Introduction: Junk Mail Hack

I received some junk mail the other day and it had a little plastic box sticky gummed to a large postcard-like piece of mail. Supposedly I could pull the plastic strip from the box and it would display my winning number to get a discount on buying a car. I don't own a car (by design) so I wasn't interested in the promotion. But the little plastic box I found to be very interesting. Before I did anything with it I found on the back the manufacturers name and a patent number. At their website they have a mockup that allows you to click on the tab for an animation of the action of activating the Combination Box. In the picture I have pulled the plastic strip. It just lays between the batteries and the cobar-connector. I had to use some pliers to pull it.

Step 1: Open Device

I ran a razor knife blade into the seam between the front and the back in the upper right hand corner and twisted. It popped the plastic post weld on that side and I repeated on the upper left side. You can see in the picture the two posts are all that hold it together. You can also see that the cobar-connector is held in place by those posts.

Step 2: Disassemble

This metal connector just lifts out. In fact once the halves are separated nothing is glued in place. Now you have two free alkaline batteries: Specifications: Model Number L1131 Voltage: 1.5 Chemistry: Alkaline Capacity: 80 mAh Brand : AGW Size: Button Cell Height : 3.05mm (0.12") Diameter : 11.6mm (0.46") Weight: 0.0938 lbs.

You also have a neat little LED with the long lead being the positive lead. Unfortunately the 5 digit readout is fake. It's neat how the LED fits into the little plastic box though.

So now enjoy your free stuff!

Comments

author
motions (author)2014-11-19

This really got my attention. It looks really cool. I thought it was a real LED and you were going to show how you could program it. It looks realistic from the photos.

author

It is a real LED. The read out is fake-ish for sure, but you get two batteries and a neat square LED just for checking the mail. Heck yeah!

author
MsGtx (author)2015-12-20

You could make your own message for the "display," then give it to someone with the custom message (as a prank or gift or etc.).

Do you think you could put the pull-tab strip back in place, and then put the whole thing back together, basically "reset"?

author

Yes I think you could do that if you are very careful on opening the box up the first time. Making the new message might be the hard part. I was able to reassemble it and if I'd glued it back it would have good as new. I have not tried to remove the plastic number strip from the little plastic 'box' that the LED fit into.

author
MsGtx (author)2015-12-20

Just came across one of these the other day! Glad I didn't throw it out.

author
aglass0fmilk (author)2014-11-19

I actually got a really bright and vibrant blue LED from one of these promotional things. Used it in my DJ Controller project! Funny part is, the thing didn't even have batteries so the LED was completely unused until I took it out.

IMG_6842.JPG
author

Now that is strange. But major score for you!

aglass0fmilk

author

By strange I mean it's funny they included an LED without any battery to make it glow.

author
nanobyter (author)2014-11-21

Nice, here in Spain we don't have that kind of junk mail, just tons of an unusable paper

author
cstuddard (author)2014-11-20

Lol it's painted numbers to look like a segment display. Lol.

author
iam_maker_leo (author)2014-11-19

What a good junk mail is.... and you...

author
seamster (author)2014-11-19

I'd gladly receive piles of real-life spam in the mail if it was full of free batteries and LEDs. Great idea!

author

I live in an apartment complex so I will start checking the trash can by the mailboxes daily from now on. Good idea huh??? lol

author
charels88 (author)2014-11-19

OMG you and I were both winners! How lucky are we..... That led will run for a month on those batteries.

author
PaleHorseRider (author)2014-11-18

Stick a rare earth magnet to it! (It will break probably xD)

Well done my friend!

About This Instructable

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Bio: Electronics have always been fascinating to me. Things that get my attention are clocks, lamps, motion activated devices, light activated devices, laser intruder alert systems ... More »
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