the sensor would be out of the way of the mail person. The rear of my mailbox faces my house so I’m thinking that the sensor/antenna would have a better chance of connecting to my bridge. I realize the batteries will need to be replaced on the sensor occasionally so I was thinking of mounting the sensor by gluing strong magnets to it.

Any reason this won’t work?

I thought about using magnets, too, but magnets can affect electricity (in other words, the signal). However, I don’t want to use the tape in the kit to install the sensor because I might have to rip it off to change the batteries. (I’m not sure there’s enough room there to remove the cover when the sensor is on the wall in a mailbox.) So instead of magnets, I’m thinking about using velcro, taping velcro to the back of the sensor and the inside of the mailbox. Then will make it easy to remove the sensor to get to the batteries.

I’m also worried whether the antenna will seat properly if I take the sensor off the back and put it back on after changing the batteries. Pulling the sensor part off disconnects the antenna, so putting the cover back on might not quite connect them. (I haven’t set mine up yet, in case it wasn’t obvious.)

Another thing that I’m considering is using that ball mount inside the mailbox. That will allow some adjustment after attaching it, but I’d have to attach the ball mount to the back of the sensor and the inside of the mailbox.

Finally, I have a couple of suggestions (besides the above) for future iterations of this.

  • Include a small light on the device to light up the inside of the mailbox. This would be useful if you pick up your mail after dark so you could see whether you got everything. They treat it as a “light” in the app, so let’s actually give it a light. It would only have to stay on 15-30 seconds, so I hope that wouldn’t be a battery killer.
  • Instead of AAA batteries, use the Ring quick release battery used in most of their cameras. If designed right, it would make changing the batteries much easier.

As others have said, maybe they just repurposed a motion sensor from their alarm system (I don’t have that, so I don’t know), but it could be made better.

2 Likes

I was able to place the sensor in the back of my metal mailbox and route the wire out a small opening in the back corner of the mailbox. This allows the placement of the antenna on my mailpost with a good signal to my bridge. Everything looks good with this configuration, so far, but time will tell on battery life. In my opinion, the back wall works best for me and provides for more discrete location of the sensor and less likelihood of someone messing with the sensor.

1 Like

I have an all plastic tough large mailbox, so I will just put the antenna on the front and the sensor inside using 3m double side tape. Really need to be sure where you want the sensor and antenna mounted because the 3M ABS OEM double sided tape is the strongest there is and will never remove unless you torch it off.