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Using a Haltech Wideband Controller with Link and ECU Master Black ECUs

The Haltech CAN Wideband Controller Kit is an all in one wideband solution with plug and play functionality with Haltech ECUs. After seeing online that you could add heater control functionality while using them with Link ECUs I decided to delve deeper into it and check whether this was really the case.

To give some back story, some other ECU brands also have cross-compatibility with the Haltech Wideband Controllers. Two of these are:

Link (G4+, G4X, G5)

ECU Master (Black)

At this point I had planned to have the instructions for how to set up the Haltech WBOs on each of the above ECUs. Instead of blindly trusting the internet, I decided that I hated having spare time and jumped into confirming whether the CAN heater controls actually worked.

Cue an absolutely giant rabbit hole of CAN sniffing, wideband sensors, and ECUs.

The original premise of this article was to let people use a Haltech WBO with other ECUs and retain proper heater functionality. I believed this to be a fairly simple endeavour involving a little bit of CAN setup. As I understood it, the Haltech WBO uses the engine RPM signal being sent via CAN to determine what the engine state is and to therefore control the wideband sensor.

With that in mind I tried the following setups:

The ECU Master Black software allows you to select the Haltech CAN Wideband controller straight from the Oxygen Sensor Menu

Once connected if you output a Haltech V2 CAN-bus dashboard stream the engine rpm will be broadcast on the correct CAN ID for the WB1.

The Link is slightly more involved. In the CAN setup menu, the Mode must be set to user defined. A channel must then be set to “Link CAN-Lambda” with the CAN ID set to 950.

With this done, the Link will receive the Lambda data from the Haltech, but the wideband heater will always be on when the ECU is on.

To change to a setup with an RPM lockout so that the heater is only on once the engine is started the following CAN channel needs to be added.

On a separate Channel, change the mode to “Transmit User Stream 1” with a transmit rate of 50 Hz and a CAN ID of 864.

Once this is done, a custom stream must be set up.

Add a Frame, make sure the Frame setup is as follows
Frame Size: 8
ID Position: None

Then add a Parameter and select “Engine Speed”

What next?

After doing the above on both a Link and an ECU Master Black ECU with a Haltech WB1 plugged in we found that there was no difference in how the controller behaved.

Upon turning the car on (without starting the engine) the wideband heater was immediately on (drawing 1.4-1.6 amps). This isn’t what we expected at all, so we went back to basics and did the same test with the WB1 plugged into a Haltech Elite 2500. Expecting a different result, the wideband behaved in exactly the same way, heating up immediately irrespective of the engine state.

In doing all of this, the CAN stream from the WB1 was sniffed as well to try and determine what state the wideband was in. For a more detailed write up on that, see our “Haltech Wideband CAN sniffing and DBC files article.

In summary, the Haltech Wideband controllers are an excellent option for use with other ECUs, but their behaviour didn’t quite match what we were expecting and as a result, setting them up with another ECU is even easier as the engine output CAN messages made no difference to how they behave. This also means that they can be run as a standalone unit without any ECU involvement if you just need to add a wideband sensor/controller and would like to be able to upgrade at a later date. If that is the case then you can add a standalone Arduino powered gauge to monitor your wideband readings, to find out more about that jump over to our “Making an Arduino Nano powered gauge for the Haltech WB1” article.

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The CAN sniffing and testing was performed on a Haltech WB1 with Firmware Version 1.9 and 2.3