Title:
Mail delivery and mailbox door status notification system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A Mail Delivery And Mailbox Door Status Notification System including mechanisms sensitive to opening and closing of the hinged mailbox door and that includes; switching devices that are secured to a mailbox with an opening and a door, and that the electrical contacts of the such switching devices change their state from Open to Close or vice versa, every time the mailbox door is opened and closed; a timing device with a means of electrical contact that change state after a lapse of a predetermined time interval; a source of electrical energy; wires to interconnect all devices and status lights to indicate that either that the said mailbox door has been left in a open position or that mail delivery or a similar act has taken place.



Inventors:
Usmani, Faris Mohammad (Edison, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/900044
Publication Date:
11/27/2008
Filing Date:
09/10/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G29/122
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MILLER, WILLIAM L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Faris Mohammad Usmani (Edison, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A mail delivery and mailbox status notification system used in combination with a mailbox having an opening with a door, for receiving mail, said notification system comprising of the following: A first switching device with means of electrical contact, secured to the mailbox; a second switching device with means of electrical contacts, secured to the mailbox; a timing device with a means of electrical contact; a first electrically powered light-emitting device, secured to the mailbox, that is electrically connected to the said timing device electrical contact and including the light-emitting device and their receiving cavities; a second electrically powered light-emitting device, secured to the mailbox, that is electrically connected to the said second switching device electrical contacts and including the light-emitting device and their receiving cavities, a source of electrical energy; a means of transmitting the electrical energy from the source of electrical energy to the first switching device, the second switching device and the light-emitting devices; Following are the claims in reference to the Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System invention: 1. Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System comprising: a mechanism sensitive to opening and closing of the door of a mailbox and that includes a first switching device that is secured to the mailbox, and is operated by the opening and closing of the said mailbox door so that the electrical contact of which change state every time the said mailbox door is either opened or closed; a mechanism sensitive to closing of the said mailbox door and that includes a second switching device that is secured to the said mailbox, and that is operated by the opening and closing of the said mailbox door so that the electrical contacts of which change state every time the said mailbox door is closed; a means of supplying electrical power obtained either by a power source of direct current type or alternating current type with either replaceable, renewable, rechargeable or continuous electrical power with connection brackets and its mounting cavity, having a first and second terminal, said first and second terminals being electrically connected; a timing device, with either fixed or adjustable time delay, and with means of electrical contact, the said electrical contact change its state from Open state to Close state when the said time delay set for the said timing device lapses, the said electrical contact electrically connects to the said first switching device and the said power source; an electrically powered first light-emitting device, electrically connected to the said electrical contact of the said timing device, so that when the said electrical contact of the said timing device change its state from Open to Close, and since the said electrical contact of the said timing device are also electrically connected to the said power source, the said electrically powered first light-emitting device gets energize to indicate to the user that the said mailbox door has been left open; an electrically powered second light emitting device, electrically connected to the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device, so that when the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device change their state from the Open state to Close state, the said electrically powered second light-emitting device gets energized to indicate to the user that the an act of mail delivery or a similar act has taken place; 2. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the said first switching is mounted inside or outside of the mailbox, and the said electrical contact of the said first switching device change its state when the mailbox door is operated; 3. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the said second switching is mounted inside or outside of the mailbox, and the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device change their state when the mailbox door is operated; 4. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the said first switching device and the said electrically powered first light-emitting device are an integral part of a combination device; 5. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the said second switching device and the said electrically powered second light-emitting device are an integral part of a combination device; 6. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: an improvement to claim 1 where a electrically powered light-emitting device is used to indicate availability of the said power source. 7. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: a striking element is attached to the said mailbox door which would operate the said first switching device and the said second switching device just as the said mailbox door would do just as if the striking element was not there. 8. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: a weight sensing device, with its electrical contacts is used in the said mailbox to work in conjunction with, the said first switching device and its electrical contact, the said second switching device and its electrical contacts, the said power source, said electrically powered first light-emitting device, said electrically powered second light-emitting device, the said timing device and its electrical contact, to ascertain that the electrically powered second light-emitting device connected to the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device is only illuminated when an actual mail or similar object is placed inside the said mailbox. 9. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the said timing device has adjustable time delay instead of a fixed time delay in order to achieve a variable time delay between the time the said mailbox door is opened and the said electrically powered fist light-emitting device is energized; 10. