Before contacting us for support, here’s a list of frequently asked questions with helpful answers.  Your can also check out and download product handbooks from here.

Our searchable news blog here has lost of information on apps, 3rd party product integration and product installation.  You’ll also find videos on all our products and helpful setup on our Youtube channel here.

AIS Transponders & Receivers

AIS Receiver

An AIS which sends and receives data is known as a transceiver (or often called a transponder). There are also simple devices called AIS receivers which pick up transmissions and decode for displaying on a compatible chart plotter or PC based navigation system – or even an iPad or tablet.

AIS transponders will allow you to receive data from vessels close to you, but will also allow you to continuously transmit your vessel’s identity, position, speed and heading, as well as other relevant information, to all other AIS-equipped vessels within your range.

To transmit its position, an AIS transponder must have its own GPS antenna. All our AIS transponders are supplied with a GPS antenna or have a built-in GPS antenna.

With an AIS receiver or transponder, you will receive all information of surrounding ships and will allow you to contact them directly. There are 3 types of AIS data that are automatically and continuously transmitted:

  • Dynamic data: position and speed which are automatically calculated by the transponder.
  • Static data: MMSI, ship name, size and contact details. This data is programmed on the device.
  • Voyage data (only for class A transponder): Destination, ETA, number on board and navigation status. This data is programmed on the class A transponder before and during each voyage.

The data transmission frequency is different depending on the transponder category and the speed of the ship.

The AIS targets can be displayed in different ways:

  • On a multifunction plotter/screen using the NMEA interface of an AIS receiver/transponder.
  • On a PC/MAC navigation software thanks to a NMEA/USB adapter or an AIS receiver/transponder with an integrated USB interface.
  • On an iOS/Android navigation application via a NMEA to WiFi server or an AIS receiver/transponder with integrated WiFi interface.

Each system will display the AIS targets differently (colours, size, etc.) but the data will remain the same. The next tab will explain which AIS transponder you need depending on the system you want to use to display the AIS targets.

If the AIS transponder doesn’t have a built-in VHF splitter (i.e. AIT5000), there are 2 options: either install a dedicated VHF antenna for AIS or install an antenna splitter so that the main VHF antenna is used for both VHF radio and AIS.

For those who want to use their existing VHF antenna, then we recommend the use of a certified zero loss VHF antenna splitter such as our SPL1500 and SPL2000. Please do not use a non-zero loss certified VHF antenna splitter. They are inexpensive, but they can destroy your AIS transponder.

For those who want to install a VHF antenna dedicated to AIS, then we recommend a VHF antenna tuned to AIS frequencies. The AIS transmission and reception works on 2 dedicated channels which use the frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz (channel 87B and 88B). VHF frequencies in the maritime environment use frequencies from 156.0 to 162.025 MHz and most VHF antennas are designed to provide maximum gain on channel 16 (156.8 MHz). You can now find antennas on the market dedicated to AIS frequencies such as the HA156 antenna.

These antennas, dedicated to AIS frequencies, offer maximum gain at 162 MHz (which is the centre between the 2 AIS frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz). So if you install a VHF antenna instead of a VHF antenna splitter for your AIS receiver or transponder, then choose an AIS frequency VHF antenna to compensate for the loss due to the installation of the antenna lower down than the main VHF antenna at the top of the mast. The graph below shows how a dedicated AIS frequency antenna (162 MHz) provides a better VSWR and therefore a better transmission and reception.

The best option would be to output the AIS information to a computer, most of our products now come with a USB connection as standard, so it is a simple plug and play connection to your computer.

Alternatively, you can add our WLN10/WLN30 to the AIS receiver and receives AIS targets directly on a navigation app. There are hundreds of apps which can display AIS targets.

No, we supply a version of our Smartertrack software free with every AIS product. The same software can also be upgraded at a later point to a full function navigation package with Navionics charts.


AIT1500, AIT1500N2K, AIT2000, AIT2500 & Nomad

An AIS which sends and receives data is known as a transceiver (or often called a transponder). There are also simple devices called AIS receivers which pick up transmissions and decode for displaying on a compatible chart plotter or PC based navigation system – or even an iPad or tablet.

AIS transponders will allow you to receive data from vessels close to you, but will also allow you to continuously transmit your vessel’s identity, position, speed and heading, as well as other relevant information, to all other AIS-equipped vessels within your range.

To transmit its position, an AIS transponder must have its own GPS antenna. All our AIS transponders are supplied with a GPS antenna or have a built-in GPS antenna.

With an AIS receiver or transponder, you will receive all information of surrounding ships and will allow you to contact them directly. There are 3 types of AIS data that are automatically and continuously transmitted:

  • Dynamic data: position and speed which are automatically calculated by the transponder.
  • Static data: MMSI, ship name, size and contact details. This data is programmed on the device.
  • Voyage data (only for class A transponder): Destination, ETA, number on board and navigation status. This data is programmed on the class A transponder before and during each voyage.

The data transmission frequency is different depending on the transponder category and the speed of the ship.

The AIS targets can be displayed in different ways:

  • On a multifunction plotter/screen using the NMEA interface of an AIS receiver/transponder.
  • On a PC/MAC navigation software thanks to a NMEA/USB adapter or an AIS receiver/transponder with an integrated USB interface.
  • On an iOS/Android navigation application via a NMEA to WiFi server or an AIS receiver/transponder with integrated WiFi interface.

Each system will display the AIS targets differently (colours, size, etc.) but the data will remain the same. The next tab will explain which AIS transponder you need depending on the system you want to use to display the AIS targets.

