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Which is the correct wideband controller/ gauge in 2019/2020?

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:24 pm
by vehicular
I haven't bought a wideband O2 sensor controller since the Innovate LC1 came out. There are a half dozen options I'm seeing people using now including the AEM X Series, Innovate LC2/ MTX-L/ MTX-AL/ MTX-L+, 14point7 Spartan, and PLX SM-AFR. I need to feed data to an MSPNP Gen 2 in an E30.

Are there any actual differences between the controllers that use an LSU 4.9 sensor? I can't find any actual output timing data to compare the "fast" controllers (AEM X Series and Innovate MTX-L+) to the "slow" controllers. Do you still have to free air calibrate the Innovate controllers? Somebody help.

Re: Which is the correct wideband controller/ gauge in 2019/2020?

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:46 am
by Hodgdon Extreme
There is a lot that goes into the controller circuit to correctly heat the pumping cell. Cheaper ones still do not do it as well as better ones.

IMO, this is the best unit I'm aware of for the money. The control circuit is by ECM, the industry standard for Laboratory use.

https://www.bmotorsports.com/shop/produ ... 79sv29i4n7

Also IMO, the NTK sensor is a worthwhile upgrade because the sensors tend to last longer. The LSU4.9 aint bad, though.

Re: Which is the correct wideband controller/ gauge in 2019/2020?

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:18 pm
by vehicular
What does a Ballenger get you over an Innovate or AEM contoller? Accuracy? Signal processing speed? Reliability?

Where can I find data on sensor reliability/ accuracy/ etc?

Re: Which is the correct wideband controller/ gauge in 2019/2020?

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:39 pm
by Hodgdon Extreme
Frankly, I don't know. I've used PLX, AEM, Innovate, Ballenger and others to good effect. Never knowingly had an issue with any of them.

However, engine testing labs spend thousands to buy either ETAS or more commonly the ECM controllers.

Considering the price for the AFR500 by Ballenger is pretty typical, I think fact ECM is responsible for the control circuit makes it a great choice. Only thing it lacks is a CAN interface, which is starting to become a pretty nice/important feature. However, if your ECU is happy with the analog 0-5V output from the Ballenger, it's a solid choice.

Re: Which is the correct wideband controller/ gauge in 2019/2020?

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:20 pm
by vehicular
These guys show actual data logs between teh AEM X Series, and some of the older controllers (Innovate LC2 and PLX SM-AFR Gen4). AEM also claims to be able to keep sensors alive longer.

http://speed.academy/aem-x-series-wideb ... confirmed/

The only other consideration for me at this point is that the PLX Gen 5 claims to be able to show sensor response speed and a health reading. There's no way to know if that reading has any value, but it's something. The PLX also has a pretty big box I would have to stuff under the dash some place vs the AEM containing everything in a (ugly) gauge or a smallish cable mounted box.

Re: Which is the correct wideband controller/ gauge in 2019/2020?

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:03 pm
by mittens
I have a innovative PBS-1 on my ski.

Wide band and boost. Love it for what it is and it has boost high record.

Re: Which is the correct wideband controller/ gauge in 2019/2020?

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:20 am
by chevy408
Here is an article if anyone cares to read about widebands:
https://www.enginelabs.com/engine-tech/ ... TV-DghzrVw

edit - well, after actually reading the article it doesn't help with specific wideband controllers, but it does help explain why EVERYBODY with a large cam and no cats complains about it smelling and "running rich". A vehicle running an OEM computer will be in closed loop at idle and cruise. The ECM is controlling AFR based on feedback from the O2 sensors. Once you increase valve overlap with a larger cam then you have to delay injector timing so fresh fuel isn't being added while the exhaust valve is not yet closed. But not matter how much you pull fuel from the base tables, the ECM will add back using short & long term fuel trims based on O2 sensor feedback. It is possible to force Open Loop at idle, but then you loose corrections for atmospheric changes. So we live with smelly exhaust at idle unless you retain the cat converter.

For the record, I still use 10 year old Innovate LM-1 and LC-2 wideband controllers.