RSE and SPOD Posible? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-13-2018, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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RSE and SPOD Posible?

Did some searching and found a thread on here about using an SPOD with Rock Slide Engineering Sliders. It was from 2010 and did not have an answer.

I have the sliders already on my JKU along with the supplied switch that turns the slider function off. I want to use my SPOD SE as the switch to turn the sliders off. I want the sliders on all the time and when I want to turn the sliders off I want to be able to hit the slider off button on my SPOD panel (touch screen). I don't want to leave the SPOD on all the time to use the sliders as suggested in the 2010 thread. There was some talk about a possible relay that would have to be built to make it work the way I really want to.

Has anyone done this yet? I emailed SPOD and they said to google it for the instructions. I have googled every way I can think of I can't find the answer. So SPOD is no help on this topic so hopefully someone here has an answer.

I couldn't post the link the older thread since I am new to this site. It was titled sPOD/R-se.



Thanks in advance!!!
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-13-2018, 08:36 PM
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I don't know how much help I will be, but maybe I can shed a little light, just a tiny amount.

I just finished an Spod HD install which is very similar to the touch screen except it has a different interface.....Its basically a touch screen with a more analog or physical interface. No rocker switches with either one.

Let's just start with some basics here. The Spod is a low voltage distribution system, with a few extra bells and whistles. It takes a high current source (direct feed to the battery) and uses that to distribute 12V to any device wired to it UP TO 30A per device. All you do is connect the positive and negative wires from any device, lights, compressor, electric locker, etc to the pos and neg terminals of each Spod switched circuit. Your touch screen can handle 8 circuits in its basic form.

Normally, to power a device, let's say an electric locker that needs a lot of current, you would have to install a relay to avoid having to run thick, heavy gauge wire to a switch that would also have to be capable of handling a heavy amp load. (Rocker switches cannot handle much current at all.) The relay handles completing the circuit to the actual device (the locker) when it is "instructed" to do some by the rocker switch connected to the relay. Does that make sense? The Spod does all of this in one neat tidy little package. No need to mount and wire numerous relays all over the engine compartment of your vehicle. And with the touch screen, no need to mount any rocker switches as it is all on one on small screen.

After briefly reading up the RSE sliders, they use their own wiring harness and a "small computer" to control their system. They have a remote switch that can turn the sliders "off" (or prevent them from deploying is probably a more generic way to say that) that is mounted in the cab of the jeep. instead of using the supplied switch from RSE you want to disable your sliders via your touch screen Spod. Sounds like a good plan. And you, like me, want to control everything from that one screen.

Here is the problem as I see it. We don't know what the hell that "switch" that RSE supplies is actually doing. Almost certainly, it is NOT interrupting the 12V circuit to the motors that actually actuate (poor choice of words) the steps. I have no idea what the current draw of those motors is, but rest assured it exceed the current rating of that goofy switch that RSE supplies.

Since it is not controlling the actual 12V feed to the motors, it must be providing some sort of signal to the computer that the human wishes for the steps to not function when the switch is in the "off" position. But how did RSE design that switch circuit. Does it provide a pos 12V in the "on" position and 0 volts in the "off" position? Or is it a positive 5V in the on position (common voltage used in digital circuits) and 0 V in the off position, or maybe -5V in the off position (commonly used in digital circuits as well). If I had to guess, and its only a guess I would say +5V is on and -5V is off, but then its been wayyyy too long since I worked with this stuff.

So I think your casting shade on Spod is misplaced. How the hell would they know how RSE designed that signaling circuit? They would just be guessing. What you really need to do is to call RSE and ask THEM how to control their steps with an Spod touch screen. The Spod only lives in the 12V world. And then only +12v and ground. If RSE is using 5v for the signaling between that switch and their "small computer" you are shit out of luck. Or, at that very least, you will need to travel further down the rabbit hole.

And wherever you got the "I need a relay to make this work" story from, I think that is misplaced. Or at the very least, it would be needed only if you were going to "hack" into 12V feed into the motors and try to control when the motors have power and when they don't. And it would only be needed if those motors draw more than 30A. Remember, Spod can handle up to a 30A draw without the need for an external relay. If you need more than 30A, then you need an external relay and you use the Spod to trigger the relay. (That part of the relay circuit draws a very small amount of current.)

As I type this (too lazy to go back and rewrite it) I suppose if that RSE supplied switch is using 5V, then your only hope is to try and control when the motors have power and when they don't. Again, without knowing exactly how RSE controls these motors, it would be unwise to just hack into the wiring harness and seize control of the motors. Don't forget, you still want the damn steps to open when the door opens! Bypassing the power feed from the RSE "system" would in all likelihood, not make the steps deploy when the door is opened. You would have to activate them via the Spod every time you opened the damn door, which I am sure is not what you want. You would need to control the power "upstream" of the door switches, but then what the hell else are you affecting when you do that? maybe shutting off their "small computer" which is probably not a good thing.