To help you choose the right AIS transponder for you, here are a few keys that may help you out:

  • Receive targets on a plotter – if you want to receive only AIS targets on a plotter then you have the choice between the AIT1500, AIT1500N2K, AIT2000 and AIT2500. The AIT1500 or AIT1500N2K have a GPS built into the transponder and is therefore recommended for fibreglass boats up to 30 feet. The AIT1500 only has an NMEA 0183 interface while the AIT1500N2K has a NMEA 2000 interface. The AIT2000 (class B) and AIT2500 (class B+) both have an external GPS antenna and can therefore be installed on any type of boat. They both also have an NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000 and USB interface.
  • Receive AIS targets on software or applications – If you only want to receive AIS targets on navigation software or applications, then we recommend the iAISTX. This is an AIS transponder with an external GPS antenna and a built-in WiFi server.
  • Receive AIS targets on a plotter AND software/applications – To receive AIS targets on a plotter and software/applications at the same time, we recommend the AIT5000 (Class B+). The AIT5000 is the most complete AIS transponder with a certified zero loss VHF antenna splitter, NMEA multiplexer, external GPS antenna and WiFi server.
  • AIS for rental boats – if you are looking for an AIS receiver or transponder that you can put in your suitcase and want to use when renting a boat then the Nomad is the right AIS transponder for the job. It is the only portable AIS transponder that has a built-in GPS, is USB powered and comes with a portable VHF antenna.

Now that you have an idea of which AIS transponder you need, you will also need to choose between Class B or Class B+ AIS transponder.

There are 3 types of AIS transponders: Class A, Class B and Class B+ :

  • Class B AIS Transponder is for recreational craft installation and is a simplified, lower powered 2W transceiver which is normally a black box and uses a connected chart plotter to display local AIS targets. It transmits every 30 seconds regardless of vessel speed and can’t transmit additional data like destination port.
  • Class B+ AIS Transponder (also called Class B SOTDMA or Class B 5W ) is a new standard that utilises SOTDMA format transmissions which offer a 5W power output (2.5 x more powerful than a regular Class B), a guaranteed time slot for transmission in busy traffic areas and faster update rates depending upon the speed of the vessel. It’s ideal for ocean sailors requiring the best possible performance and future proof satellite tracking applications, fast power boats and smaller non-mandated commercial vessels.
  • Class A AIS Transponder must have a dedicated (and type approved) display to show the location of nearby AIS targets and transmits at 12.5W. Data is sent at up to every 2 seconds depending upon the vessel speed and the display also allows for data to be inputted to the transmission such as vessel destination. A Class A device is normally used on commercial vessels as its Type Approved to IMO specifications.

If the AIS transponder doesn’t have a built-in VHF splitter (i.e. AIT5000), there are 2 options: either install a dedicated VHF antenna for AIS or install an antenna splitter so that the main VHF antenna is used for both VHF radio and AIS.

For those who want to use their existing VHF antenna, then we recommend the use of a certified zero loss VHF antenna splitter such as our SPL1500 and SPL2000. Please do not use a non-zero loss certified VHF antenna splitter. They are inexpensive, but they can destroy your AIS transponder.

For those who want to install a VHF antenna dedicated to AIS, then we recommend a VHF antenna tuned to AIS frequencies. The AIS transmission and reception works on 2 dedicated channels which use the frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz (channel 87B and 88B). VHF frequencies in the maritime environment use frequencies from 156.0 to 162.025 MHz and most VHF antennas are designed to provide maximum gain on channel 16 (156.8 MHz). You can now find antennas on the market dedicated to AIS frequencies such as the HA156 antenna.

These antennas, dedicated to AIS frequencies, offer maximum gain at 162 MHz (which is the centre between the 2 AIS frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz). So if you install a VHF antenna instead of a VHF antenna splitter for your AIS receiver or transponder, then choose an AIS frequency VHF antenna to compensate for the loss due to the installation of the antenna lower down than the main VHF antenna at the top of the mast. The graph below shows how a dedicated AIS frequency antenna (162 MHz) provides a better VSWR and therefore a better transmission and reception.

The AIS transponder can be configured with the free PC/Mac software called ProAIS2. The ProAIS2 software can be downloaded free of charge directly from our website. The functionality of the proAIS2 software is the same on Windows or Mac.

Installation of the proAIS2 software, also installs the USB drivers and we recommend not plugging the transponders USB cable in to the PC/Mac until after you have installed proAIS2. Once the installation is complete, plug the USB cable in to the computer to complete the USB driver installation. The transponder receives enough power from the USB connection to power the processor and ancillory circuitry required to configure the transponder, however the GPS will not get a fix, the NMEA interfaces will not be working and the transponder will not transmit while on USB power.

Digital Yacht are not the only company that supply proAIS2 with transponders, but to our knowledge, we are the only company to produce a video showing how to configure and diagnose Class B transponders with it. So we hope that not only Digital Yacht users but owners of other brands will benefit from this video.

Please note that the MMSI number cannot be changed once the product has been configured. To change the MMSI number, you must reset the product and for that, please contact us.

To find out how to use the proAIS2 software to configure an AIS transponder, please watch the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTiMynP8KDs

If you want to stop transmitting your position, you can either fit a physical silent switch on the AIS transponder or you can stop the AIS transmission through the ProAIS2 software.

This is a very valid question. Especially if you have spent a few hours installing the transponder then knowing that it is working OK is very important. Using the proAIS2 configuration software allows you to see if the GPS position is OK. You can monitor the AIS reception of other vessels. As well as ensure that there are no errors or alarms. However, if you are new to AIS, there is always that nagging doubt as to whether other vessels are seeing you.

The best test of a Class B transponder is to ask someone else in your marina, who has AIS, to check that they are receiving you on their system. If your vessel is stationary, then a transponder will only transmit every 3 minutes. This increases to every 30 seconds when your speed over the ground (SOG) is greater than 2 knots. Therefore, do allow some time for them to detect you. Also when they first receive your transmission, the only data they will see is your position, speed, course and MMSI number. It can take up to 6 minutes to receive your “Static Data” (boat name, call sign, vessel type, dimensions, etc.). This is normal and is the way the AIS system regulates the amount of data being transmitted.

The other increasingly common method of testing an AIS transponder is to look on one of the online “live” AIS websites and the most popular of the free services is MarineTraffic.com

However, it is important for you to be aware of the limitations of these online sites. As a result, do not assume that you will always be picked up by them. Each of the different online services are only as good as their network of AIS receiving stations. In many cases enthusiasts/volunteers operate these. In some areas the coverage is great but there are definitely “holes” in coverage.


