How in the hell is an S-Pod BantamX $915.00!

MiamiC70

Active member
So I’m in the market for a centralized wiring solution for my lights and accessories and even though price makes me sick I sort of decided on getting an S-Pod. At $750.00 the S-Pod Bantam HD Universal cost i felt way overpriced and I have been mulling it over. Just last week was on S-Pods website and figured I’d wait see if they might have a 4th of July sale. Wishful thinking. not only was there no sale the S-Pod Bantam HD is gone and replaced by a BantamX HD which is even more expensive. Now, I understand buy once and cry once but this ridiculous. these devices should be getting cheaper with as volume of units sold increases. they even say therevis NO difference between the board in a Bantam and BantamX.

So, I just can’t understand how an S-Pod is as expensive as it is being solid state and how in the hell is BantamX HD $915.00!!!
 

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
I remember once there was a phone app that cost $10k and its only purpose was to show a picture of a crystal on your phone's screen to "prove" you're rich enough to spend $10k on nothing.

Anyway I learned a long time ago that 100% of the time I would want my high beams on I would also want my driving lights on, and 100% of the time I would want my low beams on I would not want my driving lights on. So I just run SAE pattern driving lights, connect their relay to my high beam circuit & with a manual override switch out of the way under the hood if I ever need it. I have never needed it.

As ever lagom ar bast.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

javajoe79

Fabricator
I agree. They’re more expensive than I care for. I installed one for a customer not long ago. The touchscreen is inaccurate and annoying to use plus none of it is waterproof or anywhere close to it. For the money you can buy multiple PDM modules that are waterproof. https://www.rowe-electronics.com/shop
 

MiamiC70

Active member
That Rowe looks interesting.

Thing that gets me besides the cost is the whole ”Made in the USA” thing. The manufacturers tout Made in the USA, small family owned business and yet, again and again rather than set a “fair” cost based on higher US labor they go for ridiculous markups. Then these same guys cry when a foreign firm reproduces the product and sells it at half the price. it’s just just S-Pod and it’s not just Overlanding products.
 

CMARJEEP

Observer
Have you looked at Switch Pros? Not as expensive and I think for what you get it’s worth the money. Having a well organized and reliable electric system is important when you are running a lot of different switches accessories.
 

mvbeggs

Adventurer
What about the ARB LINX system? Don't know much about them, but if I was building a vehicle, I'd check them out. Never regretted anything I've bought from ARB. Their products always seems to be well engineered and top notch in my book.
 

MiamiC70

Active member
Have you looked at Switch Pros? Not as expensive and I think for what you get it’s worth the money. Having a well organized and reliable electric system is important when you are running a lot of different switches accessories.
Exploring all options. On principle alone, I refuse to pay the obscene amount S-Pod wants. Especially, now that they have again jacked the price.
 

MiamiC70

Active member
What about the ARB LINX system? Don't know much about them, but if I was building a vehicle, I'd check them out. Never regretted anything I've bought from ARB. Their products always seems to be well engineered and top notch in my book.
Love, ARB going back to the 90’s and even now have quite a bit of thier stuff. My issue with the LINX is the limited actual use, limited real work or current reviews, limited support or updates and just a general feeling ARB is not 100% committed to this platform.
 

Augster

New member
What exactly are you trying to control and accomplish? Just lights? Or do you have a varied list of devices, such as air compressors, air lockers, awnings, coolers...? Do you have specific functions that you'd like to perform, such as if one set of lights are turned on, then you want a different set of lights to turn or off, strobe, etc?

If just lights and/or a couple simple DC motors (e.g. compressors), then I think the Bantams may be a bit overkill value-wise. Although these have an integrated power distribution attachment block, I don't think it's worth the several hundred dollar (or more) premium over the more than capable SwitchPros 9100, though the SwitchPros don't come with an integrated distribution block (you either attach the wire leads to the devices directly, or layout your own distribution blocks acquired elsewhere). The smartphone apps of either device are rather simple, virtual button GUI's, but offer quite a few additional functions and programmability for lights, such as strobes, flash, etc.

In addition to smart phone control, the sPOD and SwitchPro solutions offer a physical switch panel that would need to be mounted.

If you don't need a dedicated panel, then the Rowe modules mentioned previously, as well as the Trigger Wireless Control System, offer lower cost solutions, with both controlled soley by smart phones.

