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Old 05-01-2014, 06:28 AM   #1
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SPOD mod question

I'm thinking about getting the SPOD because I'm not an electronic guru. It makes more sense to me to buy a nice, neat package now than to figure out how to piece together any additional mods as they arise. I've read a number of threads on here about the SPOD and still have a few concerns. I'm looking at the double light version, probably the double LED version. I also like the idea of the SPOD lights coming on when the headlights are turned on instead of relying on the low voltage cut off. It seems the new double light SPODs have the button to turn on and off the lights. Rather than hooking up a wire to each switch to link it to the CANBUS, couldn't someone just use the wiring to the button? And with regards to the OTRATTW switches, can the covers be switched out or are the entire switches required?

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Old 05-01-2014, 12:32 PM   #2
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Yes, you can wire from the button, or better yet just passed the button, but that's what the sPod is for, adding electical dohickeys but staying away from the CANBUS.

As far as the OTRATTW switches; Yes, just pop the old covers off, and pop the new ones on. They sell a tool that makes it really easy, but you can do it with a screwdriver or pair of pliars.

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Old 05-01-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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Yes, you can wire from the button, or better yet just passed the button, but that's what the sPod is for, adding electical dohickeys but staying away from the CANBUS.
Sigh...I'm aware that the thing was designed to stay away from the canbus and that I could just use the button. My opinion is that the button is a workaround to a problem left over from the original single light design. The purpose of the button is to turn on the spod lights in a low light environment. Than functionality could be automated with a mod that links the spod into the headlights. My question wasn't if I could mod the mod in such a way that would make the mod unnecessary. My question was if the addition of the button would make the mod easier to accomplish.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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I have thought about that myself. I'm guessing, and let me make that very clear, GUESSING that you will have to include a relay. I suspect the button just pulls power from the sPod itself. So to override that, I would think you would need to add a relay with power to the button outboard wires. Then tap into the headlight circuit as a trigger to turn on the relay.

I think if it was simpler than that then sPod would have included it.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:16 PM   #5
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I think if it was simpler than that then sPod would have included it.
I would have to disagree. I think they should have included it but intentionally left it out to keep the spod completely separate from the Jeep's wiring. It seems that the button would have a positive going in on one side and the negative coming out the other side. Push the button to complete the circuit. But if you tap into a wire that's "hot" only when the headlights or running lights are on and connect it to the negative side of the button, I would think that the circuit could be complete with either the button or with the headlights/running lights. But that's just my novice opinion. I was hoping someone who has done that mod could provide some insight.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #6
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I would have to disagree. I think they should have included it but intentionally left it out to keep the spod completely separate from the Jeep's wiring. It seems that the button would have a positive going in on one side and the negative coming out the other side. Push the button to complete the circuit. But if you tap into a wire that's "hot" only when the headlights or running lights are on and connect it to the negative side of the button, I would think that the circuit could be complete with either the button or with the headlights/running lights. But that's just my novice opinion. I was hoping someone who has done that mod could provide some insight.
That is assuming the trigger circuit for the headlights is actually a power circuit. Trigger circuits use milliamps, I don't think the trigger circuit for the headlights has enough amperage to power the indicator lights. But they are leds so it is possible. I also think the pushbutton is not positive or negative and can be wired either way. It is simply an interrupt to the power feed. If you grounded the other side of the switch instead of running it to the leds, the lights would not come on.

Let me know how you make out.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:17 PM   #7
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That is assuming the trigger circuit for the headlights is actually a power circuit.
Yes. I'm basing that assumption on people who have modded their single light units with double light switches from OTRATTW and used that wire for the power by hooking wires to each switch. If I'm understanding their work correctly, it appears sPod has already wired them through the button. I'll link to those threads when I get to the office and I'm not on my phone.

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Trigger circuits use milliamps, I don't think the trigger circuit for the headlights has enough amperage to power the indicator lights. But they are leds so it is possible.
And that's where my lack of knowledge comes in. I know people have modded the second light in the sPod to come on with the headlights but I don't know if my idea would reproduce their results.

