Pulsecount - Elster A3TL

I’m trying to figure out where to put this, but it seems here (with the pulsecount tag) might work.

I had an ELSTER A3TL meter installed a year or so ago to do demand metering. There is an IR port that appears to be typical of a lot of Elster meters but it doesnt have a pulse (or so I thought).
My understanding is that this model has a meshed radio capability, but my utility doesnt use it yet. I tried different things, but finally wound up using CTs and the EMONTx Shield to monitor.
Recently, I have been trying to set up a webcam to read the meter (using OCR) to ‘sync’ the values. One evening while working on this, something caught my eye. I could have sworn I saw a flash!
Well, I watched some more and sure enough, since it was now dark, I could see a flash out of the left ‘port’. It turns out that, at least my meter, gives one flash every 12 Wh consumed.
I quickly taped an IR photo-transistor I had on my previous meter to the window, connected it to an ADS1115 (Adafruit) ADC and whipped up some quick python to count the pulses and everything had been going well since. I know the ‘12 Wh/pulse’ is strange, but it seems right. I checked it with the EMON and its still in sync with the meter display.
The downside is that my utility uses the port to manually read the meter usage data, so I need to do something that is easily removed by the tech. For now, I’m leaving the EMONTx running to fill the gaps since I doubt he will be kind enough to return the sensor when he’s done reading.
One of these days I’ll post my code to my github, but I just wanted to pass along my discovery in case anyone has this same issue…

I understand some smartphone cameras have an IR filter, but my webcam and digital camera can both see IR. So if you can’t see a pulse, and neither can your smartphone, it isn’t proof that there isn’t a pulse.

True. I have used my phone before, I think, with the old meter.
Issue here was that I couldnt see the flash during the day regardless. Also, when I looked, i didnt see anything, but I didnt wait long enough for it. Since it only flashes once for every 12 Wh, it sometimes takes up to 2 minutes to get the flash.
Also, several of the commercially available power cost monitors state they dont work with the A3TL (because there is no pulse).
I just posted so anyone who digs deep enough can discover information to the contrary.

I’d rather be able to monitor a radio transmission, but I dont think they have enough of these meters installed to form a useful mesh.