Adding accessories to your truck or SUV used to be quite the ordeal. You had to find a place for switches, cut holes in precious interior panels, wire fuses and relays, and hope it all worked in the end. It was an overall stressful scenario that was far more difficult than it ever should have been.
If you’re lucky enough to own a late-model Ford Super Duty pickup or ’18 Jeep Wrangler JK, then you know the joy of factory-installed upfitter switches. For the rest of us, there’s the sPOD. Precision Designs, manufacturer of the sPOD system, is family-owned, based in California, and produces all of its products in the United States. Thanks to the company’s continued innovation, adding a switch panel to control 12-volt accessories has never been easier. The company offers vehicle-specific models for Jeep and Toyota trucks and SUVs, along with universal kits for nearly everything else. The systems can be controlled with standard toggle switches, two different digital panels, or an iPhone via Bluetooth. And they can be installed by nearly anyone with a free afternoon.
| Precision Designs has been manufacturing the sPOD switch panel and the Source controller since 2005 and has quickly become the go-to source for accessory power management and integration. The company manufactures vehicle-specific applications for Jeep and Toyota vehicles, as well as an extensive variety of universal applications.
| Our test vehicle was Jeep Wrangler, but odds are good that if you’ve added lights, a compressor, or any other accessory that relies on battery power, you’ve got a wild mess of wires as well.
| No matter the application, each sPOD system comes with the appropriate mounting bracket, a switch panel (which can be either analog toggles or digital), and the Source control unit, along with plenty of wire ties, terminals, and heat-shrink tubing.
| SPOD Source SE Accessory Switch System
| Since our test vehicle was a Wrangler JK, the sPOD came with a custom mount for the switch panel. The factory windshield footman loop (used when the windshield is folded) is removed and the bracket gets installed in its place.
| SPOD Source SE Accessory Switch System Bracket
| The sPOD’s typical configuration is either six or eight circuits; we opted for the larger of the two, allowing us more flexibility in the number of accessories we intend to install. Precision Designs also offers switch panels with built-in air gauges for those with an onboard compressor or with an empty spot for any gauge of your choosing. Don’t have a good place for switches? No problem, you can also get an SE system with one of two digital controllers.
| Finding a suitable path to route cables is often the most difficult part of a wiring job. Thankfully, this has become significantly easier since the advent of the internet, with a quick search often delivering a plethora of routing options specific to your application. For us, this meant finding a route that only required poking through some foam to link our sPOD switch panel and Source control unit together.
| SPOD Source SE Accessory Switch System Cable Routing
| The Source control unit is rubber-mounted to the included mounting bracket, which helps to isolate it from vibration. The rubber seal is also used to mitigate dust and moisture intrusion.
| By default, the sPOD Source SE system is active at all times and protects the battery by way of a low-voltage cutoff. However, if you desire to have one or more circuits active only when the ignition is keyed on, the unit can be configured as such by tapping into a keyed power circuit, attaching it to the supplied terminal, and activating the feature.
| Where are the fuses and relays, you ask? The Source SE system utilizes current-sensing, solid-state MOSFETs that are controlled by a microprocessor. Each circuit is protected from 1.5 to 30 amps automatically, and should a fault be detected, the system is self-healing, which is great for troubleshooting and maintenance.
| The DIP switches on the circuit board are used to enable diagnostic status lights, disable the low-voltage cutoff, and enable the key-on power function previously described.
| On the Wrangler JK, the sPOD Source unit is mounted in the space between the vehicle’s computer and the brake booster.
| SPOD Source SE Accessory Switch System Mounted
| Wiring is one of the most feared DIY projects for the average enthusiast. With decent tools and a bit of patience, it’s something anyone can do. When preparing our auxiliary circuits for attachment, we wrapped the wires in an abrasion-resistant sleeve, crimped the terminals, and sealed it all up with Marine-grade heat-shrink tubing.
| SPOD Source SE Accessory Switch System Wiring Process
| After attaching the power supply line to the battery, ground cable to the chassis, Cat5 cable for the switch panel, and all of the auxiliary circuits, the sPOD Source SE system is ready to go. We completed the installation in less than 2 hours in the driveway, with only basic handtools.