Internet Enabled Secure Wheelie Bin Drop Box
This is not a high security bin but a reasonable safe and dry location for your unattended small to medium deliveries.
Many delivery companies have the option of including a "safe place" when you place an online order.
They only safe place in my garden is around the back but that means leaving the side gate unlocked.
The delivery companies tended to leave my parcels on my doorstep open to the elements and of course opportunist thieves.
I looked online for commercial drop box options and the only available ones were too small for anything but letters and small parcels.
I had an old Wheelie bin and decided to upcycle it as an IOT drop bin.
The wheelie bin is large enough for all but the biggest parcels and has enough depth so my parcels can't be reached by hand.
To make it a bit more difficult for thieves to get at the parcels I have fitted a locked security flap in the top of the bin.
The flap is locked in place by a locking bar and this is released electrically when the correct pin code is entered into the keypad.
An IP camera is fitted under the security flap and has movement detection and email alerts turned on.
Any items dropped into the box triggers the camera and a still image is sent to my mobile phone.
In the hours of darkness the keypad illuminates and the front of the box lights up when movement is detected near the bin.
12v power is fed to the box via a cable from my garage. The power supply must be able to power the camera and the electronic release.
The Wheelie Bin is secured to the wall with a lockable clamp
Parcels are hidden from view with a lockable flap
Electronic unlock via an illuminated keypad
PIR illuminated sign for nighttime deliveries
Built in CCTV Camera with night vision to record deliveries
Automated Email alert sent when the drop bin is used
Construction is fairly straightforward and only requires basic wiring and workshop skills.
You will need the following.
Wheelie Bin Wall Bracket
PIR switch with light sensor
Electronic External keypad
Electronic Door Latch
Short length of 12v LED Strip
Any Wheelie bin will do, the bigger the better and it must be watertight.
The bin will be locked to a wall but the wheels can be removed if required.
Most bins have a reinforcing rim of plastic around the front which can be used to house the PIR and LED light strip.
The bin is secured with a Wheelie bin wall lock or here my device has a built in lock but I can't find it online any more.
The black box on the side of the bin is a drilled wooden block to receive the lock bar.
The PIR is fitted through the plastic reinforcing flap at the front of the bin. The housing is waterproofed and concealed behind the flap.
The waterproof LED light strip is also fitted behind this flap pointing down the front of the bin to illuminate the sign.
The lock bar can be any sort of rigid bar metal, metal tube or wood and is fitted though holes drilled in both side of the wheelie bin base.
With the lid removed the security flap is exposed. This can be made from exterior ply, rigid plastic or sheet metal.
The flap is just cut to size to be a loose fit in the top of the bin. The flap just restricts access to the contents of the bin visually and physically.
I have used a pair of garden gate hinges that I had spare as they gave me lots of surface area to attach to the security flap.
The size of the flap should be chosen carefully as the size of the flap restricts the size of the parcels that will fit in the bin.
Commercial bins have a sprung loaded flap and ramp to feed the parcels to a secure area. This is added security but the down side is the volume of the bin is more than halved.
The depth of the wheelie bin give some security especially if the bin is raised off the ground.
I fitted an extra sign in the back of the box to make sure small parcels were posted into the back of the bin as I found some were being left on top of the security flap.
Top View Lid Removed
Lock Bar Detail
The lock bar is fixed to the security flap with by metal conduit clips and these are bolted to the security flap.
With the lock bar slid home the security flap is locked in place.
The lock bar is a loose fit in the conduit clips and when the release catch is operated it is free to slide out of the bin.
The design of the lock bar cut-out allows the bar to be inserted at any time.
Close-up detail of Electronic release and cut-out on the Lock Bar.
This allows the bar to be inserted without unlocking.
Top View Security Flap Removed
With the security flap removed the lock bar can be seen inserted through the sides of the bin and locked in place by the electronic release bolt.
The end of the lock bar goes into a drilled out wooden block that is screwed to the bin from the inside.
The wireless IP camera is fitted below the lock bar pointing to the bottom of the bin.
Any camera can be used as long as it has night vision, motion detection with some form of alert sending option e.g. email.
Note the soffit vents in the base and walls of the bin. This is to allow heat to escape if the bin is positioned in a sunny location.
The lower vents also allow water to escape if the top of the bin is left open.
Electronic Release Catch
These simple catches work off 12v and when voltage is supplied from the access control panel on entry of the correct code the bolt is pulled back allowing the lock bar to be withdrawn.
When operated they typically draw around 350mA.
Access Control Keypad
These devices are widely available from Amazon or Ebay and are waterproof.
As well as having a keypad some also have an RF ID tag option as well.
This pad can drive an electronic lock up to 3A capacity more than enough for my catch.
Item Type: Access Controller
Work Voltage: DC 12V
Static Current: ≤30mA
Reading Range: 2-5cm
Capacity: 2000 users
Ambient Temperature: -25℃-60℃
Ambient Humidity: 10%-90%
Electricity lock output: ≤3A
Alarm output: ≤20A
Open time: 0-99 seconds (adjustable)
Item Size:11 * 7.5 * 2.2cm/4.33 * 2.95 * 0.86inch
Rear showing connections
Rear cover removed to show PCB and connections
Light Sensitive PIR Switch
The PIR switch is used to switch on the LED strip to illuminate the front of the bin at night.
These modules are designed to light LED strips but just need a bit of waterproofing.
There are options for range, delay time and darkness setting inside the case.
Just connect 12v into the PIR switch and 12v from the switch to the LED Strip
I have fixed a plastic sign on the front of the box so delivery drivers can find it easily.
I had this printed by a company I found on Ebay.
My postman said they have been told not to leave parcels in bins anymore in case the dustman empty the bins before customers get home.
The sign helps delivery drivers know this is not a standard waste bin.
The 12v wiring comes into the bottom of the bin via a low voltage connector.
The IP Cam. keypad and PIR are all fed with 12v and 0v.
The Electronic release & LED strip are fed with 0v only then a single wire from the keypad to the 12v of the electronic release and also 12v output from the
PIR switch goes to the 12v of the LED strip.
Any parcel placed in the drop box triggers an email alert via motion detection on the web cam.
A still image will be sent.
Parcel in drop box
When used in conjunction with my IOT Doorbell you will also get an attempted delivery alert
Email alert triggered when a parcel is dropped into the box
If you have an Android phone you can use a Widget to show thumbnail images from your web cams
live on the screen of your phone. The images can be set to load at preset intervals.
At night the keypad is illuminated by a blue backlight.
The red power LED flashes to show the power is on.
If the PIR detector on the front of the box senses movement then a strip of LEDs illuminates the front of the drop box.
After a preset time the LEDs switch off.
Normal Nighttime Mode
Nighttime Mode with movement detected