Mail Sensor Frequently Asked Questions Page
Q. Can Alexa give me a yellow notification when mail has arrived so she can tell me at a later time if the mailbox was opened.
A. Great question. You can do this with the use of an app called "Notify Me" and IFTTT in concert. This can now be added as part of a routine in Alexa. ** Warning. IFTTT allows limited notifications per user making setup and troubleshooting a bit of a headache.
Q. After setting up Alexa I don't receive audible messages from Alexa.
A. After Dec. 12th the Routines have become more robust and things have changed. Instead of selecting "Alexa Says" and "Customized" use "Messaging" and "Send Announcement"
Q. Can I use IFTTT as a trigger in Alexa
A. Yes. IFTTT is now available as a trigger in Alexa. This is great for sending yourself emails when the your mail has arrived.
Q. I can't find the Smart Life app.
A. Your device may not support the app. Please try the Tuya app.
Q. Where are the instructions?
A. The mailFi box has a sticker under the lid with a Qr code and a URL linking to the instructions. If you've gotten rid of the packaging, no problem, the instructions are available HERE.
Q. The sensor doesn't connect to the app.
A. The problem may be that you're router isn't switching between the 2.4 and 5ghz network. Power cycle your router, if that doesn't help, move outside of the range of your 5ghz and try again (approximately 100'). If these steps didn't work, consider changing the name of your 2.4GHz network (SSID).
Q. IFTTT isn't sending me email messages?
A. From the IFTTT website regarding email messages.
Sep 19, 13:20 PDT
May 15, 16:51 PDT
Q. Which network does mailFi work on?
A. mailFi works on the long range 2.4Ghz network. Some routers have both 2.4 and 5Ghz broadcasting on the same SSID. This can cause problems. Like in the Ghostbuster, don't cross the streams.
Q. What is the max distance from mailbox to router?
A. The absolute maximum under perfect circumstances, if your router is of good quality, broadcasting at full power, and if it's positioned on the wall closest to your mailbox with clear line of site is....300'. Most users will get about 150' or less. If you're home is concrete or brick construction you'll get significantly less and if your mailbox is made of steel you will get less. This can be mitigated by using an inexpensive and well placed range extender or repeater. See the below test. Also, higher end routers will perform better than others. More antenna normally mean better distance.
Q. What kind of batteries?
A. mailFi uses 2x AAA batteries and lasts over 6 months. The app sends notifications when the level gets low.
Q. Metal mailbox OK??
A. Great question. Yes, metal is ok, but any obstructions will attenuate the signal and shorten the operating range. For example, if your mailbox is made of thin gauge metal or plastic the sensor will only be attenuated slightly and may be able to get up to 150' from the router if located inside and with no obstructions. If it's heavy gauge metal like a security box it will be shorter. Please consult your routers specification sheet for detailed information.
A. If you have problems turn up the power on your router, move the router to the closest exterior wall, or consider an inexpensive range extender or repeater.
Q. Is mailFi water proof?
A. The smaller side of the device is water proof. The larger side must be installed inside the box and away from moisture as it is water resistant but not water proof.
Q. How does mailFi function in the cold?
A. Cold or hot temperatures will not harm or degrade the device. You may see battery level fluctuation in cold temperatures but they will return to their previous levels when the weather warms up.
A test to determine if mailFi will work for you is to put your cell phone in wifi mode (2.4 ghz) and walk to the mailbox. Do you have signal? Play “Free bird” on YouTube, LOUD, stick the phone in the mailbox and close the door. Wait a bit, can you hear the music?? If so, mailFi will work for you.