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“Nomad is the first portable AIS navigation solution from Digital Yacht. It is a class B AIS transponder with a wireless and USB interface built in for tablets and PCs”


Nomad is a new, portable AIS transponder from Digital Yacht. Designed for recreational boaters and professional mariners, it offers a full function, Class B AIS transponder with a wireless and USB interface built in for tablets and PCs – all in a portable, compact package.

It addresses the needs of so many boaters who want a portable yet sophisticated navigation solution with AIS and GPS and the ability to interface with tablets, PCs and smart phones. It appeals to charter skippers, professional mariners like delivery skippers and pilots as well as boat owners who don’t want the hassle or cost  of installing a dedicated transponder and like the concept of easy iPad and tablet navigation using their favourite charting apps with a detailed AIS overlay and real time GPS positioning.  As a full function Class B transponder, it also sends you boat position to other AIS users.

It incorporates an innovative USB power solution therefore allowing the Nomad to be powered from any standard USB source. This can include low cost, 3rd party battery packs, a USB PC connection or 12V USB adaptors/cigarette lighter adaptors.  The GPS is built in and Nomad ships with a compact, 25cm external VHF antenna with sucker cup mount. It can also connect to any regular VHF antenna.

WiFi and USB interfaces are standard and there are a wide range of free and premium compatible apps for iOS, Android, PC and MAC. The wifi connection also allows up to 7 tablets or iPads to connect. Furthermore, Nomad now works with the popular Navionics Boating App for Apple iOS and Android to display GPS and AIS data on your Navionics charts.

Please Note!  AIS transponder shipments have been adversely effected by the global shortage of semiconductors.  This situation is very fluid and our production team are working as hard as possible to expedite orders.  Please contact us if you have an urgent delivery issue


  • Opens up new “portable navigation” market with the 1st portable AIS transponder
  • Applications include charter and delivery skippers, pilots, tenders and also a back up for main systems
  • Can be utilised as AIS/GPS receive only
  • Powered via USB – connect to PC, USB outlet or USB battery pack for power
  • Wireless interface for iPad, tablet or PC/MAC
  • Built in high performance GPS
  • Supplied with portable VHF antenna with sucker cup mount
  • Can be used as AIS receiver only (if no MMSI programmed) or if silent mode selected
  • Programmable via PC, Mac and app
  • Choose your favourite charting and AIS app!


What range will I get from NOMAD?
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.
Can I connect a different VHF antenna?
Yes you can.  You may need a SO239 to BNC adaptor as Nomad uses a BNC antenna connector. However, for best performance use an AIS tuned antenna but a normal VHF antenna will function.
What happens if I don’t have a MMSI number or haven’t programmed the unit?
If the unit is unprogrammed, it will hence act as a receiver only outputting GPS and AIS data via WiFi and USB 
How long will my USB battery pack last?
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.)
5.5 Hours
8 Hours
24 Hours
36 Hours
How do I view AIS data?
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.  Chec for iOS and Android apps as there are a huge number of popular charting and navigation programs
How do I mount Nomad?
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
Can I use the QMAX antenna with other products?
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
How many tablets can connect to Nomad?
Up to 7 devices can connect wirelessly to Nomad at any time, which supports TCP (single device) and UDP (multiple devices) protocols
What is the wireless interface range?
The wifi will typically footprint a boat up to 25m LOA.  Contact us if you need a bigger footprint or have a steel or carbon vessel.
Does Nomad need an internet connection or a GPS enabled tablet?
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.
Can the USB and WiFi interfaced be utilised concurrently?
How do I program Nomad with boat details?
proAIS2 programming software is provided for PC and MAC and AISConfig is a free downloadable Android app that allows programming via an Android device.

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