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I also think the pushbutton is not positive or negative and can be wired either way. It is simply an interrupt to the power feed. If you grounded the other side of the switch instead of running it to the leds, the lights would not come on. Let me know how you make out.
Yes, but if there were two power sources, either wire providing power should complete a circuit and turn in the light. I'll draw a picture when I get to the office. I understand what you're saying but my limited knowledge in this area may be hampering my ability to explain my thinking.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:25 PM   #8
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This sounds very familiar: Hacking the CAN-Interior Bus

And yes, you can do that. When I first started hacking the interior CAN-Bus it was for precisely the reason you are talking about. It's pretty easy to do this (once you get past a few initial hurdles). Making a small CAN bus integration circuit that listens for the message ID's that drive the interior lighting to on (which is really what you want) and listens to the dimming commands is easy; having that drive switch circuit to turn on the sPOD's interior lights is also relatively easy.

The way the sPOD's interior switches are wired is a little confusing but not too bad.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:22 PM   #9
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This sounds very familiar: Hacking the CAN-Interior Bus

And yes, you can do that. When I first started hacking the interior CAN-Bus it was for precisely the reason you are talking about. It's pretty easy to do this (once you get past a few initial hurdles). Making a small CAN bus integration circuit that listens for the message ID's that drive the interior lighting to on (which is really what you want) and listens to the dimming commands is easy; having that drive switch circuit to turn on the sPOD's interior lights is also relatively easy.

The way the sPOD's interior switches are wired is a little confusing but not too bad.
And this is where I get lost. CANBUS is all new to me and my limited understanding is that components will pass signals to other components so you don't have to run separate wires to each. That is what makes me afraid to tap any factory wires except power feeds and grounds. Would hate to touch a circuit which then affects the message ID being transmitted properly.

Finding the power feed to the dash lights would be my approach rather than looking for the headlight signal wire.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:26 PM   #10
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And this is where I get lost. CANBUS is all new to me and my limited understanding is that components will pass signals to other components so you don't have to run separate wires to each. That is what makes me afraid to tap any factory wires except power feeds and grounds. Would hate to touch a circuit which then affects the message ID being transmitted properly.

Finding the power feed to the dash lights would be my approach rather than looking for the headlight signal wire.
And if that's all you wanted to do ( just flip that one light ) then by far that's the best and easiest way. Put a diode in the circuit for protection and be done with it, easy easy easy.

The CAN busses aren't something to be afraid of, though. You shouldn't be randomly taping wires in the vehicle without knowing what they are in the first place, right? The CAN and LIN buses are all well-documented in the wiring harnesses so you can avoid those wires unless you want to grab them.

Otherwise it's a good idea to think of a CAN bus pair of wires (less-so the LIN buses) as a computer network cable; don't mess with it unless you want to be part of the network.

I think in the JK people get more afraid of the CAN busses than they should because of the other circuit advancements in there, too - such as the ability to tell if a headlight is out. You start messing with that, and your computers detect it, and people are apt to start blaming that fickle CAN bus, when in reality it was something totally different.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:54 PM   #11
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And if that's all you wanted to do ( just flip that one light ) then by far that's the best and easiest way. Put a diode in the circuit for protection and be done with it, easy easy easy.

The CAN busses aren't something to be afraid of, though. You shouldn't be randomly taping wires in the vehicle without knowing what they are in the first place, right? The CAN and LIN buses are all well-documented in the wiring harnesses so you can avoid those wires unless you want to grab them.

Otherwise it's a good idea to think of a CAN bus pair of wires (less-so the LIN buses) as a computer network cable; don't mess with it unless you want to be part of the network.