Nomad

If the AIS transponder doesn’t have a built-in VHF splitter (i.e. AIT5000), there are 2 options: either install a dedicated VHF antenna for AIS or install an antenna splitter so that the main VHF antenna is used for both VHF radio and AIS.

For those who want to use their existing VHF antenna, then we recommend the use of a certified zero loss VHF antenna splitter such as our SPL1500 and SPL2000. Please do not use a non-zero loss certified VHF antenna splitter. They are inexpensive, but they can destroy your AIS transponder.

For those who want to install a VHF antenna dedicated to AIS, then we recommend a VHF antenna tuned to AIS frequencies. The AIS transmission and reception works on 2 dedicated channels which use the frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz (channel 87B and 88B). VHF frequencies in the maritime environment use frequencies from 156.0 to 162.025 MHz and most VHF antennas are designed to provide maximum gain on channel 16 (156.8 MHz). You can now find antennas on the market dedicated to AIS frequencies such as the HA156 antenna.

These antennas, dedicated to AIS frequencies, offer maximum gain at 162 MHz (which is the centre between the 2 AIS frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz). So if you install a VHF antenna instead of a VHF antenna splitter for your AIS receiver or transponder, then choose an AIS frequency VHF antenna to compensate for the loss due to the installation of the antenna lower down than the main VHF antenna at the top of the mast. The graph below shows how a dedicated AIS frequency antenna (162 MHz) provides a better VSWR and therefore a better transmission and reception.

The Nomad can be configured with the free PC/Mac software called ProAIS2. The ProAIS2 software can be downloaded free of charge directly from our website. The functionality of the proAIS2 software is the same on Windows or Mac.

Installation of the proAIS2 software, also installs the USB drivers and we recommend not plugging the transponders USB cable in to the PC/Mac until after you have installed proAIS2. Once the installation is complete, plug the USB cable in to the computer to complete the USB driver installation. The transponder receives enough power from the USB connection to power the processor required to configure the transponder, however the GPS will not get a fix, the NMEA interfaces will not be working and the transponder will not transmit while on USB power.

Digital Yacht are not the only company that supply proAIS2 with transponders, but to our knowledge, we are the only company to produce a video showing how to configure and diagnose Class B transponders with it. So we hope that not only Digital Yacht users but owners of other brands will benefit from this video.

Please note that the MMSI number cannot be changed once the product has been configured. To change the MMSI number, you must reset the product and for that, please contact us.

To find out how to use the proAIS2 software to configure an AIS transponder, please watch the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTiMynP8KDs

This is a very valid question. Especially if you have spent a few hours installing the transponder then knowing that it is working OK is very important. Using the proAIS2 configuration software allows you to see if the GPS position is OK. You can monitor the AIS reception of other vessels. As well as ensure that there are no errors or alarms. However, if you are new to AIS, there is always that nagging doubt as to whether other vessels are seeing you.

The best test of a Class B transponder is to ask someone else in your marina, who has AIS, to check that they are receiving you on their system. If your vessel is stationary, then a transponder will only transmit every 3 minutes. This increases to every 30 seconds when your speed over the ground (SOG) is greater than 2 knots. Therefore, do allow some time for them to detect you. Also when they first receive your transmission, the only data they will see is your position, speed, course and MMSI number. It can take up to 6 minutes to receive your “Static Data” (boat name, call sign, vessel type, dimensions, etc.). This is normal and is the way the AIS system regulates the amount of data being transmitted.

The other increasingly common method of testing an AIS transponder is to look on one of the online “live” AIS websites and the most popular of the free services is MarineTraffic.com

However, it is important for you to be aware of the limitations of these online sites. As a result, do not assume that you will always be picked up by them. Each of the different online services are only as good as their network of AIS receiving stations. In many cases enthusiasts/volunteers operate these. In some areas the coverage is great but there are definitely “holes” in coverage.

AIS uses VHF transmissions so range is limited to line of sight.  With the compact antenna you should be able to transmit up to 5NM and receive data from other vessels at 10-12NM.  Shore stations would typically pick you up at 25NM.

Connected to a mast top antenna will give standard Class B ranges of up to 20NM as the power output (2W) is the same as all other Class B AIS.

If the unit is unprogrammed, it will hence act as a receiver only outputting GPS and AIS data via WiFi and USB

USB battery packs have different capacities, typically quoted in mA/Hours.  The table below, shows the continuous use time for the most common types.

 

USB Power Pack Capacity Continuous Use Time (approx.)
3350mA/H 5.5 Hours
5000mA/H 8 Hours
15000mA/H 24 Hours
22000mA/H 36 Hours

Nomad has a USB interface (for power and data) that can connect to a PC or MAC.  Any AIS compatible navigation software can be used and the PC will create a virtual com port.  Digital Yacht offer free SmarterTrack Lite viewing software as well as premium SmarterTrack software for use with Navionics charts for detailed charting and navigation.  It’s also compatible with popular programs like MaxSea, Nobeltec, Expedition, SeaPro and Open CPN.  Most modern programs accept a TCP/IP or UDP feed via the wireless link, but do double check before purchasing.

Apps on iPads, tablets and smartphones will use the wireless link to connect to Nomad.  Check www.digitalyacht.net for iOS and Android apps as there are a huge number of popular charting and navigation programs

Most users will use a 3rd party mount like a mobile phone holder, RokLok, RailBlaza or RAM mount.  The fixing holes also allow for a cable tie to be utilised and Nomad ships with two strips of high strength adhesive Velcro for a temporary solution.

Nomad can also be permanently mounted using the screw holes provided onto a vertical bulkhead.  It is important to mount Nomad vertically so that the internal GPS antenna is facing the sky

The QMAX antenna can be used as an emergency VHF antenna.  Remember it has a BNC connector so a BNC to PL259 adaptor may be required for a regular VHF

Up to 7 devices can connect wirelessly to Nomad at any time, which supports TCP (single device) and UDP (multiple devices) protocols.

