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Ethernet Enabled Wi Fi Mail Box

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Computer ET Projects and Applications

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.597.1 - 11.597.13



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Paper Authors

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Jai Agrawal Purdue University-Calumet


Omer Farook Purdue University-Calumet

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OMER FAROOK is a member of the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department at Purdue University Calumet. Professor Farook received the Diploma of Licentiate in Mechanical Engineering and BSME in 1970and 1972 respectively. He further received BSEE and MSEE in 1978 and 1983 respectively from Illinois Institute of Technology. Professor Farook’s current interests are in the areas of Embedded System Design, Hardware–Software Interfacing, Digital Communication, Networking, Distributed Systems, C++ and Java Languages. He is a member of ASEE and senior member of IEEE.

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Chandra Sekhar Purdue University-Calumet

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CHANDRA R. SEKHAR is a member of the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Purdue University Calumet. Professor Sekhar earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Madras (India), a Diploma in Instrumentation from Madras Institute of Technology and Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Pennsylvania. Professor Sekhar’s primary teaching and research focus is in the areas of Biomedical and Process Control Instrumentation and Clinical Engineering.

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Michael Segura Purdue University-Calumet

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MICHAEL I. SEGURA is an alumnus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department at Purdue University Calumet. Michael earned his Bachelor’s Degree in ECET in 2005 with distinction. Michael’s Ethernet enabled Wi-Fi mailbox project was selected by the ECET faculty as one of the best senior design projects for the Spring 2005 semester. He is currently employed with ETS, Inc., in Indianapolis, Indiana, as a Product Engineer in the engineering department. His duties include designing new and improved, listed or recognized tanning beds which compete in the global market.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



Come winter and people in homes spread over acres in the countryside, dread the idea of walking on snow-covered driveways in icy conditions up to the mailbox from their cozy confinements and find that no mail arrived. This paper presents a project that will enable the home-resident to monitor the mail arrival while sitting in his or her cozy home. The laser beam interruption due to the mail droppings in the mailbox is relayed as a serial data stream comprised of Ethernet packets using the Wi-Fi communication link of the Wi-port controlled by the microcontroller from outside the home. The mailbox also monitors outside temperature and relays on the Wi-Fi link. On the controller side, the received data is fed into a GUI applet that the client interfaces and interacts with. This information is made available on the Internet using an embedded Web server and can be viewed from anywhere in the world and at any time. The mailbox is a rugged and environment –savvy design and is ac-dc powered with battery back-up. The Wi-Fi mailbox is just one application. The design can be utilized in many innovative applications.

I. Introduction

One of the authors got interested in the problem of mailboxes in the countryside being placed far away from the residence, either on the far end of a big lot or on the curbside, and the residents having to walk a long distance in cold weather only to find that no mail arrived, a burdensome chore. Commercially available was a wireless system that consisted of a transmitter and receiver. The receiver, in the homeowner’s home, would beep to let them know that they had mail in their mailbox. This system did not have the capability to connect to the internet or any LAN so one could check for mail at work, or school. There was clearly the need for such a smart mailbox that could be monitored and controlled via the internet from anywhere in the world at any point in time. The idea of checking snail mail over the internet was exciting to many people.

II. System Description

The Wi-Fi mailbox is fabricated as a 6-inch extruded aluminum box for faraday shielding, with GFI outlets, an Ethernet RJ45 coupler, UTP CAT 5e Ethernet cable, Lightning arrestors and 2.4GHz -7dBi omni directional antenna with 2ft of LMR195 cable. The Wi-Fi mail box system consists of six subsystems: 1) Mailbox, 2) Sensors, 3) Development board, 4) Communication, 5) Interface and 6) Power supply.

Agrawal, J., & Farook, O., & Sekhar, C., & Segura, M. (2006, June), Ethernet Enabled Wi Fi Mail Box Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1036

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