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the said timing device and the said contact of the said timing device are not used and the said electrically powered first light-emitting device is directly connected to the electrical contact of the said first switching device and the said power supply, so that the said electrically powered first light-emitting device is energized when the electrical contact of the said first switching device change their state from Open state to Close state; 11. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: in conjunction with the said electrically powered first light-emitting device connected to the said electrical contact of the said timing device, a remotely located mailbox door-status display unit is used with visual as well as audio notification means, that is located inside the user's premises, to remotely display the status of said mailbox door, either visually and/or by audible means, in case it has been left in the open position, and the said mailbox door-status display unit is electrically connected via connecting wires to the said electrical contact of the said timing device, the said electrically powered first light-emitting device and the said power supply so that when the said electrically powered first light-emitting device is energized, the mailbox door-status display unit is also energized, that will produce an appropriate audio and/or visual notification to indicate that the mailbox door has been left in the open position; 12. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: in conjunction with the said electrically powered first light-emitting device connected to the said electrical contact of the said timing device, a remotely located mailbox door-status display unit is used with visual as well as audio notification means, that is located inside the user's premises, to remotely display the status of said mailbox door, either visually and/or by audible means, in case it has been left in the open position, and the said mailbox door-status display unit is electrically connected to a wireless signal receiver that receives electrical signals from a wireless signal transmitter that is electrically connected via connecting wires to the said via connecting wires electrical contact of the said timing device, the said electrically powered first light-emitting device and the said power supply so that when the said electrically powered first light-emitting device is energized, the mailbox door-status display unit is also energized, that will produce an appropriate audio and/or visual notification to indicate that the mailbox door has been left in the open position; 13. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: in conjunction with the said electrically powered second light-emitting device connected to the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device, a remotely located mail delivery status display unit is used with visual as well as audio notification means, that is located inside the user's premises, to remotely display a notification to the user, either visually and/or by audible means, that a mail delivery or a similar activity to the said mailbox has taken place, mail delivery status display unit device is electrically connected via connecting wires to the said electrically powered second light-emitting device, the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device and the said power supply, so that when the said electrically powered second light-emitting device is energized, the said mailbox status display unit is also energized, that will produce an appropriate audio and/or visual notification, to indicate that the mail delivery or a similar activity has taken place; 14. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: in conjunction with the said electrically powered second light-emitting device connected to the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device, a remotely located mail delivery status display unit is used with visual as well as audio notification means, that is located inside the user's premises, to remotely display a notification to the user, either visually and/or by audible means, that a mail delivery or a similar activity to the said mailbox has taken place, mail delivery status display unit device is electrically connected to a wireless signal receiver that receives electrical signals from a wireless signal transmitter that is electrically connected via connecting wires to the said electrically powered second light-emitting device, the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device and the said power supply, so that when the said electrically powered second light-emitting device is energized, the said mailbox status display unit is also energized, that will produce an appropriate audio and/or visual notification, to indicate that the mail delivery or a similar activity has taken place; 15. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: in conjunction with the said electrically powered first light-emitting device connected to the said electrical contact of the said timing device and the said electrically powered second light-emitting device connected to the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device, a remotely located mailbox status display unit, with visual as well as audio notification means, that indicates the status of the said mailbox door as well as the status of the mail delivery or a similar activity, is used and that is located inside the user's premises, to remotely display the status of said mailbox door and the status of the mail delivery or similar activity, in case the said mailbox door has been left in the open position or a mail delivery or similar activity has taken place, and the said mailbox status display unit is electrically connected via connecting wires to the said electrical contact of the said timing device, the said electrically powered first light-emitting device, the said electrically powered second light-emitting device, the said electrical contacts of the said second switching device, the said power supply, so that when said electrically powered first light-emitting device is energized, the said mailbox door-status display part of the said mailbox status display unit is also energized, that will produce an appropriate audio and/or visual notification, to indicate that the mail delivery or a similar activity has taken place and when the said electrically powered second light-emitting device is energized, the said mail delivery status part of the said mailbox status display unit is also energized, that will produce an appropriate audio and/or visual notification, to indicate that the mail delivery or a similar activity has taken place. 16. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the said second switching device can be any type of switch as long as the switch operates with the operation of the said mailbox door to indicate the said Act of Mail Delivery as called for in this invention; 17. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the said first switching device can be any type of switch as long as the switch operates with the operation of the said mailbox door to indicate the opening of the said mailbox door as called for in this invention; 18. The Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of claim 1 wherein: the electrical energy supplied by the said power supply is obtained from conversion of solar energy to electrical energy;

