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All google searches lead to multiple posts, articles and HPA webinars. Now, I understand that the wideband controller to ECU via 0-5V analog output requires us to be vigilant about offsets and to:
1. Use ONLY sensor ground if 0-5V analog output is leveraged
2. Make a voltage correction via manually setting controller... to say 0.5V and compare with ECU's reading
3. Solve the issue all together with Serial or CAN signal
What is NOT clear to me is whether or not the AFR Gauge itself is voltage offset sensitive. If not, why?
Internally, the wideband controllers can tolerate a range of inputs voltages (some are more sensitive than others) -- it is the chips they use to produce an analog voltage output that are sensitive to the load (circuit impedance) they have to drive. Using a more digital way of transferring the data (ie, using a communictions protocol) is really the right way to solve the problem as you've discovered.