The Wi-Fi will typically footprint a boat up to 25m LOA.

Contact us if you need a bigger footprint or have a steel or carbon vessel.

No internet connection is required for AIS apps to run and so non GPS/WiFi only tablets can be utilised with an appropriate app for navigation as Nomad provides a GPS feed.

Yes

proAIS2 programming software is provided for PC and MAC and AISConfig is a free downloadable Android app that allows programming via an Android device.

If the AIS transponder doesn’t have a built-in VHF splitter (i.e. AIT5000), there are 2 options: either install a dedicated VHF antenna for AIS or install an antenna splitter so that the main VHF antenna is used for both VHF radio and AIS.

For those who want to use their existing VHF antenna, then we recommend the use of a certified zero loss VHF antenna splitter such as our SPL1500 and SPL2000. Please do not use a non-zero loss certified VHF antenna splitter. They are inexpensive, but they can destroy your AIS transponder.

For those who want to install a VHF antenna dedicated to AIS, then we recommend a VHF antenna tuned to AIS frequencies. The AIS transmission and reception works on 2 dedicated channels which use the frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz (channel 87B and 88B). VHF frequencies in the maritime environment use frequencies from 156.0 to 162.025 MHz and most VHF antennas are designed to provide maximum gain on channel 16 (156.8 MHz). You can now find antennas on the market dedicated to AIS frequencies such as the HA156 antenna.

These antennas, dedicated to AIS frequencies, offer maximum gain at 162 MHz (which is the centre between the 2 AIS frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz). So if you install a VHF antenna instead of a VHF antenna splitter for your AIS receiver or transponder, then choose an AIS frequency VHF antenna to compensate for the loss due to the installation of the antenna lower down than the main VHF antenna at the top of the mast. The graph below shows how a dedicated AIS frequency antenna (162 MHz) provides a better VSWR and therefore a better transmission and reception.


AIT5000, iAISTX & iAISTX Plus

An AIS which sends and receives data is known as a transceiver (or often called a transponder). There are also simple devices called AIS receivers which pick up transmissions and decode for displaying on a compatible chart plotter or PC based navigation system – or even an iPad or tablet.

AIS transponders will allow you to receive data from vessels close to you, but will also allow you to continuously transmit your vessel’s identity, position, speed and heading, as well as other relevant information, to all other AIS-equipped vessels within your range.

To transmit its position, an AIS transponder must have its own GPS antenna. All our AIS transponders are supplied with a GPS antenna or have a built-in GPS antenna.

With an AIS receiver or transponder, you will receive all information of surrounding ships and will allow you to contact them directly. There are 3 types of AIS data that are automatically and continuously transmitted:

  • Dynamic data: position and speed which are automatically calculated by the transponder.
  • Static data: MMSI, ship name, size and contact details. This data is programmed on the device.
  • Voyage data (only for class A transponder): Destination, ETA, number on board and navigation status. This data is programmed on the class A transponder before and during each voyage.

The data transmission frequency is different depending on the transponder category and the speed of the ship.

The AIS targets can be displayed in different ways:

  • On a multifunction plotter/screen using the NMEA interface of an AIS receiver/transponder.
  • On a PC/MAC navigation software thanks to a NMEA/USB adapter or an AIS receiver/transponder with an integrated USB interface.
  • On an iOS/Android navigation application via a NMEA to WiFi server or an AIS receiver/transponder with integrated WiFi interface.

Each system will display the AIS targets differently (colours, size, etc.) but the data will remain the same. The next tab will explain which AIS transponder you need depending on the system you want to use to display the AIS targets.

If the AIS transponder doesn’t have a built-in VHF splitter (i.e. AIT5000), there are 2 options: either install a dedicated VHF antenna for AIS or install an antenna splitter so that the main VHF antenna is used for both VHF radio and AIS.

For those who want to use their existing VHF antenna, then we recommend the use of a certified zero loss VHF antenna splitter such as our SPL1500 and SPL2000. Please do not use a non-zero loss certified VHF antenna splitter. They are inexpensive, but they can destroy your AIS transponder.

For those who want to install a VHF antenna dedicated to AIS, then we recommend a VHF antenna tuned to AIS frequencies. The AIS transmission and reception works on 2 dedicated channels which use the frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz (channel 87B and 88B). VHF frequencies in the maritime environment use frequencies from 156.0 to 162.025 MHz and most VHF antennas are designed to provide maximum gain on channel 16 (156.8 MHz). You can now find antennas on the market dedicated to AIS frequencies such as the HA156 antenna.

These antennas, dedicated to AIS frequencies, offer maximum gain at 162 MHz (which is the centre between the 2 AIS frequencies 161.975 and 162.025 MHz). So if you install a VHF antenna instead of a VHF antenna splitter for your AIS receiver or transponder, then choose an AIS frequency VHF antenna to compensate for the loss due to the installation of the antenna lower down than the main VHF antenna at the top of the mast. The graph below shows how a dedicated AIS frequency antenna (162 MHz) provides a better VSWR and therefore a better transmission and reception.

In order to facilitate the use and configuration of our AIS transponders, our new AIS transponders now have a built-in web interface. This is the case for the iAISTX, iAISTX Plus and AIT5000. These devices create a WiFi network on board and configure themselves by connecting to WiFi. The configuration of the transponder can therefore be done through a computer, a tablet or even a smartphone and most importantly, no software is required.

The following article explains you how to configure the AIS transponder: https://digitalyacht.net/2020/02/28/configure-ais-transponder-web-interface/

Our AIS transponders with a built-in web interface create a password protected WiFi network. With your tablet, PC or smartphone, if you scan for wireless networks, you should see a wireless network called “DY-AIS-xxxx” or “IAISTX-XXXX” where xxxx is a four-digit code unique to your AIS transponder. The name of the WiFi networks might change according to the product version.

