A while back I noticed that my Raymarine SPX-5 autopilot did not have the most 
recent firmware, but at that time I did not rush to update as I had no 
mechanism, like you, to do so.  To me it was not a major issue as the autopilot 
was working fine.  I operated it as stand alone device which I would mainly use 
to maintain a course heading or to occasionally assist in tacking.   

During it’s 4th or 5th year of use (after warranty), I started having problems 
with the autopilot drifting off course, then failing to recalibrate, and 
finally not working at all.  I called Raymarine and a tech had me measure the 
resistance across several wires to check the compass and measure voltage at the 
wheel drive.  After doing so, a tech stated that the problem was with the 
course computer, and that I need to send it in for repair.   I sailed my 29 for 
another year without a working autopilot before removing it and selling the 
vessel after purchasing my Landfall 38.  

Shortly before splashing the LF38 after some refitting, I sent the autopilot 
computer to Raymarine to see how much it was going to cost to fix it.  Over the 
phone, I was told that it would be a minimum of $99 for out of warranty repair 
work.  About a week after sending it in, I started calling to inquire on the 
repair.   The customer rep. took my contact info and told me they would contact 
me with a day or so.  The very next day, the unit arrived via UPS fully 
repaired and with an updated firmware.  I was expecting a pricey repair charge, 
but the only cost to me was the original USPS shipping fee to Raymarine. 

In your case, If the p70 firmware update provide important fixes or new must 
have functionality, you could look into sending it to Raymarine for the 
updating.  My guess is that they will do it free of charge.  I know it is not 
ideal, but at least it’s an option.

I have to admit, it was mostly this experience with Raymarine that later led me 
to purchasing a Raymarine e7d chart plotter, a Ray depth transducer, and a Ray 
Speed/Log/Temp system over other brands.  And recently an EV-200 autopilot (but 
with the octopus 1212LAR12 linear drive). 

Paul E.
1981 C&C 38 Landfall 
S/V Johanna Rose
Carrabelle, FL


> On Sep 21, 2016, at 8:57 AM, cnc-list-requ...@cnc-list.com wrote:
> Graham/all - to be clear, to me the issue is not so much being able to update 
> one Manufacturer's firmware from another's device, it's about not being able 
> to update it at all, without a MFD  (hence the 'accessories to MFD subject 
> line').  Raymarine could easily have elected to permit updates by some other 
> means at the network level or at the device, but didn't.  
> Read the manual before buying?  Just dug them out and here's  what it says in 
> my pristine p70 autopilot controller manual:
> '- software revision
> Raymarine regularly updates product software to add new features and improve 
> existing functionality.  This document covers lighthouse version 3.xx which 
> should be used in conjunction with ev... Blah blah 
> Check the raymarine website to ensure you have the latest software and user 
> manuals.'
> That's all it says, and I'm a bit surprised.      They address that software 
> updates  are part of ownership, and (rightly) offer and encourage the happy 
> new autopilot purchaser to update their software, even helpfully directing 
> them to the website.    (Sounds great, here's my money!). One minor detail 
> seems to have been omitted...  
> It been an interesting topic to explore, with interesting perspectives.   
> I'll  figure out a way to sort it.   I like the raymarine instruments and 
> their people were accessible and courteous.  The more I dig into it though, 
> the more convinced I am that their approach to this is unethical, 
> irrespective of how one might feel about their broader strategy.   (The 
> manual ices it.). Anyway, now we know, as will others who read the 
> discussion. 
> I didn't hate them, but I'm starting to.
> Mic drop... ;-)
> Dave


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