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

U.S. Patent Documents

4202486May, 1980Tipswood
4308989January, 1982Elsinger
4390122June, 1983Savko
4449663May, 1984Schluter
4473182September, 1984Dion
4583081April, 1986Schmitz
4651135March, 1987Duhaime, et al.
4860949August, 1989Moore
4868543September 1989binkley
4913342April, 1990Flick
5125570June, 1992Jones
5255843October, 1993Deakyne
5335848August, 1994Schreiber
5402105March, 1995Doyle et. al.
5499014March, 1996Greenwaldt
5695113December, 1997Rau, et al.
5781107July, 1998Ji
5883579March, 1999Schreiner et al.
6831558December, 2004Andrew
7061377June, 2006Kraus

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT:

Not applicable

REFERENCE TO MICROFICHE APPENDIX

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This Non-provisional application is a continuation of the Provisional Application No. 60/931,676 filed on May 25, 2007.

Originally this invention evolved out of a need for a mail recipient to be able to know just by looking at the his/her mailbox whether he/she has received mail or the like, in his/her mailbox without even opening the mailbox as well as to know if the mailbox door has been left open for any reason. A Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System, such as this invention, is greatly desired, since such inquiry can be made by the recipient even from a distance from where the mailbox can be clearly seen.

Previous designs have involved weight measuring devices, photo-electric cells, proximity sensors and flag systems to indicate that the mail has been delivered. The problem with the previous designs is that they either work only when mail of a certain weight is delivered or they involve elaborate systems and extensive mechanical parts to be installed inside the mailbox.

PREVIOUS DESIGNS

4202486May, 1980Tipswood
4308989January, 1982Elsinger
4390122June, 1983Savko
4449663May, 1984Schluter
4473182September, 1984Dion
4583081April, 1986Schmitz
4651135March, 1987Duhaime, et al.
4860949August, 1989Moore
4868543September 1989binkley
4913342April, 1990Flick
5125570June, 1992Jones
5255843October, 1993Deakyne
5335848August, 1994Schreiber
5402105March 1995Doyle et. al.
5499014March 1996Greenwaldt
5695113December, 1997Rau, et al.
5781107July, 1998Ji
5883579March, 1999Schreiner et al.
6831558December, 2004Andrew
7061377June, 2006Kraus

BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention is based on the principal of an alarm system. A number of alarm systems have been introduced in all of the above designs, but none of the above designs addresses the concept used in the present invention as described hereunder.

This invention will enable a mail recipient to view the status of his/her mailbox as a result of an activity of delivery of mail or like items, or similar action that involves opening the mailbox door, and then closing the recipient's mailbox door, referred to here as the “Act of Mail Delivery”, or just opening the door and leaving it to remain open either inadvertently or as a malicious act. Previous designs involved weight measuring devices, photoelectric cells, proximity sensors and flag systems to indicate that the mail has been delivered in the mailbox. The problem with the previous designs is that they work only when mail of a certain weight is delivered or they involve elaborate systems and extensive mechanical parts, to be installed in the mailbox or they just send an alarm to remind the recipient that the mailbox door is open. The present invention addresses both needs of providing a visual indication that the said Act of Mail Delivery has taken place or if the mailbox door has been left in the open.

The current invention comprises of the following:

A first switching device, installed in the close proximity of the door of the mailbox, referred to here as the Switch 2, which is a “Momentary Push-Off” type switching device whose electrical contact changes state from an Open position to a Close position when the said mailbox door is opened; a second switching device installed in the close proximity of the door of the mailbox, referred to here as the Switch 4 which is a “Single Pole Double Throw” type switching device that changes the state of its electrical contact that is “Normally Close”, from Normally Close state to Open state and the state of its electrical contact that is “Normally Open”, from Normally Open state to Close state, every time the said Switch 4 push button is pushed due to closing of the said mailbox door; a source of electrical energy such as a system of batteries referred to here as the Power Supply; a timing device, referred to here as the “Timer” with its electrical contact, referred to here as “Timer Electrical Contact”, and that changes the state of its said Timer Electrical Contacts from “Open” state to “Close” state every time the said Timer is energized and times out and back to “Open” when the said Timer is de-energized, that said Timer Electrical Contact is electrically coupled to the said Switch 2; an electrically powered first lighting-emitting device that is mounted at the said Mailbox, referred to here as the Door Open Notification Light, that is electrically coupled to the said Timer Electrical Contact; an electrically powered second lighting-emitting device that is mounted at the said Mailbox, referred to here as the Mail Delivery Notification Light, that is electrically coupled to electrical contacts of the said Switch 4; a means of transmitting electrical signal between the above components of the electrical circuits installed at the said Mailbox and the said Power Supply.