Make your device join this network and you will be asked to enter a password which is “PASS-xxxx” where xxxx is the same four-digit code as in your network name. You can change both the network name and password in the AIS transponder unit’s web interface

No internet connection is required. Many consumers get confused and automatically associate wifi with internet. The product creates a wifi network and the local iPad or tablet users searches for this in the same way they search for a wifi hotspot.

Once connected, NMEA data is sent over the local link created on board the boat.

Up to 7 devices can connect using UDP. TCP/IP is a one to one connection format. PCs, MACs, Android, Linux and iPhone/iPad are all compatible.

We keep up to date reviews on our news blog at www.digitalyacht.net – search for Best Marine Apps for Android or iOS. Popular apps include Navionics, iNavX, TZ iBoat , iAIS, NavLink, iSailor, SeaPilot, Weather 4D, MaxSea TimeZero, SailGrib and literally 100s more.

Our products are also compatible with navigation software on PC/Mac/Linux.

We keep on our blog a list which explains how to configure all the popular navigation apps & software. This list explains how to configure a NMEA connection (UDP/TCP) on the app/software but also how to configure the AIS settings.

To see the list, please click here: https://digitalyacht.net/configure-apps-software/

Yes! You can program this through the web interface so you just have one Wi-Fi network on board with our product linked directly to your other Wi-Fi network as a client.

This works well as well with Furuno WiFi radar installations.

The Wi-Fi will typically footprint a boat up to 25m LOA. Contact us if you need a bigger footprint or have a steel or carbon vessel.


CLA2000 Class A AIS

Yes it is and we have all the international certificate such as : SOLAS, IMO, USCG, TUV, FCC, EU, CCNR, CCS, Industry Canada.

The AIS transceiver, its mounting bracket, the product manual, the power cable, a 14 way data cable, a 18 way data cable and a GNSS antenna with 10m cable. Therefore, all you would need to complete the installation is a VHF antenna with a PL259 connector. Using a splitter with a Class A transponder is not recommended.

Yes, for flush mounting the mounting bracket can be removed. If someone wants to hang the AIS transponder from the coach roof the mounting bracket can also be reserved for this.

Configuring all of the Ship’s Static data, Voyage data, Alarm/Sensor configuration, NMEA setup, etc within the configuration of the transponder can be done through the unit’s user interface with its colour graphics screen. As a result, configuration of the CLA2000 does not require software. An onscreen keyboard makes entering text and numbers “easier”.

The CLA2000 has multiple NMEA 0183 inputs and outputs for connecting to charting systems and sensors. Also an optional NMEA 2000 drop cable can connect the CLA2000 to the vessels NMEA 2000 backbone.

Yes, the CLA2000 is ideal for non-SOLAS vessels with many of the interfacing and features that larger pleasure and work boats need.

Yes, the CLA2000 is waterproof to IPX7 so it is water and immersion resistant.

If the CLA2000 is being used in a Non-SOLAS or Inland mode, you can fit a “Silent Switch” (like a Class B).

The CLA2000 supports C-Map MAX charts. In the waterproof Micro SD card slot (front bottom left) you can insert the C-Map charts bought. However, The detailed chart function is only available in NonSOLAS mode. Hence, this added chart plotter functionality allows the CLA2000 to become a powerful AIS display and backup to the vessel’s main charting system.

Through the CLA2000’s menu, you can configure all the CPA and TCPA alarms.

At 12V, the unit will consume around 0.9A (6A peak) and at 24V, it will consume around 0.5 A (4 A peak).

The new CLA2000 has a powerful Wi-Fi interface for sending AIS data to mobile devices and PCs. It supports TCP and UDP modes for maximum App compatibility. The WiFI can work in AP mode, creates its own wireless network, or Client (STA) mode where it joins an existing wifi network. We keep up to date reviews on our news blog at www.digitalyacht.net– search on iOS or Android.  For instance, popular apps include iRegatta, iNavX, NMEA Remote, iAIS, NavLink, iSailor, SeaPilot, Weather 4D, MaxSea TimeZero, AIS View and literally 100s more.


MOB100 AIS Beacon

Never try to open the beacon up. In the event of a malfunction or when the battery replacement date comes up, please contact the Customer Service department: sales@digitalyacht.co.uk

No, an AIS receiver or AIS transponder needs to be fitted in your boat.

No. Once the beacon has been purchased, an additional payments are required. Therefore no subscription is necessary to use MOB100.

The beacon does not float.

Yes, the beacon is fitted with the AIS technology, which is also an international standard.

The beacon is never affected by bad weather conditions.

You can test your beacon using the OFF/TEST self-test button. We also recommend that you read the user manual.

Your MOB100 beacon is under a two-year warranty, valid from the date of purchase.

The short test should not be run more than once a week to preserve battery life. The full test should not be run more than once a month.

At any time, you can cancel activation by holding the “T” button down for a long time.

If you observe a malfunction in your beacon (namely during the self-test), please contact Digital Yacht’s Customer Service department. We may require proof of purchase.

In normal conditions of use, a beacon’s lifespan is 7 years.


Internet on Board

4G Xtream

5G is now becoming well developed.  5G is basically about short range, very fast communications.  Its applications are in dense population, urban areas with very fast downloads.  Some of the bands allocated to this are in the 3.4-3.6 GHz and even 24-52 GHz frequency range so ultra-high frequencies which have very short range.

For the maritime and coastal market, this isn’t ideal, so we’ll find that 4G continues to be prevalent.  That said, 5G will be used for a lot of 4G internet back haul so it will improve traditional 4G LTE infrastructure too.  4G LTE technology continues to be the best option for maritime internet access.  4G Xtream and 4G Connect can, of course, support additional internet sources though its WAN port

4G Xtream has a built in NMEA 2000 interface which allows NMEA 2000 data to be utilised by apps on mobile devices connected to the system.  GPS, AIS and instrument data are streamed from the boat’s system across the Wi-Fi network.  The simplest method of viewing this data remotely would be to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which effectively builds a data “tunnel” from one network (say on the shore) to another (eg: on the boat).

