Caught the Bug
Thanks. OK - here goes (admin - feel free to move it if you so deem) This is about the product and the application, not the company - they were helpful. I believe KH had a head start (pun intended).Sorry to hear about your troubles. Might as well just discuss the spod issue here. That company sucks more dicks than Kamala Harris.
During one of the transition builds of my jeep the decision was made by a 3rd party interest to incorporate "high tech" into the old school format of the 1953 M38A1. The old school wiring was removed as were all the switches in favor of MilSpec harnesses and these sPODS.
Immediately thereafter began the problems. In retrospect, the biggest problem was not the technology but the choice to use it. It is the dilemma between theory and practice. The installation quickly revealed a lack of operational knowledge or consideration.
The sPOD screens were the first to pose a problem. The flat touch screens were mounted on the center console to provide "finger tip access", but instead were impossible to read because of dust, demanded I take my eyes off the road to figure out what switch was where, and went into bat-shit crazy mode when I tried to clean them off.
The sPods were converted to the push button controllers and relocated to overhead.
The next issue was the MilSpec wiring. Any change, modification, addition, etc - required the assembly of a new harness and was often met with the statement of "There aren't enough empty pins in the cannon plugs". My response was typically, "WTF not?"
To further complicate the system, a MOTEC was installed and was now controlling fans, fuel pumps, etc through a series of relays, resettable circuit breakers, and those aforementioned MIlSpec harnesses.
While no stranger to modern technology, I flew 777's and other high-performance jets; my roots are in the fighters and bombers of WWII and the muscle cars of the 70's. I understand and appreciate both - but when it comes to off-road, if I can't fix it on a trail or out in the desert, or wherever - it's useless.
Such was the case this past Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon I took my wife for a drive around Moab; twice the jeep died but restarted after resetting the key. I noticed the lights were out in the sPod controlling ignition, and having had a different sPod have a similar experience I assume it might be dirt in the ethernet connection at the control pad.
I cleaned the connection with some contact cleaner and the problem did not reappear the rest of the day. Confident I had fixed it, I got up Wednesday morning eager to hit the trail. The jeep started, ran for about 5 minutes and died. Resetting the key did nothing, neither did flushing the cable or the pad with contact cleaner. Swearing in both English and Italian rendered the same result.
After contacting one of the installers I was directed to perform the following: find the resettable CB, trace that to the actual sPOD unit, measure voltage across the CB, same for the terminals on the sPOD. Next, find the ethernet cable coming out of the sPOD and make sure it's clean and has good contact. Yeah - right!
Fueled by a double espresso and feeling pissed off just enough - I grabbed a set of side cutters and a meter, donned a headlamp, crawled into the space in front of the pax seat, and started cutting zip ties. CBs- located, tested - all good. sPOD units - located, tested - all good, but here is where the problem starts. These units are supposed to be covered, mounted in a dry, clean space, and direct wired to the battery - not daisy-chained. What I discovered was not that.
I had to remove the battery box cover to expose the top of the "electrical compartment" and gain access to the tops of the sPODS. more zip tie cutting and I got to the ethernet cables. Swapping cables did nothing. I flooded the top of the sPOD with contact cleaner, blew it out with air, and went for my truck and trailer.
With the trailer in position, I was about to attach the winch line and decided to try the ignition - it fired! I drove it onto the trailer and told my wife we were headed home. The electrical system was on the pax floor and I didn't know it was fixed or just a fluke.
It took a long time to get here - but here's the issue. sPODs might be good, they might be bad - bottom line, I don't care - I'm ripping them out along with all that fancy MilSpec wiring and reinstalling good old wires with good old switches in an overhead panel.
As far as I'm concerned - mine is not the application for sPODS.
Let the friendly debate begin!
Here's a couple pictures of the sPOD units, how they're mounted and wired, and the wires I had to cut apart to get to them.