what electronic stuff is there in UK postboxes?

In article , Ian Bailey writes

Maybe it's one in a country wall, the sort that birds sometimes nest in? But when collecting mail from ordinary free-standing cylindrical cast-iron boxes, posties use a handheld electronic device. I am open to the idea that this is simply a barcode reader. I am also open to the idea that there is at least an RFID circuit together with the barcode inside the box. (Barcodes are very easy to print). I assure you, however, that there is electronic logging of the visit, involving the pointing of a handheld device at what's behind the door.

If the box were an 'ordinary' one, you could not avoid noticing this.

Why should I know what you can see from your window, what you feel like, or what TV programmes you watch? :-)

See above.

As for radio interference, I only know about such interference in the vicinity of a number of business postboxes - as I said, the ones that only take franked mail. I have had reports from several. Obviously I haven't had reports from all of them...

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

In article , Jay writes

Many thanks!

(I've heard a report of a postie complaining about this, seeing it as a time-and-motion sort of thing... I don't doubt that it does serve this function. But printed barcodes are low-tech and many people know how to get them printed.

People who work for the AA [Automobile Association, not Alcoholics Anonymous!] have also been subjected to a huge amount of time-and-motion crap... It can be almost like working in a call centre. Spend too long doing this or that, and they're told they're 'costing' the AA so much).

I'd also be interested to know whether there's any electronic security in postboxes - e.g. if some nutter tries to break into one or smash it up...

Reply to

In article , banana writes

I should add that in one case, the business postbox is practically adjacent to a phone booth. I don't know whether anyone has checked to ensure that interference is not just coming from the latter. I will try to check this about the others.

Reply to

Nope. Its a free-standing box on a pole.

Surely if a system existed it would be on all post boxes - otherwise what use it it? I can categorically assure you that my post box has no electronics, no barcodes and my postie has no handheld device.

I am also open to the

I couldn't - apart from the fact that my postbox has no electronics or barcodes inside it.


Reply to
Ian Bailey

In article , Ian Bailey writes

Maybe the system is being phased in. Maybe it's considered more useful to the bosses to have it in most postboxes than in none. Whatever, 'ordinary' postboxes do contain (at least) barcodes that the postie points an electronic device at.

But even the smallest postboxes would have room for a printed barcode, e.g. on the back of the door - or indeed an RFID chip. Maybe bureaucratic idiocy is involved somewhere along the line.

Reply to

banana wrote:

Apologies for my earlier flippancy. The press notice below states (note 6) that 'Barcode readers are used extensively in the Cardiff, Flintshire, Newport, Rhyl and Swansea areas.' They seem to be simply for recording when a collection is made.


15 April 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Collection tabs on post boxes, which tell postal users which collections during the day have been carried out, are being reintroduced. The reintroduction follows a year-long campaign by consumer watchdog Postwatch. Says Eifion Pritchard, Chairman of Postwatch Wales "This is what the public have been telling us they want. People want to know they are catching the last post and their letters will not be left in the box overnight." "We have been pressurising Royal Mail to bring back tabs on post boxes for quite some time. I am glad the company is listening to the voice of the consumer." Eifion Pritchard adds, "To help press the case for the collection tabs to be reintroduced, Postwatch Wales carried out a survey. The results show that the overall picture in Wales is that customers for the most part, can rely on post boxes being emptied on time every day." The survey's co-ordinator, Postwatch Wales Committee member Gordon Donaldson says, "Our test letters were posted from boxes around Wales some 5-10 minutes before the last collection time. The findings show that 6.8% of these test letters were delayed. We suspect this is because post was collected earlier than the advertised last times." Eifion Pritchard concludes "It seems the picture for Wales is better than that for the UK as a whole. A research project commissioned by Postwatch earlier this year showed that UK-wide, 18% of post was collected early." "Postwatch Wales's findings are good news for postal users in Wales, but people want a guarantee that their post will be collected on time."


  1. Collection tabs, the numbered metal plates on post boxes, are being reintroduced during the remainder of 2004.
  2. UK-wide research commissioned by Postwatch and published in January
2004, showed that 18% of post was collected early or late i.e. before or after the time advertised on the post box.
  1. Postwatch Wales conducted an in-depth review into the situation in Wales.
  2. There are 9,000 post boxes in Wales. 477 (5.3%) post boxes were included in the Postwatch Wales survey.
  3. The 601 test letters for the Postwatch Wales survey were posted 5-10 minutes before the last collection time.
  4. 6.8% of the test letters were delayed because of suspected early collections. In areas of Wales were barcode readers are used by Royal Mail suspected early collections were as low as 3.3%. Barcode readers are used extensively in the Cardiff, Flintshire, Newport, Rhyl and Swansea areas.
Reply to

Using RFID presumably?

An RFID reader?

Where would the electromagnetic interference be coming from? Royal Mail to spend £2m on RFID - Part and parcel of the supply chain

formatting link
This may also be of use: RFID for Postal and Courier Services -

formatting link
In the major new report "RFID for the Postal and Courier Service", IDTechEx estimate that the global market for RFID systems, including tags, in this sector will be $3 billion in 2016. It could be much bigger if current efforts to tag individual items gain widespread acceptance. In due course, over one trillion postal items will be tagged yearly, making this the second largest application of RFID in the world after the retail supply chain.

Reply to

In article , oO writes

Dunno what they are up to, but:

Reply to

Cabling-Design.com Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.