4G Xtream supports VPNs and this technology is well proven but requires specialist 3 rd party IP network knowledge to implement.  4G Xtream also supports MQTT for IOT applications and ZeroTier for remote access and we expect to see 3rd party marine applications develop for these platforms.  4G Xtream also supports text message polling of GPS data and alerts through its internal GPS function.

4G Xtream and 4G Connect Pro ship with dual external antennas.  They should be mounted at least 50 cm apart for optimum performance.  While height is advantageous, consideration should also be given to cable runs.  The standard cables (LMR200) are 7m in length and should not be extended.

Typical mounting locations would be the 1st set of spreaders on a sailboat, radar arch or stern pole/solar panel platform.

Optional 10 and 20m assemblies are available and these use LMR400 specialist coax for minimum losses.

Yes this is possible. One Wi-Fi network can be used to access a shoreside hotspot (2.4GHz) and the 5GHz network bridged to provide local access however this isn’t recommended or supported.

We recommend the use of our WL510 connected to the WAN port if long range Wi-Fi hotspot access is required.

APN stands for Access Point Name and are the settings your 4GXtream needs to pass to the network carrier; AT&T, Vodafone, T-Mobile, etc. in order for the carrier to allocate your 4GXtream an IP address and connect you to the right secure network.

With the 4GConnect, you have to manually enter the APN settings of your SIM card. However, with the 4G Xtream, it has a “Auto-APN” feature that reads the SIM details and selects the correct APN settings for the SIM’s mobile network.

We have been asked by many boaters “What’s the best solution for boat video monitoring?”  There are lots of dedicated (and expensive) marine solutions which could connect to the 4G Connect or 4G Xtream network but there’s also the simple and popular Arlo home based system which can be used.  Arlo started life as part of Netgear but became a stand alone listed company back in 2018.  Their products can be bought from Amazon, Best Buy etc.

The system comprises small, waterproof, battery powered cameras that connect to an Arlo hub via wifi.  It means you don’t have to run wires around the boat or even find 12V power and you can position the camera in different locations as you need to.  Multiple cameras are also supported.

Other IP cameras can also be connected to the 4G Connect and 4G Xtream.

It is very simple to configure the 4G Xtream. This video below explains you how to configure the 4GXtream.

Feature 4G Connect Pro 4G Xtream
4G Modem Specification MIMO technology Cat 4 Modem.
Single Core Atheros 400MHz Processor 64MB RAM.
Up to 150 MB/s
MIMO technology Cat 6 Modem
Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 717 MHz Processor 256 MB RAM.
Up to 300 MB/s
4G Antennas Dual external wide band high gain MIMO supplied with 7m cables and mounting bases.  (10 & 20m options available) Dual external wide band high gain MIMO supplied with 7m cables and mounting bases.  (10 & 20m options available)
Internal WiFi Single band 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n
Maximum 50 connections
Single antenna
Dual band 2.4 & 5GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Maximum 150 connections
Dual antennas
SIM Slots 1 2
GPS NO YES
BlueTooth LE NO YES
NMEA interfacing Optional with LANLink N2K external interface or iKommunicate Built in certified NMEA 2000 interface for NMEA 2000 data distribution over wifi

The 4G Xtream has dual SIM slots (with auto fail over if required).

Inserting the SIM card is very easy. The SIM slot is in the front cap of the unit. You don’t need to open the unit.

The 4G Xtream has a CAT 6 modem so it offers fast connectivity at up to 300 MBs (network dependent).

It also supports carrier aggregation where two LTE channels can be used at the same time to double the bandwidth (network dependent).

4GXtream comes in two models: ROW or USA

Part Number Regions Details
4G Xtream ROW version Europe, Middle East, Africa, APAC, Malaysia, Brazil and Australasia 4G (LTE-FDD): B1, B3, B5, B7, B8, B20, B28, B32
4G (LTE-TDD): B38, B40, B41
3G: B1, B3, B5, B8
4G Xtream US Version North America 4G (LTE-FDD): B2, B4, B5, B7, B12, B13, B25, B26, B29,B30, B66
3G: B2, B4, B5

4G Connect

5G is now becoming well developed.  5G is basically about short range, very fast communications.  Its applications are in dense population, urban areas with very fast downloads.  Some of the bands allocated to this are in the 3.4-3.6 GHz and even 24-52 GHz frequency range so ultra-high frequencies which have very short range.

For the maritime and coastal market, this isn’t ideal, so we’ll find that 4G continues to be prevalent.  That said, 5G will be used for a lot of 4G internet back haul so it will improve traditional 4G LTE infrastructure too.  4G LTE technology continues to be the best option for maritime internet access.  4G Xtream and 4G Connect can, of course, support additional internet sources though its WAN port

4G Xtream and 4G Connect Pro ship with dual external antennas.  They should be mounted at least 50 cm apart for optimum performance.  While height is advantageous, consideration should also be given to cable runs.  The standard cables (LMR200) are 7m in length and should not be extended.

Typical mounting locations would be the 1st set of spreaders on a sailboat, radar arch or stern pole/solar panel platform.

Optional 10 and 20m assemblies are available and these use LMR400 specialist coax for minimum losses.

Every data SIM network provider has different Access Point Name (APN) settings that allow the 4GConnect to register and connect to the mobile data network. These settings can usually be found online (Google “APN settings for Vodaphone”) or requested from the network provider.

To enter the APN settings, login to the 4GConnect web interface and click on the Network>Mobile menu options.

It is very important that you “lock down” your wireless network, with your own network name (SSID) and wireless
password. This ensures that only people that you give the network information to can connect and stops other less trust worthy individuals from connecting to your network and using your internet connection.

To change the default wireless network name and password of your 4GConnect, login to the web interface and click on the Network>Wireless menu options. It is very simple to change the WiFi network name & password.

The 4G Connect has only one SIM slot.

The 4G Connect has a CAT 4 modem so it offers fast connectivity at up to 150 MBs (network dependent). It does not support carrier aggregation.

