Looking for a Class B AIS transponder?

Its always good to have a few weeks at boat shows and listen to customer questions.  Differences between models always crop up as Digital Yacht have a big selection of Class B AIS transponders on offer.  We hope this document helps you decide which is best for your installation.  All units share a common technology platform so will give excellent performance and importantly have future proof SatTrak technology built in.


AIT1500 Series

All AIS transponders require their own dedicate internal GPS (you can’t use a NMEA feed from an existing GPS).  The AIT1500 series has a super sensitive internal antenna which cuts down on the need for another external antenna.  It will work well even below decks on GRP vessels but steel or wood will attenuate the signal too much.  The AIT1500 series is therefore great for RIBs, Center Consoles and GRP sail boats.  With many larger sail boats now fitting multi function displays in the cockpit, it can be unobtrusively installed in a location adjacent to the MFD and the same for flybridge motor boats.

The AIT1500 comes in two versions – one for NMEA 0183 based systems and one for NMEA 2000 systems.  The later is also self powered from the NMEA 2000 bus so installation really is plug ‘n play.  Both models have a USB interface for PC & MAC for programming and PC plotting.


Has dual NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 interfaces plus USB and ships with a dedicated external GPS antenna.  Its a great solution for wooden and steel vessels that require an external GPS antenna


Appropriately called “Nucleus” as it forms a hub in any marine electronics system.  It features our patented ZeroLoss VHF antenna splitter technology so the main VHF antenna can be shared with VHF and AIS which means no need for another VHF antenna and sophisticated connectivity including not just NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 but also WiFi for iPad and tablet interfacing.  Up to 7 wifi connected devices can be attached and neat NMEA interfacing allows instrument, AIS and GPS data to be used by hundreds of compatible apps.  There’s also a FM radio antenna outlet.

Here’s a 5 minute guide on Youtube and of course we’re standing by on email and phone to answer any queries.  Digital Yacht – for your biggest and best choice in Class B AIS.

AISNet helps improve OnLine AIS coverage of Puget Sound


Arguably the most beautiful sailing location in the USA, it is no surprise that there are always lots of pleasure and commercial vessels in the Puget Sound. This week, we helped one of our customers to upgrade his shore based AIS reception station to one of our latest AISNet units and in so doing helped to improve the AIS coverage, in Puget Sound, of Marine Traffic the world’s largest online AIS network.

Ralph an experienced radio ham, whose home on the Olympic Pennisular is perfect for good AIS reception, contacted us when his initial attempts to send data to Marine Traffic failed. His old setup which required a PC to be permanently on, had been working well for some time but he hoped the new AISNet would free up the PC and reduce power consumption. It quickly became clear that his AISNet was receiving AIS targets and after setting up a test server, in our UK office, we also confirmed that the UDP and TCP data feeds were OK.

AISnet+ Receiver-LR

We have been selling AISNets since 2010, so they are a well proven design, but earlier this summer we released a new version that had a completely new AIS receiver and Network adaptor. Despite the fact that we had done lots of testing in the lab, including sending data to different web servers, there was a nagging doubt that perhaps this new design was not compatible in some way with Marine Traffic. Fortunately the technical support team at Marine Traffic are really fast and efficient and over the course of a couple of nights (due to the time differences), we managed to test and get Ralph’s unit working, by just a simple change to the TCP mode setting.

On  the original AISNet we had always used and recommended “TCP Mixed Mode” for Marine Traffic servers, but with the new AISNet we found that we had to select “TCP Client Mode” or “UDP Mode” to make everything work OK. With the new settings made, Ralph’s data started streaming in and by looking at the statistics found that his new AISNet was giving significantly better reception coverage than his previous setup; 15000km² compared to 3500km².

datauri-file (002)

The improved receiver sensitivity of our AISNet, plus the fact that it was a true dual channel receiver, simultaneously monitoring both AIS channnels and never missing a message, all contributed to the improved coverage. In fact AISNet was on average receiving nearly four times the number of targets per hour compared to Ralph’s old system. As you can imagine, Ralph was very pleased, as were Marine Traffic who now have much better coverage of this area and ultimately everyone sailing in the Puget Sound will benefit from an even better free online AIS service.


AIS Antennas & Accessories

We’re often asked for compatible AIS antennas, mounting accessories and connectors for use with our range of products so the latest AIS Antenna & Accessory Guide is now available to download.  Just click on the image below.

antenna accessories page

It’s not just AIS products either – we’ve accessories for our wifi products too that will prove prove popular with users of our WL70 wifi antenna.  Many boaters want to rail mount the antenna when in port and stow away below decks while sailing.  The PA41 detachable rail mount makes installation a breeze.

The PA82 can also be used as a mast mount for the DTV100 DTV antenna

There’s lots of possibilities here for the best, professional installation.  Just drop us a line or call if you need to order any parts (Europe + 44 1179 554474 or US 978 277 1234)

AISView Android App adds US Charting option

AISView  is an easy to use app designed for Android phones and tablets which displays real time AIS targets with a radar like presentation when interfaced with any of Digital Yacht’s AIS wireless servers or USB devices.  Targets are colour coded and scaled depending upon vessel type and there’s a target trail and drill down vessel information display.  The app can also display internet sourced AIS data which is useful for home monitoring or for checking AIS traffic outside your area.