Okay, I am officially rambling at this point. Bottom line, IMO, there is no way to do this without talking to RSE. And they may tell you there is no way to do it. Or they just may not want to try to figure out how to do it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-13-2018, 09:20 PM
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Oh shit, I am over thinking this! That damn RSE supplied switch caused me to go down a rabbit hole.

Just put a relay in the 12V power feed to the motors, after all the RSE control circuitry. Use the Spod to control that relay. Either leave the RSE switch in the on position or remove it but connect the wires so that the circuit is permanently in the "on" position.

Then whenever the RSE control system wants to activate a slider, it can only do so if the Spod switch is on (relay is closed). If the Spod switch is off, the relay is open and regardless of whether or not the RSE circuitry is sending power, it won't get to the motors.

Thus, you have just eliminated the RSE switch and now the Spod controls when the steps actuate and when they don't.

You will need to know the current draw of the motors to size the relay and fuse (probably don't need a fuse but it can't hurt) properly.

EDIT:

Oh double shit!!! Wait a minute, the RSE sliders can "detect" when they hit something going down. They must be measuring the current draw and detecting any minute increase in current draw as the motor tries to push against the obstacle. If you go inserting a relay into that circuit, it will possibly screw with that "obstacle detection" functionality.

Never mind. You need to call RSE. But more than likely they contracted with a small EE job shop to design this years ago. They probably don't really know exactly how it works. So I would not be surprised if they told you to not do it.

Last edited by Nucleophile; 02-13-2018 at 09:26 PM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-13-2018, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nucleophile View Post
I don't know how much help I will be, but maybe I can shed a little light, just a tiny amount.

I just finished an Spod HD install which is very similar to the touch screen except it has a different interface.....Its basically a touch screen with a more analog or physical interface. No rocker switches with either one.

Let's just start with some basics here. The Spod is a low voltage distribution system, with a few extra bells and whistles. It takes a high current source (direct feed to the battery) and uses that to distribute 12V to any device wired to it UP TO 30A per device. All you do is connect the positive and negative wires from any device, lights, compressor, electric locker, etc to the pos and neg terminals of each Spod switched circuit. Your touch screen can handle 8 circuits in its basic form.

Normally, to power a device, let's say an electric locker that needs a lot of current, you would have to install a relay to avoid having to run thick, heavy gauge wire to a switch that would also have to be capable of handling a heavy amp load. (Rocker switches cannot handle much current at all.) The relay handles completing the circuit to the actual device (the locker) when it is "instructed" to do some by the rocker switch connected to the relay. Does that make sense? The Spod does all of this in one neat tidy little package. No need to mount and wire numerous relays all over the engine compartment of your vehicle. And with the touch screen, no need to mount any rocker switches as it is all on one on small screen.

After briefly reading up the RSE sliders, they use their own wiring harness and a "small computer" to control their system. They have a remote switch that can turn the sliders "off" (or prevent them from deploying is probably a more generic way to say that) that is mounted in the cab of the jeep. instead of using the supplied switch from RSE you want to disable your sliders via your touch screen Spod. Sounds like a good plan. And you, like me, want to control everything from that one screen.

Here is the problem as I see it. We don't know what the hell that "switch" that RSE supplies is actually doing. Almost certainly, it is NOT interrupting the 12V circuit to the motors that actually actuate (poor choice of words) the steps. I have no idea what the current draw of those motors is, but rest assured it exceed the current rating of that goofy switch that RSE supplies.

Since it is not controlling the actual 12V feed to the motors, it must be providing some sort of signal to the computer that the human wishes for the steps to not function when the switch is in the "off" position. But how did RSE design that switch circuit. Does it provide a pos 12V in the "on" position and 0 volts in the "off" position? Or is it a positive 5V in the on position (common voltage used in digital circuits) and 0 V in the off position, or maybe -5V in the off position (commonly used in digital circuits as well). If I had to guess, and its only a guess I would say +5V is on and -5V is off, but then its been wayyyy too long since I worked with this stuff.

So I think your casting shade on Spod is misplaced. How the hell would they know how RSE designed that signaling circuit? They would just be guessing. What you really need to do is to call RSE and ask THEM how to control their steps with an Spod touch screen. The Spod only lives in the 12V world. And then only +12v and ground. If RSE is using 5v for the signaling between that switch and their "small computer" you are shit out of luck. Or, at that very least, you will need to travel further down the rabbit hole.

And wherever you got the "I need a relay to make this work" story from, I think that is misplaced. Or at the very least, it would be needed only if you were going to "hack" into 12V feed into the motors and try to control when the motors have power and when they don't. And it would only be needed if those motors draw more than 30A. Remember, Spod can handle up to a 30A draw without the need for an external relay. If you need more than 30A, then you need an external relay and you use the Spod to trigger the relay. (That part of the relay circuit draws a very small amount of current.)