But all the smart phone apps that I've seen thus far are rather clunky and simply mimic a basic physical switch panel virtually, albeit without the physical limitation of a fixed number of buttons that you get locked into when purchasing a Bantam HD or 9100 6- or 12-button panel system.

Regarding the Linx, it appears to have a superior GUI in all aspects: clean and much more refined design (at least, in the eyes of my software and graphic designer side of me) on a detachable, wireless Android-based controller. Alas, it does lack real-world feedback so finding independent hands-on reviews are few. It does appear, however, that ARB has introduced updates since introduction, with the latest v1.7 released around June of last year. I'm not sure how well it interfaces with other manufacturer's products, but it's clearly focused on working with specialized ARB-branded equipment, such as their line of coolers, air lockers, TPMS, and air compressors. Regarding light control, I think lighting is rather basic in nature and I'm sure the Linx will work just fine with any brand, although I don't think they offer built-in strobe/flash functions like the sPOD and SwitchPros.

One of the shortcomings of the Linx is that it doesn't implement solid-state circuit protection: for higher-amp devices, you will need to add your own relays and fuses. Also, the distribution block is not weather-proofed at all, so it needs to be installed either in the cab, or in a weather-proof box that you must source or build yourself. I have someone who works at a local off-road shop and has sold one Linx thus far, and the feedback from that customer was that it was hard for him to program. Not sure what the issue is, but it could be either the customer wasn't that tech-savvy, or it truly is a pain. But the promo-videos I've seen seem to suggest it should be rather straight-forward.

As you can see, I, too, am on the hunt for a centralized power-distribution system, and because I will be installing an ARB Dual Compressor for my tires, I'm intrigued with the automated features the Linx offers for tire pressure control as they are second-to-none, after purchasing the optional $225 Pressure Control Kit. I was debating building my own such automatic tire inflation/deflation system based on an Arduino or Pi board controlled by a custom smart-app I'd create, but the Linx solution and GUI is just too good and well thought-out that this is the system I'm probably going to invest in, regardless of the lack of user feedback because: one, there are no significantly negative feedback that I could find; two, it's still being sold since it's introduction at the end of 2017; and three, ARB is a well-established, brand-recognized company with great, in-demand products so I don't think ARB is in danger of folding any time soon.

ARB LINX (How to guide: Compressor module & pressure control)
ARB LINX | Compressor & Pressure Control Module

As my lighting needs are moderate with only a handful (forward light bar, rear S2 Pro's with built-in strobe feature via an aftermarket wiring kit specifically for my vehicle, work lights, and maybe some rock lights), the Linx should fit-the-bill just fine.

Finally, I already have too many things going on with my smart phone, including GPS mapping apps that would be in-use and actively being displayed on my truck's built-in screen via CarPlay, so I want a separate, dedicated control panel (though I would still like a smart phone app just for the convenience if I needed it). The detachable, wireless controller of the Linx is way more superior to me than the fixed manual switch panels of the sPODs and SwitchPros. Speaking of the sPOD, their touch-screen controller GUI, like their smart-phone app, is rather bland and basic, in my opinion.

So the clincher for me was that the Linx offers superior air compressor control, bar none. Without the compressor control in the equation, I'd probably go for a SwitchPro 9100 myself because of its positive reviews, lower cost than the Bantams, and it uses a hardware switch panel.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die.: And other mor...
by Jared McCaffree, Jessica Mans, Kobus Mans
From $19.99
Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle from Scotlan...
by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
From $35.66
Motorcycle Messengers: Tales from the Road by Writers who...
by Lois Pryce, Mark Richardson, Carla King, Sam Manic...
From $9.99

MiamiC70

Active member
Lights, possibly ARB compressor so I need an 8 circuit. However, I’m limited on both button space and under hood space for relays and want to limit the number of wires run.
 

spikemd

Explorer
I'm exploring options as well. The ARB Linx looks the most promising and the sPOD looks absurdly priced and clunky. Another power distribution module is neutrinoblackbox.com. Just came across it and haven't researched it completely yet. I have a Recaro Manager 30 for all my power management needs with a 110ah lithium battery. The Linx looks like it can control my lights and lockers and maybe some other accessories.
 
Top