I think in the JK people get more afraid of the CAN busses than they should because of the other circuit advancements in there, too - such as the ability to tell if a headlight is out. You start messing with that, and your computers detect it, and people are apt to start blaming that fickle CAN bus, when in reality it was something totally different.
I absolutely agree that if you have the knowledge to integrate into the factory wiring rather that tap into it, then that is the way to go. I looked at your thread and I am amazed at what you have accomplished. I'm sure you didn't learn all that in a weekend. And the learning curve to come up to speed enough to be able to integrate the spod into the canbus, at least for me, would take a lot more time than the old approach I already know. I really respect what you're doing, dc, but to be honest this dog is way too old for new tricks. Maybe TH is willing to spend the time. Of course if I had a schematic now that would be different.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:00 PM   #12
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The really amazing thing is that so far I've only managed to burn up one microcontroller. Details...
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:11 PM   #13
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The really amazing thing is that so far I've only managed to burn up one microcontroller. Details...
lol. I have confidence that you will eventually decode the entire bus. More power to you I think it's great. Here's to hoping they don't change all the codes next model year.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:15 PM   #14
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I think the JK's will remain static now until they're done, but whatever is next will be totally different.

I was hoping to have time this weekend to open up the new '14 I got last week and see how it's different from the '12, but another project is in the way at the moment, so, soon!

I really want this summer to not only attack the CAN interior bus but also the other 2 buses as well, especially the PCM... fun stuff.

And I want to take the EVIC/cluster apart, pull the code out and do some real hacking All the really fun stuff would require some code changes inside of that...
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:20 PM   #15
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I think the JK's will remain static now until they're done, but whatever is next will be totally different.

I was hoping to have time this weekend to open up the new '14 I got last week and see how it's different from the '12, but another project is in the way at the moment, so, soon!

I really want this summer to not only attack the CAN interior bus but also the other 2 buses as well, especially the PCM... fun stuff.

And I want to take the EVIC/cluster apart, pull the code out and do some real hacking All the really fun stuff would require some code changes inside of that...
Well from what I've read companies such as procal are still trying to get it right. I think all your hacking could lead to a future business venture for yourself. And God knows if that comes to pass, YOU HAVE EARNED IT!
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:30 PM   #16
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This sounds very familiar: Hacking the CAN-Interior Bus
Yes...yours was one of the threads I read...or at least started to read. Your level of comprehension is quite a few pay grades above mine. And, to be honest, I think what you're doing would be a bit overkill for what I'm looking to achieve. I understand the concept of having the Raspberry Pi receive the signal and perform an action based on the signal. I'm thinking that I may need to stay on the other side of the wiring where the power is. From what I can tell, a simplified view of the normal sPod circuit looks something like this:



I think I could set up something like this:


My issue is where in the headlight circuit could I hook up to? And since they all end up hooking into the negative terminal of the battery, would the new connection complete the circuit for the sPod lights? Would there be the right amount of power to run the sPod lights? Would something like this be easier or better on the power side or the CANBUS side of the wiring?
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:45 PM   #17
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The problem I see is that the headlight switch most likely does not send power to the headlights. It would send either power or ground to the headlight control circuit (which is milliamps), as I mentioned earlier.

If you can find the power circuit (not control circuit) to the dash lights, you could tap that directly to the LED array bypassing the spod switch and run the other side of the array to ground.

Here is a schematic I did for another member. It is just for wiring accessories but the basic function is the same for the headlight switch. The switches are part of the trigger (control) circuit to the relay. The relay then closes and activates the power circuit. The power circuit for the lights never goes near the tub.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:11 PM   #18
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Is the interior light circuit powered with a PWM signal that you need to even out for the relay to fire reliably?
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:33 PM   #19
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The problem I see is that the headlight switch most likely does not send power to the headlights. It would send either power or ground to the headlight control circuit (which is milliamps), as I mentioned earlier.

If you can find the power circuit (not control circuit) to the dash lights, you could tap that directly to the LED array bypassing the spod switch and run the other side of the array to ground.

Here is a schematic I did for another member. It is just for wiring accessories but the basic function is the same for the headlight switch. The switches are part of the trigger (control) circuit to the relay. The relay then closes and activates the power circuit. The power circuit for the lights never goes near the tub.
But the power going through the switches has to form a closed circuit, right? So wouldn't it have to end up back at the battery? My understanding is that since the battery is the only power source when the engine is off and the headlights come on when the engine is off, the battery would have to be the power source. And the switch would have to be part of a closed circuit in order to provide constant power to the relay to hold it closed. If that's the case, then on my second drawing, couldn't you simply replace the headlight with the relay and that drawing would still be good for what I'm looking at? I would have to believe there's a wire in the cab that's hot when the headlights are on and not when they're off.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:47 AM   #20
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Is the interior light circuit powered with a PWM signal that you need to even out for the relay to fire reliably?
My thoughts are that whatever process the system uses to turn on, adjust brightness, and turn off the dash lights has to be in the control circuit. Using the power circuit would leave that untouched, which as I said earlier I would not tap into a control circuit for that very reason.

