Trimble Nomad FAQs

How long can I expect my battery to last on the Nomad?

The Nomad battery is designed to perform at least an 8 hour work shift. With 802.11 enabled, backlight at full brightness, Bluetooth enabled and CPU at a high load, the Nomad draws less than 600 mA. Since the battery is 5200 mAh, it should last for at least 8 hours. Below you will find some charts of various tests that we performed on development units (i.e. used batteries, not fresh new ones).

Nomad Discharge Graph WiFi BT BL50

Nomad Discharge Graph BL50

Nomad Discharge Graph BL50

How can I reflash the Linux-based Nomad using the USB client port?

The Linux-based Trimble Nomad supports reflashing the unit through the USB port using a Linux host. The Linux-based reflashing is done using the sdgdfu tool. 'sdgdfu' binary may be located in the SDK directory. Place the sdgdfu binary on your local Linux host in your PATH and be sure to set it to executable (e.g. 'chmod 755 ~/bin/sdgdfu'). USB reflashing is currently supported ONLY on the TDS Nomad. Do NOT use the sdgdfu provided with OpenMoko, as we have made changes and improvements to the OpenMoko version.

SDGBoot uses the following keypress sequences to enter the reflashing setup. While the pre-boot progress bar is advancing across the bottom of the boot screen, you must press a key sequence to enter reflashing. For USB reflashing, the sequence is 3 consecutive up-arrows (number "8" on the keypad Nomad).

To list the available download or command alternatives provided by SDGBoot, use the '-l' option to sdgdfu.

$ sudo sdgdfu -l
sdgdfu - (C) 2007 by OpenMoko Inc.
This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY

Found DFU: [0x0525:0xa4a6] devnum=22, cfg=2, intf=0, alt=0, name="sdgboot"
Found DFU: [0x0525:0xa4a6] devnum=22, cfg=2, intf=0, alt=1, name="kernel"
Found DFU: [0x0525:0xa4a6] devnum=22, cfg=2, intf=0, alt=2, name="root"
Found DFU: [0x0525:0xa4a6] devnum=22, cfg=2, intf=0, alt=3, name="home"
Found DFU: [0x0525:0xa4a6] devnum=22, cfg=2, intf=0, alt=4, name="exe"
Found DFU: [0x0525:0xa4a6] devnum=22, cfg=2, intf=0, alt=5, name="reboot" 

To "download" (from the handheld unit's perspective) a kernel, root or home filesystem (respectively):

$ sudo sdgdfu -c 2 -a kernel -D zImage.sdg
$ sudo sdgdfu -c 2 -a root -D root.sdg
$ sudo sdgdfu -c 2 -a home -D home.sdg

To "download" a new sdgboot bootloader, we recommend that you download the bootloader, then reboot the Nomad and finish downloading other images to the Nomad. E.g.

$ sudo sdgdfu -c 2 -a sdgboot -D sdgboot.sdg
$ sudo sdgdfu -c 2 -a reboot -D dummy-file

​What Bluetooth devices do you support with the Nomad?

The Nomad has a full Linux Bluez networking stack. Within the Qtopia GUI, we have tested Bluetooth GPS units, the Socket Cordless 56K modem, the Socket Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS), and the Ricoh Caplio 500SE. We also support PAN, though it is not currently configureable using the Qtopia GUI.

What version of Linux does the Nomad support?

The Nomad Linux kernel is version 2.6.21 with patches from and Marvell. We support Qtopia 2.2 (Qt2) and X11/GTK+/Qt4 environments, along with unsupported builds of Qtopia4 and Opie. The underlying utilities are based on the Angstrom distribution, branch 2007.12-stable-r7. We use for the build environment.

What devices do you support with the Nomad's USB host port?

We have tested or received feedback that the following devices are known to work:

USB EthernetLinksys USB200M (asix driver)Hawking HUF11 (rtl8150 driver)OvisLink USB 10/100 (pegasus driver)
USB Mass StorageSupported
USB SerialDigi Acceleport (io-ti driver)
USB mouseSupported
USB keyboardSupported

How long does the Nomad battery take to charge from a completely discharged state?

The Nomad battery takes about 4.5 hours to fully charge after it has been completely discharged.

How long can I expect my battery to last on the Nomad?

The Nomad battery is designed to perform at least an 8 hour work shift. Battery life may be extended by disabling WiFi and Bluetooth, lowering screen brightness, or by suspending the device when it is not in use.

How can I perform a Clean Boot or Hard Reset on my Windows Mobile Nomad?

Hold down the Power key and press the right soft key (--) to display a countdown. Continue to hold both keys until the countdown reaches zero, the boot screen appears briefly, and a screen appears warning that the persistent store will be erased if you continue. At that point, release the Power and right soft keys and follow the instructions on the screen.

WARNING: All application software, licenses, settings, and user data will be deleted if this function is performed!

What is the difference between the Numeric and PDA keypad?

Each Trimble Nomad handheld comes with a numeric keypad. Select models are also offered with a PDA keypad configuration. You cannot swap keypads. The PDA keypad option contains the standard PDA keypad buttons including a directional keypad and two reprogrammable softkeys. The numeric keypad contains the standard PDA keypad keys and a 0-9 numeric keypad, Tab, Backspace, "*", "+", "-", and "." keys. The numeric keypad is ideal for applications that require a lot of numeric data entry -- for example, meter reading or quantity surveying.

How can I see a list of active programs on my Nomad running Windows Mobile?

In Windows Mobile 6.0, there is a "Running Programs" tab under Start > Settings > System > Memory.

In Windows Mobile 6.1, this feature has changed to "Task Manager" and it can be found in two places:
Start > Programs > Task Manager
Start > Settings > System (tab) > Task Manager.

The 900 series is similar to the 800 series, but offers some minor improvements. The following chart summarizes the main differences:

800 Series900 Series
Operating SystemWindows Mobile 6.0
Windows Mobile 6.1

Memory Card SupportSD (2GB max)
SDHC (32GB max)
Camera2.0 megapixel
5.0 megapixel

GPS Accuracy2-5 meters
2-4 meters

802.11g (Cisco Certified)

What are the standard Nomad COM port assignments?

COM 1 is always for the serial port, whether using a Serial bot or USB boot.

COM 2 is always for the GPS port.

If a user plugs in a CF card, it will assign it the first available COM port.

COM 8 and 9 are the defaults used for the Bluetooth serial ports.

What Nomads work with a cellular network?

The Trimble Nomad 800X, 800XC and 800XE handhelds are equipped with a quad-band GSM module that operates in the frequency bands 850/900/1800/1900 MHz. This modem is AT&T network-certified but the modem on these devices will work on any GSM network operating in these bands that does not require subscriber devices to have carrier certification. Check with your carrier to see if they require handsets to have carrier certification to operate on their network. The 800X, 800XC and 800XE handhelds are certified for use in the USA, Canada, and Europe.

All Nomad models, including the 800, 900, and 1050 series, support Verizon.

What technology is the cellular modem on the Nomad?

The Nomad's cellular modem is capable of GPRS and EDGE techology.

Does the Nomad support voice?

No, at this time only data transfer is supported over the cellular network.

What is the difference between the standard Nomad and the Nomad G-Series? Does SDG Systems carry the G-series?

The G-series comes standard with 6GB of Flash memory vs. the standard Nomad's 512MB to 2GB, depending on the model. Additionally, the G-series is fully compatible with all Trimble Mapping and GIS software. SDG Systems does not offer the Nomad G-series, these are only available through authorized MGIS Trimble dealers.