AISView Screen Shot Experia

The latest version of the app also supports raster charts as a layer.  For $9.99 you can add a detailed NOAA chart layer covering all US coastal areas.  Charts are automatically downloaded when there’s an internet connection and then stored on the device so no data connection at sea is required.  There’s also a simple A-B chart ruler and your position will be updated in real time from either the boat’s system or the internal GPS of the phone or tablet.  CPA (closest point of approach) and TCPA (time to CPA) alarms can be set to help with anti collision calculations.

Screenshot Raster Chart 2

AIS data is sent from the boat’s AIS system via any of Digital Yacht’s on board wifi gateways or an OTG USB cable.  AISView is available to download from the Google play store now (access it from your Android device) and is priced at $9.99

National Coast Watch Doing a Great Job

NCI Mablethorpe Station

Since their formation in 1994, the UK’s National Coast Watch Institution (NCI) have been doing invaluable work around the UK coastline. With 50 stations, manned by over 2000 volunteers, the NCI are the marine watch keepers, alerting and coordinate MCA and RNLI rescue operations whilst also monitoring the general coastal environment and weather conditions.

A number of the NCI stations have Digital Yacht AIS units installed, including Mablethorpe (shown above) and the most recent installation was recently completed at Barry Island in South Wales (image below). Using one of our latest AISNet units, they were able to receive AIS targets all the way across the Bristol Channel and up the Avon.


It is not always possible to get an internet connection in some of these very remote NCI stations, but in the Barry station, AISNet was able to send live reception data to an AIS webserver hosted by PocketMariner where it could be viewed online or on a mobile device using their Boat Beacon or our NavLink apps. The image below shows the typical reception the NCI station would see and you can click here to see a live view of the Barry Island station.

Boat Watch Live View

The NCI is entirely staffed by volunteers, with funding managed by a Board of Trustees based on a constitution agreed by the Charity Commission. It may not be as dramatic and high profile as the RNLI, but the work they do is of equal importance and relies heavily on local support and donations. If you ever chance upon an NCI station, just knock on the door and the officers on watch will give you a warm welcome and be delighted to show you what they do.

aisnet plus



NEW! Digital Yacht AIT1500N2K Class B AIS offers an easy installation for NMEA2000 systems

Digital Yacht have just released a new AIS Class B transponder intended specifically for easy installation on small yachts, motor boats and RIBs.  It’s designed to simply plug into an existing NMEA 2000 network to provide compatible plotters and instruments with AIS data.  As a transponder, it also sends vessel data to other AIS users.  Class B units require their own GPS in order to ensure they transmit accurate data and this normally means another antenna outside the boat.  The AIT1500N2K has a built in, highly sensitive GPS so it can work below decks on GRP boats cutting down on antenna clutter.  All that’s required to complete operation is connection to a VHF antenna or suitable AIS-VHF antenna splitter such as the Digital Yacht SPL2000.

AIT1500N2K Cutout HR

There’s a USB interface for programming and also for use with PC/MAC based charting applications.  Digital Yacht also have an optional WiFi adaptor for the NMEA 2000 backbone to allow data transfer to a tablet, smart phone or iPad – details HERE

ait1500n2k line drawing

“Many boaters see the huge benefits of AIS and want to embrace the technology but are put off by a difficult and costly installation.  The AIT1500N2K couldn’t be easier to fit – it even takes power from the boat’s NMEA 2000 network.  This standard is now embraced on just about every modern chart plotter or instrument system to allow plug ‘n play interfacing” commented Paul Sumpner, CTO of Digital Yacht.

The AIT1500N2K is available now and will be on display at the London Boat Show 2016 Stand C021

It costs £450/$699.95/€645 (excluding VAT if applicable) and further details are at http://www.digitalyachtamerica.com

AIS Transponder on a Jet Ski

Jetski on Trailer

Earlier this year we were approached by Al Charles who was attempting to combine two of his favourite past times; fishing and jet skiing. Al was passionate about making his Jet Ski suitable for offshore fishing around the UK coasts and proceeded to squeeze a complete suite of navigation equipment in to his Seadoo Jet Ski.

Al managed to install one of our latest AIT1500 Class B transponders, which shared a single Shakespeare VHF antenna, with the Icom VHF by using our SPL2000 antenna splitter. The AIS data was then displayed on a Lowrance combo chart plotter and fish finder.

AIT1500+SPL2000 on JetSki

Lowrance AIS on Jet Ski

Al who did all of the design and installation himself, including the fibreglass fabrication, had to work hard to get everything to fit within the tight confines of the Jet Ski, but as you can see from the photos on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/al.charles.144) the results are incredibly good. On numerous outings this season the installation has worked faultlessly, allowing Al to see exactly where all of the large vessels are while he is fishing and also transmitting his position while he concentrates on reeling in his next catch.