EKM Blink - RS-485 to USB Converter


EKM Blink - USB to RS-485 Converter
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Description: USB to RS-485 Converter

Hardware: FTDI chip

Advantages: Easy to install, easy to use, and blinks when active.

Max. Speed: 3,000,000 Baud

Tools: Small Screwdriver Included

Our USB Converter, translates the RS-485 signal from the meters to a signal that can be understood by your computer and our EKM Dash software. This is an inexpensive device that will work well if you want to read your meters locally (on-site). You can connect up to 256 meters on 4000 feet of twisted pair wire to this converter.

We recommend this USB converter to all customers who purchase any of our v.3 Omnimeters or v.4 Omnimeters. It is really useful for making meter settings and for reading your meters directly.

This converter uses a chip that is manufactured by FTDI, which is much more robust, reliable, and easier to use than competing chips. The terminal blocks are tiny, so we include a small screwdriver with each USB Converter so that they can be opened and closed more easily.

This new model of USB Converter has a transparent case, which allows it to show a visual indication of successful meter reads. This is shown with a red blinking LED bulb, that flashes as successful reads are made.

In order to use this converter please download and install the USB driver. Works with all modern Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

Check out this Communication Diagram showing an example of the USB Converter connected to multiple Omnimeters (up to 256 meters).

Works with all of our RS-485 smart meters including our v.3 and v.4 Omnimeter models.

These are very easy to connect and wire up (requires a tiny 2mm flat head screwdriver, which is included). Be sure that you have the FTDI USB Drivers installed. Connect a twisted pair wire from A+ on the USB converter to "RS-485 A" on up to 256 EKM Meters, connect B- to "RS485 B" on the same meters.

For more information about our products and services, we encourage you to visit our online Knowledge Base, which provides spec sheets, videos, tutorials, FAQs, diagrams, and more.

Spec Sheet: EKM Blink Spec Sheet


Ask a Question
  • Is this a more general-purpose RS485 -> USB converter, or is is specifically for use with your metering products?

    Our EKM Blink RS485 to USB Converter is tuned to be used with our meters.  This is all we guarantee.  If you want to use it with your own RS485 device you may have to tweak the biasing resistor values or the terminating resistor values.  We have a lot of customers that use this with their own RS485 equipment and they do not report issues, it works fine with their protocols.

  • Can this device be used to record the measurements from the EKM-25IDS?

    Only our smart Omnimeters have the ability to be read with a USB Converter.  Our Basic meters cannot be read directly.  The EKM 25XDSE, 15IDS, the EKM 25IDS, and the EKM 15E are Basic Meters and cannot be read directly with the USB converter.  The only way to get the information from the Basic Meters to a computer would be to connect their Pulse Outputs of these Basic Meters to the Pulse Counting Inputs of an Omnimeter Pulse v.4 (similar to how you would connect a water meter or gas meter to the Omnimeter Pulse v.4)

  • Is the EKM Blink RoHS compliant?

    We do not have RoHS certification for the EKM Blink. We have no reason to believe that it wouldn't comply with RoHS certification standards but we have not pursued it.

  • When reading the data from the USB drive on my PC, in what format will it be?

    If you want to read the meter directly we have information about the RS-485 protocol.

    You can also use our EKM Dash software to read the meter.

  • I have 2 EKM-25IDS-N meters. Can they be used with this device to be read by the Dash software on my Windows 8.1 machine?

    Yes, you can use the EKM Blink and EKM Dash to read EKM-25IDS-N meters, even though we are no longer producing or selling this meter model. The Dash will run well on Windows 8.1 PCs.

  • What is the operational baud rate range for this USB RS485 converter?

    The theoretical maximum speed of the EKM Blink is 3Mbps (3 million baud) but we have only ever used this at 115.2K baud. Our Omnimeters communicate at 9600 baud.

  • Doe's the meters (e.g. 256) have to be physically connected on the same twisted pair wire (e.g. the 4000 feet) to communicate with the USB converter, or can each meter has its own RS-485 connection and once a USB converter is in range it can collect the data individually from all, store it and ltr upload to the EKM Push (cloud space)?

    The Omnimeters need to be wired to either the USB Converter or Push3 gateway, in order to be read by those devices. The USB Converter is a method for reading the Omnimeters on site with a computer. The Push3 is a separate method for reading meters which pushes data out to the cloud where it can be accessed online.

    It is possible to wirelessly communicate between the meters and the Push3 or USB Converter, by connecting the meter(s), and the Push3 or USB Converter, to 485Bee zigbee radio nodes.

  • Hi, I would to buy EKM Blink - RS-485 to USB Converter

    You can buy one on this page of our website:  https://www.ekmmetering.com/collections/meter-reading-solutions/products/ekm-blink-rs-485-to-usb-converter

    Here is a page that details how to order from our website:  https://help.ekmmetering.com/support/solutions/articles/6000162515-how-to-order

  • To use this usb connection does the computer have to always be on?

    You can read the meter(s) on a computer locally on site by wiring the meter(s) to the EKM Blink - RS-485 to USB Converter, plugging the USB converter into the computer, and then installing and running the EKM Dash software on that computer.

    You will indeed need to keep the computer up and running, and the EKM Dash software up and running for any time that you want to be recording data from the meter(s).