I have only 30,000 plus miles experience with an Alpha 3000. Worked flawlessly for most of the time it was install for 20+ years and then the compass
went south 3 yrs ago and it was replaced and then the ram failed the following year and it shorted the control head
. YUCK. Rather than start with a new pilot I received a special offer to replace the control head
new in the old case... and bought a new ram which was improved and quieter. So I got the most current
version - software
. It's back on duty working flawlessly now for 2 yrs.
I like the Alpha 3000 because:
The course heading is set by turning a large dial pointing to steer the heading you want. The dial is like a little helm
... turn to starboard.. boat steers to starboard. I don't want to be punching numbers into a display. I placed the control head so I can turn the dial while looking where I'm going... even steer from under the dodger
The AP does NOT interface with GPS
and that suits me fine. I set waypoints and then set the dial to the course. I don't use routes either... just one waypoint at a time.
There is a yaw control to limit the amount of minor corrections required from waves and puffs. This saves amps and the pilot is not pushing it back and forth to correct for minor changes in direction (imperceptible usually).
My experience in several deliveries with Raymarine and precursors was that they were OK.. but I did not like the button pressing to set a course or change one.
support has been excellent and so I would highly recommend the Alpha 3000.