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EM18 RFID Reader with Raspberry Pi Pico RP2040

Hello guys, in this blog, I will discuss EM18 RFID Reader, its interfacing with Raspberry Pi Pico, and its programming in Micropython using Thonny ide.

EM-18 RFID Reader can provide output via two communication methods "RS232" and "WEIGAND". It can be selected by setting the logic output on the SEL pin of EM-18. If the SEL pin is set to HIGH the communication medium will be RS232 (UART) and if the SEL pin is pulled down to LOW the communication medium will be WEIGAND. I am going to use RS232 here because of its popularity.

The default baud rate of this module is set to 9600 bps (bits per second), Use the same baud rate to retrieve information. If the baud rate mismatches you will get some garbage output on your terminal.


  • Operating  voltage of EM-18: +4.5 V to +5.5 V
  • Current consumption: Less than 50 mA
  • Can operate on LOW power
  • Operating temperature: 0 ºC to +80 ºC
  • Operating frequency:125 KHz
  • Communication parameter: 9600 bps
  • Reading distance: 10 cm, depending on TAG
  • Integrated Antenna


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