The 4G Connect does not have any NMEA interface. However, by adding a LANLink you can connect the Ethernet interface and stream all the NMEA 0183 and/or NMEA 2000 data across the 4G Connect WiFi network.

4GConnect comes in three models: Euro, USA or ROW

Product Regions Details
4G Connect Europe Version Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Korea, Thailand, India 4G (LTE-FDD): B1, B3, B5, B7, B8, B20
4G (LTE-TDD): B38, B40, B413G: B1, B5, B8
4G Connect US Version North America (AT&T, Bell, T-Mobile) 4G (LTE-FDD): B2, B4, B12
3G: B2, B4, B5
4G Connect ROW Version ROW, South America, Australia (supports 4GX), New Zealand, Taiwan 4G (LTE-FDD): B1, B22, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B28
4G (LTE-TDD): B403G: B1, B2, B5, B8

We have been asked by many boaters “What’s the best solution for boat video monitoring?”  There are lots of dedicated (and expensive) marine solutions which could connect to the 4G Connect or 4G Xtream network but there’s also the simple and popular Arlo home based system which can be used.  Arlo started life as part of Netgear but became a stand alone listed company back in 2018.  Their products can be bought from Amazon, Best Buy etc.

The system comprises small, waterproof, battery powered cameras that connect to an Arlo hub via wifi.  It means you don’t have to run wires around the boat or even find 12V power and you can position the camera in different locations as you need to.  Multiple cameras are also supported.

Other IP cameras can also be connected to the 4G Connect and 4G Xtream.

Feature 4G Connect Pro 4G Xtream
4G Modem Specification MIMO technology Cat 4 Modem.
Single Core Atheros 400MHz Processor 64MB RAM.
Up to 150 MB/s
MIMO technology Cat 6 Modem
Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 717 MHz Processor 256 MB RAM.
Up to 300 MB/s
4G Antennas Dual external wide band high gain MIMO supplied with 7m cables and mounting bases.  (10 & 20m options available) Dual external wide band high gain MIMO supplied with 7m cables and mounting bases.  (10 & 20m options available)
Internal WiFi Single band 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n
Maximum 50 connections
Single antenna
Dual band 2.4 & 5GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Maximum 150 connections
Dual antennas
SIM Slots 1 2
GPS NO YES
BlueTooth LE NO YES
NMEA interfacing Optional with LANLink N2K external interface or iKommunicate Built in certified NMEA 2000 interface for NMEA 2000 data distribution over wifi

WL510

Although VHF benefits from being mounted at the top of the mast to get maximum “line of sight” range, WiFi reception is over much shorter distances and height is not the critical factor.

Most marina hotspots are at roof height and even with your own WiFi antenna at deck level, good reception should be possible. In areas with big tides, a more common situation is where the boat drops below the harbour wall and this acts as a big barrier to the signals getting to the hotspot.

However, every marina is different and finding an antenna location that will give optimum performance in every marina is an impossible task.

The unit has a built-in web interface.

Open any web browser, enter the product IP address in the search bar and you will access the unit web interface.


Instruments

GPS160

The GPS160 can be operated in a number of different modes, designed to satisfy different installation scenarios and optimise performance with older systems.

Those operating modes can be set by adjusting four DIP switches inside the unit.

To access the DIP switches, it is necessary to open the GPS160.

We have list with wiring diagrams which explains how to connect the GPS160 to popular marine equipment.

You can check the list by clicking here.

If your product is not included in this list, contact us via email.

Yes, with the GPS160 SeaTalk1 version.

Yes, with the GPS160 NMEA 2000 version. It is supplied with the iKonvert (NMEA0183 / NMEA2000 converter).

Yes it has some legacy modes that should work with older NMEA 0183 equipment.

Yes but you need the Furuno Compatible model part# ZDIGGPS160F

Yes, it can be flush mounted.


Interfacing

NMEA to WiFi

The WLN10 only have one NMEA 0183 interface (input & output). You must configure this interface at either 38,400 baud (AIS speed) or 4,800 baud (instruments & GPS speed). This is an ideal server if you want to broadcast data either from your AIS receiver/transponder or the data from your instrumentation.

The WLN30 have 3 x NMEA 0183 interface and you can select different NMEA speed for each NMEA 0183 interface. The WLN30 multiplexes all data and broadcasts it via WiFi to receive real-time data to an application or navigation software. This is an ideal server if you have several navigation devices on board (with different NMEA speeds) and you want to broadcast AIS, GPS and instrument data at the same time.

All you need is to connect the NavLink2 to your NMEA 2000 backbone. It will take its power automatically from your NMEA 2000 network.

Our WLN10/WLN30 & NavLink2 have a built-in web interface and create a password protected WiFi network. With your tablet, PC or smartphone, if you scan for wireless networks, you should see a wireless network called “DY-WiFi-xxxx” where xxxx is a four-digit code unique to the product. The WiFi network might change according to your product version.

Make your device join this network and you will be asked to enter a password which is “PASS-xxxx” where xxxx is the same four-digit code as in your network name. You can change both the network name and password in the unit’s web interface

We keep on our blog a list which explains how to interface the WLN10/WLN30 & NavLink2 to popular navigation equipment such as Raymarine, Garmin, Furuno, etc.. This list explains which wires you need to use to interface the products together.

For the WLN10/WLN30, you can see the list here: https://digitalyacht.net/how-to-interface-wln10/

For the NavLink2, you can see the list here: https://digitalyacht.net/how-to-interface-nmea2000/

All configuration can be done through a simple web interface, just connect to the product’s Wi-Fi network then open your web browser, enter the product’s IP address (192.168.1.1) and you can set baud rates, multiplexing mode, network name, password and join an existing network.