As I type this (too lazy to go back and rewrite it) I suppose if that RSE supplied switch is using 5V, then your only hope is to try and control when the motors have power and when they don't. Again, without knowing exactly how RSE controls these motors, it would be unwise to just hack into the wiring harness and seize control of the motors. Don't forget, you still want the damn steps to open when the door opens! Bypassing the power feed from the RSE "system" would in all likelihood, not make the steps deploy when the door is opened. You would have to activate them via the Spod every time you opened the damn door, which I am sure is not what you want. You would need to control the power "upstream" of the door switches, but then what the hell else are you affecting when you do that? maybe shutting off their "small computer" which is probably not a good thing.

Okay, I am officially rambling at this point. Bottom line, IMO, there is no way to do this without talking to RSE. And they may tell you there is no way to do it. Or they just may not want to try to figure out how to do it.

Thank you for your response. It does makes sense what you are saying. I can try and call RSE instead of email which didn't work. They said in my email that there is a way to do it but wanted me to "look it up". May be it's just too complicated to figure it out with the SPOD.

I'm not giving up yet, there has to be a way to do this on the SPOD SE.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-14-2018, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squinko View Post
Thank you for your response. It does makes sense what you are saying. I can try and call RSE instead of email which didn't work. They said in my email that there is a way to do it but wanted me to "look it up". May be it's just too complicated to figure it out with the SPOD.

I'm not giving up yet, there has to be a way to do this on the SPOD SE.
Thinking about this some more, I forgot to account for the fact that the steps go up and down. Assuming this transition is not done mechanically, it requires the electric motors to operate in a forward (down) mode and a reverse (up) mode. My background is high speed data communications, not DC motors, but having a motor spin in both directions probably requires a pos 12V feed and a negative 12V feed. Therefore installing a relay in the pos 12V side will be slightly more complicated, especially if you don't have a wiring diagram. You could use a volt meter and figure out which wire is feeding the pos 12 V to the motors and then install a relay in that circuit. You would use the wire coming from the supply side or from the control side of the circuit as your "power source" wire for the relay. The other side of the relay would go to the motor. Then use the Spod pos and neg wires to control the relay. (If you are unfamiliar with how to wire up a relay, there are simple diagrams that you can google.)

If this were me, here is how I would attack this issue, assuming you won't get any help from RSE.

1. Use a volt meter to figure out what voltage that RSE supplied on/off switch is using for the control side. (Keep in mind if it is an illuminated switch, it will have a 12V feed for the LED light for illuminating the switch in the dark. Don't confuse that voltage with the actual control circuit voltage.) If it is using a pos 12v as the control circuit, then you could simply rewire that circuit into the Spod and eliminate the RSE supplied switch. That would almost be too easy, and thus probably not likely. I am betting they are using a pos 5V for that circuit.

2. If you cannot eliminate that RSE supplied switch, then you have to take control of the motors directly, downstream of the RSE controls. The only real thing that I can think of to worry about is that "reversing if the step detects an object blocking deployment" functionality. I would take a long 2x4 and get a feel for how much force is required to reverse the step during operation. Then install a relay controlled by the Spod and "measure" the force again to ensure that the reversing functionality is still operating as it should. If it still does (and it really should) you will be in business.

Keep in mind that if you retain the RSE switch, both that switch and the Spod switch have to be in the "on" position for the steps to deploy. If either is in the off position, the steps won't deploy. You can either leave the RSE installed and just leave it on all the time or you can hot wire around it and remove it. Personal choice.

At the very least, a wiring diagram will go a long way to simplifying your work. Will RSE hand over a wiring diagram? I would think so, but maybe not. They may view that as proprietary. After all, they did pay someone to design the electronics for them. They may not want that out in the open.

Getting RSE to tell you how to do this is even more remote. Like I said, they most likely contracted with someone to design this for them. They may not even understand exactly how it works themselves. They would probably need to go back to the EE who designed it and ask him or her how to do it. That will cost them money as the EE doesn't do shit for free. So now you are asking RSE to spend money to figure out how to get their system to integrate with an Spod. And they may get one or two requests a year for how to do this. If they don't see a market for this, I doubt they will pursue it. Ideally, it would take a completely different wiring harness so that a consumer could easily tie it into an Spod. That would really take some investment by RSE to make happen. Again, unless they see a market for it, doubtful they would do it. (I actually met the owner of RSE on a trail in Moab a few years ago. Super nice guy!)

I think you are pretty much on your own on this one. It is somewhat ironic that I am in the middle of a similar, albeit much less complicated, situation. I am trying to control a device that is not really meant to be controlled by an Spod. My issue has more to do with the 30A limitation of the Spod though. So just yesterday I bit the bullet and ordered a 40A relay to control it.

