So, you have bought some lights, and now you’re wondering if you need a switch power distribution system to make your life easier. How do you know which system to get, and why would you want it over the provided wiring harness and relays? It all boils down to simplicity and customizability. We have a good rule of thumb: if you plan on utilizing more than three switches to control your lights, then you probably need a power distribution system such as sPOD. As a new member of the Bestop Premium Accessories Group (BPAG), sPOD has moved the manufacturing in-house to Baja Designs in San Marcos, CA. Let’s take a look at what an sPOD is and whether or not it makes sense for your project.
- Centralized Control: sPOD offers a centralized means of managing and controlling auxiliary 12V electrical components on off-road vehicles, providing a single point of control for all your accessories.Solid-State Technology: Both the BantamX and SourceLT units utilize a solid-state board, providing a continuous power flow of up to 100 amps, and featuring up to eight circuits in total, rated at 30 amps each.
- Customizability: The Touch Panel allows for a wide variety of customization, including linking up to four BantamX units for a total of 36 switches controlled by one panel.
- Safety Features: The sPOD system includes a variety of safety features that help to protect against electrical faults, such as a low-voltage cutoff feature that prevents damage to the battery by shutting off the electrical components.
- Warranty: sPOD backs up their products with a 5-year manufacturer defect warranty, giving customers peace of mind knowing they’re purchasing a reliable product.
What is sPOD?
An sPOD power distribution switch system is an advanced electronic control unit that offers a centralized means of managing and controlling auxiliary 12V electrical components on off-road vehicles. It consists of two main components: the switch panel and the solid-state unit. All you do is wire your positive and negative wire to the unit, and it is just one Ethernet cable going through the cab to the switch controller – it is really that simple. But we also believe in the product, so much so that we back it up with a 5-year manufacturer defect warranty.
sPOD offers two powerful and space-saving switch panel power systems: the BantamX, an eight-circuit system, and the six-circuit system SourceLT. These solid-state technology units provide a continuous power flow of up to 100 amps and feature up to eight circuits in total, rated at 30 amps each. This flexibility allows customers to easily power a broad range of 12-volt accessories and not have to worry about any relays or fuses for each circuit; both systems utilize a solid-state board and one main fuse.
The BantamX comes standard with the TouchHD, which gives that tactile feedback many people are so fond of. But for those looking to really customize their setup at the touch of their fingertips, we recommend the Touch Panel, which allows for a wide variety of customization and even linking up to four BantamX units for a total of 36 switches controlled by one panel. The sPOD engineers wanted to ensure our customers had full control of their system by integrating a splitter on the BantamX, allowing two switch panels to link together on one unit, so you can have a switch panel in the back of a camper and in the cab of a truck.
Both the sPOD BantamX and SourceLT units come equipped with built-in Bluetooth technology, giving customers the freedom to program and control their system from any wireless device. With a wide range of programming options available, including output dimming, strobing, flashing, master-slave functions, memory, auto power-up, momentary settings, input, and more that can be controlled through the app as well. Additionally, the units’ RGB technology allows for a broad spectrum of backlighting colors to match any unique style and preferences.
When is the right time to upgrade?
Before you can consider upgrading your power management system, you must consider the application you’ll be using it for. If you are only running two light switches hooked up to your A-Pillar or your dust lights, we think that setup is just fine. But if you are looking to hook up three or more lights to add to it in the future, it is a no-brainer solution. Not only does it clean up your wiring, but the ease of installation makes it perfect – no splicing into a harness or adding in any type of complicated power tray and spending hours on a forum trying to learn how to set it up. Without having to fish multiple harnesses, the sPOD has a single cable going to the switch panel.
More Than Just Lighting
In addition to lighting, the sPOD system can also control winches and air compressors, although it cannot handle the circuit load as the amps typically pull 50-70 amps. With the use of the harnesses, you can tie in the switch lead and run the switch controller of the winch or air compressor. We see many people use an sPOD as a switch controller for both winches, air compressors, and lockers.
Safety in Mind
The sPOD system includes a variety of safety features that help to protect against electrical faults, such as a low-voltage cutoff feature that prevents damage to the battery by shutting off the electrical components. If the battery drops below 11.6V, after two minutes, the Bantam will shut down. So when you are at camp and accidentally leave your lights on, you won’t have to worry about your car being unable to start because your lights drained your battery.
While it may seem like an extra step to add a switch system to your off-road vehicle, the benefits of simplicity and customizability cannot be overlooked. If you plan on utilizing more than three switches, a power distribution system like sPOD is an excellent choice. With its advanced electronic control unit, such as the BantamX and SourceLT, sPOD offers a centralized means of managing and controlling auxiliary 12V electrical components, including lighting, winches, and air compressors. With its solid-state technology and up to eight circuits, sPOD provides the flexibility to power a broad range of accessories and makes it easy to install and customize your system. Ultimately, whether or not sPOD is the right choice for your project will depend on your specific needs, but it is certainly worth considering as a powerful and space-saving power management system.