NMEA 2000

NMEA 2000 is the marine version of the CAN networks found in every modern car. NMEA 2000 allows marine electronic devices from different manufacturers to talk to each other

NMEA 2000 is a standard set of data messages, protocols and connectors that all NMEA 2000 devices must use*

* Note –   Some manufacturers have created their own “flavours” of NMEA 2000 with different connectors and cabling; Raymarine’s “SeaTalkNG” and Simrad’s “SimNet” are two examples and both need proprietary adaptor cables to connect to standard NMEA 2000 networks.

You cannot just plug two NMEA 2000 devices together with a suitable NMEA 2000 cable – they must be connected to a properly constructed NMEA 2000 network.

Each device has an NMEA 2000 interface that must be powered from the network. Some smaller low power devices, like sensors are also powered from the network

There is a small cost in setting up the network, but future expansion is very easy. A Digital Yacht NMEA 2000 Starter Kit is a cost effective way to build a small, expandable network

 

Digital Yacht NMEA 2000 Starter kit includes:

  • 4 way T-Piece Backbone
  • 2x Terminators
  • 1m Power Cable (fused)
  • 1m Drop Cable

The part number is ZDIGN2KIT.

The list below, gives you all of the key NMEA 2000 networking rules that, if followed, will ensure your NMEA 2000 network works correctly.

  1. The network must be properly terminated; only two terminators fitted one at each end of the backbone
  2. The NMEA 2000 Supply voltage must be between 9V and 16V
  3. The NMEA 2000 Supply current must be less than 3A (60 LEN)
  4. Maximum number of 50 physical devices on the network
  5. The NMEA 2000 backbone must be less than 100m
  6. Maximum single drop cable length is 6m
  7. Total length of all drop cables must be less than 76m
  8. The volt drop from one end of the network to the other, must be less than 1.5V

A key consideration in any good NMEA 2000 network design, is the total current that the network is consuming. If the total current is more than the safe current capacity of the NMEA 2000 cabling (3A for all Digital Yacht cables) then the cable could melt or even cause an electrical fire.

  • Each device on the NMEA 2000 network consumes some current
  • It is very important that the total network current is known and that it is less than 3A
  • Every NMEA 2000 certified device, has a Load Equivalency Number or “LEN” for short
  • 1 LEN = 0.05A (50mA)
  • The LEN number will be printed on the devices product label (see example below)
  • Add up the LEN values of all devices and make sure the total is less than 60 LEN which equals 3A

NMEA 2000 networks are very reliable and really are “Plug and Play”. When things go wrong, it is not always easy to fault-find even on a small NMEA 2000 network.

NAVDoctor is the perfect NMEA 2000 diagnostic tool for dealers, installers and boat builders. It turns any mobile device in to an NMEA 2000 network analyser, creating simple and clear web pages that show the health and status of your NMEA 2000 network.

The Digital Yacht iKonvert NMEA 2000 to NMEA 0183 Converter is an intelligent and flexible gateway. Therefore allowing for new NMEA2000 equipment to talk to legacy NMEA0183 equipment. Conversions are bi-directional.

For example, you may want to get the data from older NMEA0183 sensors on to your NMEA2000 network. Another reason being you have a new NMEA2000 only MFD and want GPS and Navigation data sent to your older NMEA0183 VHF and Autopilot.

iKonvert can be used to accurately and intelligently carry out the required data conversions.

NavAlert is Digital Yacht’s latest innovation and allows an alarm to be set for any parameter that’s available on the boat’s NMEA 2000 network. That could be navigation data such as depth, heading or speed, electrical data such as voltage and engine/generator data including temperature, pressure, tank levels, fuel flow etc.

It connects anywhere on the NMEA 2000 network and also takes power from this connection so installation is super simple. A local WiFi network is created by NavAlert so setup is possible via any smart phone, tablet or PC. Simply choose the parameter you want to monitor and set an alarm level. Multiple parameters can be monitored.


Marine PC

Aqua Compact & Aqua Nav

The Aqua PC range uses a 10-30v DC system only so if you want to run at home you will need a 220v AC to 12v DC adaptor. These should be available at any electrical supplier.

Depending upon the model of Aqua PC you have, you will need a power supply that can provide up to 5 Amps of current at 12v.

They are simply not designed for the hostile marine environment with constant vibrations and momentum from the boat and of course they’re not designed for salty air. Laptops also consume large amounts of power and often you will need an inverter or adaptor to connect to the boat’s DC supply which introduces more losses and electrical noise. It’s a much neater solution to have a dedicated PC and display both in terms of functionality and reliability. With some simple engineering, you can install a monitor to swivel between chart table and saloon so it can become an entertainment as well as a navigation device.

The Aqua range of PCs from Digital Yacht are designed to be permanently installed and can connect direct to the boats DC electrical system. They consume minimal power and are completely solid state with no moving parts. Despite their impressive performance they are as affordable as a good quality laptop and can support multiple monitors.

The Aqua PC uses a special power supply designed for commercial lorries that senses when the ignition switch is turned on/off and then powers up/down the PC. We have used this feature to allow our customers to fit a remote power switch (replicating the switch on the front of the PC) which is useful on a boat when the PC system unit is buried away somewhere safe (but difficult to access).

When 12v is detected on the white wire, the PC will power up, as if you pressed the push switch on the front of the PC. When the 12v is removed from the white wire the PC will start its power down sequence. The power board will keep supplying power to the Aqua PC during the power down cycle but after 2 minutes, the voltage will be cut and the Aqua PC will be in a very low power <5mA state rather than the normal standby state that most normal PCs go to after shut down that continuously consumes 0.15 Amps.

So, to fit a remote power switch simply connect a conventional On/Off switch; either toggle on/off type or a push on/off switch (not momentary type) between the white wire and red wire (boat’s 12v or 24v supply voltage).

A normal hard drive on a PC consists of several moving parts.  Not only do these consume more power to run, but they are very sensitive to motion as all the parts must work in exact synchronisation in order for the data to be read, meaning a hard drive is not ideally suited for use on a pitching boat in heavy seas.

A solid-state drive has no moving parts at all – data is stored in Flash memory.  As there are no moving parts, a solid-state drive consumes less power and performs well under all sea conditions.