Of course, as noted in my first post, I'm guessing. CANBUS is new to me.

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But the power going through the switches has to form a closed circuit, right? So wouldn't it have to end up back at the battery? My understanding is that since the battery is the only power source when the engine is off and the headlights come on when the engine is off, the battery would have to be the power source. And the switch would have to be part of a closed circuit in order to provide constant power to the relay to hold it closed. If that's the case, then on my second drawing, couldn't you simply replace the headlight with the relay and that drawing would still be good for what I'm looking at? I would have to believe there's a wire in the cab that's hot when the headlights are on and not when they're off.
When you run something to ground, you are completing the loop. The frame and tub are attached to the battery negative.

Think of the relay, which in this case would be a single-pole single throw (SPST) as two different circuits. The power circuit runs from the battery positive to the relay, out of the relay to the accessory, and finally from the accessory to ground (either back to the battery negative or to the frame or tub). On that circuit inside the relay is a switch. When the switch is off the accessory is off. That circuit is rated on the relay to handle a certain amount of amperage (10A, 15A, 20A, 25A, 30A, etc.). They only way to close that switch inside the relay is using the second circuit that is in the relay.

That second circuit is commonly called the control or trigger circuit, as it controls or triggers the relay. It runs on very low amperage to allow very small switches to be used to turn the accessory on or off, rather than have to use large switches. That circuit is powered by a 12V feed in, either switched or not switched, then out to the small switch that will be used to control the accessory, and then from that small switch to ground. You can put the small accessory switch on either the input or output side of the control circuit. I prefer the output side as it is easier to find a ground anywhere on your Jeep than it is to find a power wire. When the control circuit is completed (closed) by the switch, then the power circuit is activated (completed).

So if you don't want to use a relay then you need to tap into the POWER circuit and leave the control circuit alone. I would think that finding any interior light on the dash that is controlled by the headlight switch on the stalk on the column would be sufficient for six small LEDs.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:03 AM   #21
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So what you don't want to do is tap into the headlight CONTROL circuit. You need to tap into a POWER circuit.
It was a slow night at work...I was able to do more reading. I'm going to get the single light system and a set of double light OTRATTW switches. The dependent light will be hooked up through the sPod and will function as the single light switch. The independent light will be wired to together and hooked up to the dash light wire and will come on when the Jeep is turned on. There's no need to pay an extra $65 for the built in double light wiring.

SPod and OTRATTW switch tech review

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Old 05-02-2014, 06:12 AM   #22
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It was a slow night at work...I was able to do more reading. I'm going to get the single light system and a set of double light OTRATTW switches. The dependent light will be hooked up through the sPod and will function as the single light switch. The independent light will be wired to together and hooked up to the dash light wire and will come on when the Jeep is turned on. There's no need to pay an extra $65 for the built in double light wiring.

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Aha, bingo! Like I said, use the dash light power circuit. Well the extra $65 includes the 2-LED switches, not just the wiring. You will have to buy both the switches and rockers from OTRATTW.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:24 AM   #23
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Aha, bingo! Like I said, use the dash light power circuit. Well the extra $65 includes the 2-LED switches, not just the wiring. You will have to buy both the switches and rockers from OTRATTW.
The LED version is another $20 on top of the regular double light version. And the "always on" light is on the bottom. I'm going to get the OTRATTW switches with the "always on" light on the top. So that would be an extra $85 to get switches I wouldn't use.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:25 AM   #24
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The LED version is another $20 on top of the regular double light version. And the "always on" light is on the bottom. I'm going to get the OTRATTW switches with the "always on" light on the top. So that would be an extra $85 to get switches I wouldn't use.
Gotcha. Sounds like a fun little project. Post pics when you're done.

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