Under normal conditions, the said Mailbox Door is closed, and the said Door Open Notification Light and the said Mail Delivery Notification Light are not energized. As soon as the said mailbox door is opened, the said Switch 2 shall change the state of its electrical contact from “Open” to “Close” state. Since the said Switch 2 electrical contact is electrically connected to the said Timer and the said Power Supply, this will complete the electrical circuit for the said Timer, making it to be connected to the said Power Supply. The said Timer shall be energized and if the said mailbox door remains in the “Open” position for a specific time, the said Timer shall time out and change the state of the said Timer Electrical Contacts from “Open” to “Close” state. The said Timer Electrical Contact is electrically connected to said Open Door Notification Light and the said Power Supply, therefore as soon as the said Timer Electrical Contacts are closed, electrical circuit for the said Door Open Notification Light shall be completed and the said Door Open Notification Light shall be energized to indicate that the said mailbox door is open.

If the said mailbox door remains in the “Open” position for less than the specific time, then as soon as the said mailbox Door is closed, the said Switch 2 shall change the state of its electrical contact back to the Open position thus de-energizing the said Timer. Also, as the said mailbox door is closed, the said Switch 4 shall change the state of its electrical contact that is “Normally Close”, from Normally Close state to Open state and the state of its electrical contact that is “Normally Open”, from Normally Open state to Close state. Since the said “Normally Open” electrical contact of the said Switch 4, electrically connects to the said Mail Delivered Notification Light and the said Power Supply, the said Mail Delivered Light shall be energized to notify the mail receiver that the mail has been delivered.

Now as the user opens the said mailbox door to retrieve the mail, the said Switch 2 shall change the state of its electrical contact from “Open” state to “Close” state again. Since the said Switch 2 electrical contacts are electrically connected to the said Timer and the said Power Supply, this will complete the electrical circuit for the said Timer, thus electrically connecting it to the Power Supply. The said Timer shall be energized and shall start timing. If the mail receiver leaves the said mailbox door open and if the said mailbox door remains in the “Open” position for a specific time, the said Timer shall time out and change the state of the said Timer Electrical Contact from “Open” state to “Close” state. The said Timer Electrical Contact is electrically connected to said Open Door Notification Light and the said Power Supply. As soon as the said Timer Electrical Contact is closed, electrical circuit for the said Door Open Notification Light shall be completed and the said Door Open Notification Light shall be energized.

If the user closes the said mailbox door shortly after opening it and the said mailbox door is closed within a specific time, as soon as the said mailbox Door is closed, the said Switch 2 shall change the state of its electrical contact back to the Open state, thus disconnecting the said Timer from the said power supply. Also, the said Switch 4 shall change the state of its electrical contact that is now in the “Close” state, from Close state to Open state and the state of its electrical contact that is now in the “Open” state, from Open state to Close state. Since the said Switch 4 electrical contact, that changes its state from Close state to Open state, is electrically connected to the said Mail Delivered Light and the said Power Supply, opening of the said Switch 4 contact shall cause the said Mail Delivered Notification Light to be de-energized. Once the user has closed the said mailbox door, at that moment the mailbox will again be in its normal state and the Mail Delivered Notification Light and the Mailbox Door Open Light shall remain in the de-energized condition until next time when the mailbox door is opened and the process explained above is repeated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings comprise of pictorial as well as schematic representation of the invention Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System used in combination with a mailbox having a door for receiving mail, said notification system comprising of the following:

FIG. 1:

a pictorial depiction of various components that make up this invention, and their physical installation. A first switching device with means of electrical contact, that is secured to the mailbox; a second switching device with means of electrical contacts and secured to the mailbox; a control box that includes a timing device with a means of electrical contact and a power supply that provides electrical energy for all devices; an electrically powered first light-emitting device secured to the mailbox, that is electrically connected to the said timing device electrical contact and including the light-emitting device and their receiving cavities; an electrically powered second light-emitting device secured to the mailbox, that is electrically connected to the said second switching device's electrical contact and including the light-emitting device and their receiving cavities; a means of transmitting electrical signals from the said first switching device to the said timing device; a means of transmitting electrical signal from the electrical contact of the said timing device to the first electrically powered light-emitting device; a means of transmitting electrical signal from the second switching device to the second electrically powered light-emitting device; a source of electrical energy; a means of transmitting the electrical energy from the said source of electrical energy to the said first switching device, the said second switching device, the said first electrically powered light-emitting device and the said second electrically powered light-emitting device.

FIG. 2:

a schematic depiction of various components that make up this invention and their interconnection. The mailbox is in the “normal” condition with the mailbox door being closed and both the electrically powered light-emitting devices not being in the energized condition. A first switching device with means of electrical contact; a second switching device with means of electrical contacts; a timing device with a means of electrical contact; a electrically powered first light-emitting device, that is electrically connected to the said timing device electrical contact; wire connections or a means of transmitting electrical signals from the said first switching device to the said timing device; an electrically powered second light-emitting device, that is electrically connected to the said second switching device's electrical contacts; wire connection from the electrical contacts of the said second switching device to the said electrically powered second light-emitting device; a source of electrical energy; a means of transmitting the electrical energy from the source of electrical energy to the first switching device, the second switching device, said timing device; the electrically powered first light-emitting device and the electrically powered second light-emitting device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 as the accompanying drawings, when considered in conjunction with the subsequent detailed description of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1: shows the said Mail Delivery and Mailbox Door Status Notification System of the present invention.

The Mailbox shown has; a first switching device Switch 2, with its means of electrical contact, mounted near the opening of the mailbox; a second switching device Switch 4, with its means of electrical contacts, mounted near the opening of the mailbox; the Control Unit 10, mounted inside the said Mailbox, that contains a timing device with its means of electrical contact and a power supply unit that is a source of electrical energy; a first electrically powered light-emitting device 6, including the light emitting source and its receiving cavity, secured to the said Mailbox, that is electrically connected to the said electrical contact of the said timing device; a second electrically powered light-emitting device 8, including the light emitting source and its receiving cavity, secured to the said Mailbox, that is electrically connected to the “normally open” electrical contact of the said Switch 4; wires and connectors as a means of transmitting electrical signals between the various components of this invention.

FIG. 2: shows a schematic depiction of various components that make up this invention and their interconnection. The mailbox is in the “normal” condition which is the condition with the mailbox door being closed and the Door Open Notification Light and Mail Delivery Notification Light not being energized.

A first switching device Switch 2, with its means of electrical contact mounted near the opening of the mailbox that is a momentary pushbutton switching device, shown here with terminals “D” and “E”; a second switching device Switch 4, with its means of electrical contacts, mounted near the opening of the mailbox, that is a “Push On, Push Off” switching device is shown with terminals “A”, “B” and “C”, where terminal “B” is shown to be a common terminal; terminal D of the said Switch 2 is connected to terminal B of the said Switch 4 via a connecting wire 10 which makes up the common terminal “H”; terminal E of the said Switch 2 is connected to one terminal of the Timing Device 12 via a connecting wire 14; the other terminal of the Timing Device 12 is connected to a common terminal “F” via a connecting wire 16; one terminal of the Power supply 18 is connected to the said common terminal F via a connecting wire 20 and the other terminal of the Power supply 18 is connected to the said common terminal H via a connecting wire 22; one terminal of the said “Timing Device Electrical Contact” 24, is connected to the said common terminal H via connecting wire 26; the other terminal of the “Timing Device Electrical Contact” 24 is connected to one of the terminals of the “Door Open Indicating Light” 6 via a connecting wire 28; the other terminal of the “Door Open Indicating Light” 6 is connected to the said common terminal “F” via a connecting wire 30; terminal A of the said Switch 4 is not connected to anything; terminal C of the said Switch 4 is connected to the “Mail Delivery Notification Light” 8 via a connecting wire 32; the other terminal of the “Mail Delivery Notification Light” is connected to the common terminal F via a connecting wire 34.