For the past few months I have been having a love hate relationship with a Raspberry Pi Model B and Direwolf. The software runs perfectly well on my Pi3 but makes my other Pi fall over relatively easily. When this is at home it is no problem at all. I just reset and it will restart the software but the trouble is it has been at the clubs QTH. Ok I can log in remotely and deal with it but when it refuses to connect to the internet it becomes a pain. So I was looking for alternative solutions.

I came across the Dorji DRA818v module a little while ago and though that would work. It is a simple module that just needs a PCB and some connections to the Pi. But hang on, there are PCB’s you can already buy. But they don’t have filtering. Now hang on again there are those with filtering too. Now that looks good. Then hanging on for a third time the Sainsonic AVRT7 does it all simply!


So, now there are a bunch of choices for the same module. I’ve ordered a AVRT7 and around 30+ working days later I should receive the new toy.

There are a few warnings about counterfeit Prolific chips and trouble programming. I can see some frustrating times ahead but I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. I just hope it’ll be one that can be beaten. I will also get myself a SV1AFN pcb when I get around to it for home / experimental use. Just don’t tell Mrs g7kse!

Whilst we are on the subject I am really impressed with Direwolf. WB2OSZ has produced a really great bit f software that is easy to install on that Raspberry Pi and RTL Dongle you bought that you’re not using. The world can only get better with loads of iGates 🙂


  • George

    Got it for many months now . It works fine . Can also connect external receiver for diferent QRG. I just added another preprogrammed DRA818 inside , so don’t need much wires. Only problem is high level of noise from ethernet/rj45 port . Regards MW0TDQ

    • Alex

      Seems like quite a sensible choice for a simple all in one solution. Once I’d negotiated the programming its running nicely. A better antenna would help

    • Alex

      Mine is very reliable. Once it’s set up (which is an interesting experience) just turn it on and it’s working. The only downside is that it is not a digipeater. The RF module can do that but it isn’t capable.

      Let me know how you get on

  • Dimitrios Valaris

    Hi guys, is there a transmitter inside an AVRT7 plus, or just a receiver so an RX only IGATE? It is not clear in the instructions!
    73 de SV1UY

    • Alex

      It has what looks like a Dorji 818 vhf module in it that has tx capability but I haven’t found a way to enable it as a digipeater. The unit wants to use an external tx for transmitting. There isn’t much info about on the unit. Not even sure if it is still made.

  • Emyr

    Is the AVRT7+ capable of digipeating on its own or does it need an external radio?
    I read somewhere that it is capable but none of the seller posts or anything else I have read now is able to confirm.

    • Alex

      To the best of my knowledge I believe that you need an external rig. Although it does appear that the unit uses the Dorji dra818v module which (in theory can be used to TX).

      Not heard of the AVRT7+ unit though, was that a typo?

      • Emyr

        Alex, not a typo

        From reading the above comments it seemed that the AVRT7 PLUS was being discussed. Sorry if I misunderstood.

        I read a review of it a few weeks ago and as I want to run an iGate that had digipeat capability it seemed to be the perfect solution… digipeat isn’t crucial for me but in the event of disaster and loss of internet then Digi would be crucial.

        I have the AVRT5 and that seems to have digipeat capability so I was basically looking for a device with the AVRT5 capability with the internet capability to be able to iGate… a one for all solution without having to run an extra computer/tnc/radio!

        73 de MW0VPS

        • Alex

          I’m going to go for the ‘it needs a rig attached’ option. The connections look similar to the AVRT7 with one for network and another for an external display and maybe temperature sensor etc. There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of off the shelf digpeaters in the UK, presumably as a result of the license restrictions. I would have thought that there would an opportunity to supply them to the US etc.

          • Emyr


            I was hoping that the earlier poster who has experience of the AVRT7 PLUS could give an informed answer based on their experience…

            thank you for your guess, but it wasn’t quite the informed answer I was hoping for.

            Many thanks and 73

  • Tom

    I have an AVRT7 Plus that has been running for a few weeks. My built in receiver is deaf even with an antenna on my roof. limited to about 3 miles with a 50w beacon. But with my ICOM ic2200h attached, I’m gating things 100+ miles away with digi’s @ 90 miles. I haven’t been able to get it to digit yet either. Does not decode my bionics AIO but good success with my yaesu

    • Alex

      I’m pretty sure it won’t digi without an external transceiver. I think you’re experiencing the same things as I do. Perhaps I should hook it up to a better quality transceiver and see if that makes it any better

  • Tom

    No need, it was already connected to an IC-2200h and once I figured out the wiring issue, the digi function appears to work just fine.

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