If you do decide to pursue the relay option, you can estimate the current draw of the motors by looking at the wiring. If it is 12 AWG wire, its probably a 20A or 25A draw. If its 10 AWG it is probably a 30A to 40A draw. Maybe 45A tops. Make sure you match the wire size and use a relay sized to the wire. I would fuse it just to be safe. And start with a smaller fuse to see how much current it is drawing. Fuses are cheap.

Hope that helps...................(probably not what you hoping for.) I think RSE (or Spod) may have told you to google the instructions thinking there has to be someone out there who has done this already and posted their results on a forum. Unfortunately, you may have to be that someone.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-14-2018, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nucleophile View Post
Thinking about this some more, I forgot to account for the fact that the steps go up and down. Assuming this transition is not done mechanically, it requires the electric motors to operate in a forward (down) mode and a reverse (up) mode. My background is high speed data communications, not DC motors, but having a motor spin in both directions probably requires a pos 12V feed and a negative 12V feed. Therefore installing a relay in the pos 12V side will be slightly more complicated, especially if you don't have a wiring diagram. You could use a volt meter and figure out which wire is feeding the pos 12 V to the motors and then install a relay in that circuit. You would use the wire coming from the supply side or from the control side of the circuit as your "power source" wire for the relay. The other side of the relay would go to the motor. Then use the Spod pos and neg wires to control the relay. (If you are unfamiliar with how to wire up a relay, there are simple diagrams that you can google.)

If this were me, here is how I would attack this issue, assuming you won't get any help from RSE.

1. Use a volt meter to figure out what voltage that RSE supplied on/off switch is using for the control side. (Keep in mind if it is an illuminated switch, it will have a 12V feed for the LED light for illuminating the switch in the dark. Don't confuse that voltage with the actual control circuit voltage.) If it is using a pos 12v as the control circuit, then you could simply rewire that circuit into the Spod and eliminate the RSE supplied switch. That would almost be too easy, and thus probably not likely. I am betting they are using a pos 5V for that circuit.

2. If you cannot eliminate that RSE supplied switch, then you have to take control of the motors directly, downstream of the RSE controls. The only real thing that I can think of to worry about is that "reversing if the step detects an object blocking deployment" functionality. I would take a long 2x4 and get a feel for how much force is required to reverse the step during operation. Then install a relay controlled by the Spod and "measure" the force again to ensure that the reversing functionality is still operating as it should. If it still does (and it really should) you will be in business.

Keep in mind that if you retain the RSE switch, both that switch and the Spod switch have to be in the "on" position for the steps to deploy. If either is in the off position, the steps won't deploy. You can either leave the RSE installed and just leave it on all the time or you can hot wire around it and remove it. Personal choice.

At the very least, a wiring diagram will go a long way to simplifying your work. Will RSE hand over a wiring diagram? I would think so, but maybe not. They may view that as proprietary. After all, they did pay someone to design the electronics for them. They may not want that out in the open.

Getting RSE to tell you how to do this is even more remote. Like I said, they most likely contracted with someone to design this for them. They may not even understand exactly how it works themselves. They would probably need to go back to the EE who designed it and ask him or her how to do it. That will cost them money as the EE doesn't do shit for free. So now you are asking RSE to spend money to figure out how to get their system to integrate with an Spod. And they may get one or two requests a year for how to do this. If they don't see a market for this, I doubt they will pursue it. Ideally, it would take a completely different wiring harness so that a consumer could easily tie it into an Spod. That would really take some investment by RSE to make happen. Again, unless they see a market for it, doubtful they would do it. (I actually met the owner of RSE on a trail in Moab a few years ago. Super nice guy!)

I think you are pretty much on your own on this one. It is somewhat ironic that I am in the middle of a similar, albeit much less complicated, situation. I am trying to control a device that is not really meant to be controlled by an Spod. My issue has more to do with the 30A limitation of the Spod though. So just yesterday I bit the bullet and ordered a 40A relay to control it.

If you do decide to pursue the relay option, you can estimate the current draw of the motors by looking at the wiring. If it is 12 AWG wire, its probably a 20A or 25A draw. If its 10 AWG it is probably a 30A to 40A draw. Maybe 45A tops. Make sure you match the wire size and use a relay sized to the wire. I would fuse it just to be safe. And start with a smaller fuse to see how much current it is drawing. Fuses are cheap.

Hope that helps...................(probably not what you hoping for.) I think RSE (or Spod) may have told you to google the instructions thinking there has to be someone out there who has done this already and posted their results on a forum. Unfortunately, you may have to be that someone.
Wow!! I will need to process this info for awhile. Thank you for all the ideas. Hopefully I can figure something out and post it up. No huge deal, but now it's more of a challenge!!
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