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sPOD by Baja Designs

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by RockiesRaider, Sep 20, 2022.

  1. Sep 20, 2022 at 9:36 AM
    #1
    RockiesRaider

    RockiesRaider [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2022
    Member:
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    In the 2017, I purchased what was, at the time, the top of the line touch screen 12V distributed control system from sPOD. I am an engineer with over 20 years of aerospace and defense experience and I grew up wiring and fixing all kinds of farming, marine and automotive equipment so the installation was rather straightforward. The system functioned as expected for about 2 years but then began exhibiting “peculiar” behavior. At random times the touchscreen, which is normally off in “sleep” mode until touched, would turn on and remain on until I touched the area of the screen that returned it to its sleep state. This happened infrequently at first but, over the next year+ it began increasing in frequency. I ran numerous tests (circuit impedance, continuity of each wire, grounding, power, etc.) and no issue with the system was evident. Since the unit still functioned as needed, this was just a nuisance that I chose to ignore. However, a new issue began occurring where the system would not always “wake” from it’s sleep mode when I touched the screen to initiate a control function. Again, this was infrequent at first but it became a concern with increased frequency when I needed to access functions in a timely manner. I repeated all of the basic electrical tests and again found nothing amiss. I reached out to sPOD and was put in touch with a technician who worked with me to walk through numerous troubleshooting steps and reviewed photos of my installation to verify everything was installed correctly, which he confirmed. Ultimately he was able to get the unit to function again by having me move the touchscreen control cable from one ethernet port to the other. This appeared to resolve the problem for several months but then the same progression of issues occurred to the point the screen would no longer “wake” at all. I reached back out to the technician and he requested that I remove the control unit and send it in for testing. They replied that the unit had been tested thoroughly and was performing nominally so their conclusion was that it must be a faulty control cable. I received and installed the replacement cable and the unit again functioned as designed for several months….until, the same progression of issues began resulting in the unit being non-functional. Once again I reached out and stepped through the basic troubleshooting steps with another technician who, this time requested both the control until and touchscreen be returned for testing. Their conclusion this time was that the issue was a defective screen. Initially they wanted me to purchase a new replacement screen for $350 because the old screen was no longer being manufactured. When I objected to this on the grounds that I had suffered through the faulty behaviors of their product for several years they “discovered” a replacement screen and charged me ~$40. The unit once again performed as expected…for TWO months. It is now again non-functional and they are stating that I need a replacement control unit for which they are wanting to charge me $350. Unless you have an inordinate amount of time and money to spend and aren’t concerned about the reliability of your system I highly recommend you find a different product.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
  2. Sep 20, 2022 at 3:05 PM
    #2
    aggrex

    aggrex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Member:
    #203
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    DE
    Vehicle:
    Backcountry '16
    Tuffy>AEV>TTO>JW>STech>EVOcage>MagnaFlow>SpiderTrax>RockHard>TF>SpringTail>67design>Bolt>GPCA>Curt>
    That's one bad experience that will steer you away from them again. I've used S-Tech switch controls for several years without issues. The S-Tech unit I used in three vehicles is very simple and sticks to the K.I.S.S principle without a bunch of extras. There are many inexpensive competitive brands available today that can offer similar performance at a much lower cost but will probably lack the touch screen features.
     
  3. Sep 20, 2022 at 3:25 PM
    #3
    RockiesRaider

    RockiesRaider [OP] New Member

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    Good point about staying with an "analog" solution. I needed to control 7 circuits and that many rocker switches takes up some room. However, no matter how compact or "Cool", it doesn't matter if it doesn't work.

    Any suggestions on a reputable manufacturer that makes a reliable and compact control system?
     
    Bob likes this.
  4. Sep 20, 2022 at 6:24 PM
    #4
    aggrex

    aggrex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Member:
    #203
    Messages:
    4,588
    DE
    Vehicle:
    Backcountry '16
    Tuffy>AEV>TTO>JW>STech>EVOcage>MagnaFlow>SpiderTrax>RockHard>TF>SpringTail>67design>Bolt>GPCA>Curt>
    Check out offerings from https://stechswitch.com/
    Some Jeepers have had good experience with Auxbeam products and even the inexpensive knockoff switch panel systems sold on Amazon
     
    Bob likes this.

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