I recently bought a Raymarine
SmartController to save me having to install an autopilot
in the Cockpit
(I already have a P70R in the pilothouse). It is very useful but I have a couple of fundamental issues with it.
The first is battery
life, if I leave it on (without even using it) the batteries only last about 16 hours max before it dies. Also if I leave it off from fully charged and return just a few weeks later it is completely dead. Is this the sort of performance others have experienced with a brand new one??
I was expecting much more so phoned Raymarine
and the technician told me the batteries should last about 2 weeks with it on! So I took it in and the technician I spoke to as I handed it over told me it should only last about a day but raised his eyebrows when I told him about the battery
life with it switched off.
I was worried I had been sold old stock and the batteries had degraded whilst sat on the shelf for years. This concern was then increased as the Assistant said I would have to show proof of purchase
as the unit was more than three years old! I had only bought it a few months earlier form Marine
Superstore, Portsolent, Portsmouth and I had certainly not paid a discounted old stock price
The other major issue is that when ever power is supplied to it's charging
lead the unit switches on and there is no way to switch it off whilst power is supplied or stop this happening (as confirmed by Raymarine). I have wired the charging
lead into the yachts Outlet DC circuit (which also powers the usb charging points etc). But if I leave it in it's cradle
connected to the power lead whenever someone switches on that circuit at the DC board (to charge phone
etc) the StupidController will come on and remain on even when the Outlet power is switched off. So unless you go and manually switch it off (which requires holding a button down for many seconds) every time you switch off the Outlet DC circuit you will find (given the above issue) the Stupid Controllers battery is dead when you need it. It seems the only semi-solution is to have it on it's own circuit (what a nause!).
Sorry for the long winded explanation, any help or information on the above issues is most welcome, at the moment the unit is with Raymarine.