Today we’ll be installing the Ring Alarm Outdoor Contact Sensor in my mailbox so that I can get universal announcements on my Amazon Echo devices anytime the mail is delivered.
Demonstrating the Alexa Routine
Let’s begin with a brief demonstration of what this routine does. Every time the door on my mailbox is opened, I get the following announcement on all six of my echo devices.
Installing the Sensor
The Ring Contact Sensor is provided with mounting plates. These mounting plates are supplied with double stick tape adhesive strips. Therefore, mounting the sensor in our mailbox is simple. Just peel and stick. I elected to use a couple of additional 3M Command Strips on the magnet side of the sensor which I attached to the mailbox door. This made the sensor more secure. Don't be too concerned if you cannot perfectly align the magnet side with the sensor. This sensor operates will with up to a one-inch gap between the magnet and sensor.
Before I show you how to write the Miss A routine, let me show you a device that you may use to extend the range of your z-wave signal. If you install your sensor too far from your SmartThings or Aeotec/SmartThings Hub, you may experience connectivity issues due to a weak z-wave signal.
The z-wave signal can be easily extended up to 250 percent using the Aeotec Range Extender 7. When the testing the range extender, I found that I was able to extended the range of my signal outside the parameter of my home, from fourteen feet without the Aeotec range extender, to the distance of 29 feet with the extender. This added connectivity range provided me with the distance needed to reach the Ring Contact sensor in my mailbox.
The Aeotec family of devices are specifically made for SmartThings so they are reliable and easy to add without the need for installing device handlers. The Aeotec sensor 7 is compatible with both z-wave and z-wave plus protocols and provides 50 percent faster z-wave communication. I'll leave a product link below.
The Alexa Routine
I’m now going to create a simple Miss A routine so that whenever mail is delivered, I will receive a universal announcement on all Echo devices. To do this, make sure your Miss A is a connected voice assistant in your SmartThings app. Open the Miss A app. click the dash lines on the bottom right corner. Click routines.
Click the plus sign to add a routine. Enter a routine name "Mailbox”. Click next.
Click when this happens. Choose smart home and you have to look for the mailbox sensor. Click 'Open'
I want this routine to run anytime the gate opens, so I will leave this setting as is and click next.
Next you must add an action. If you want some or all your echo devices to do the announcement, scroll down and choose messaging. Click send announcement and type in the statement that you want Miss A to announce. And when you click next.
You will have an option to choose some or all devices to make the announcement.
I trust you found today’s episode helpful. I appreciate your time and hopefully I made good use of it. Until my next episode, keep automating and God Bless.