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I cannot get the radio to talk to the computer

The most likely problem areas are 

1) the COM port number is not correct. See below for using CommTest to determine the correct Com port number and here for changing the COM port setup.

2) there is a cabling problem between the receiver and computer. See here for cable type.

3) you are running a PDA hotsync program that has acquired all of the COM ports

4) you are using an on-the-motherboard  Com port or USB/serial adapter that does not contain an FTDI USB chip

Using CommTest

CommTest is a free program to help with checking communication between the radio and the PC. It is available on the Download page of the author's web site. This screenshot shows the communication from a radio after power on. In this instance Com 4 and Com 7 are present on the PC. Note that the last message shows that the radio is connected to Com 7. 

USB attached devices

Be aware that USB to serial adapters and programming cables that plug directly into a USB port may be assigned a different Com port number by the operating system for each USB socket that you plug into. You will have to change the Com port number in the program if you use a different USB socket otherwise you will get an error when trying to read/write the radio.

To determine the correct Com port number do the following:

1. with the USB cable/adapter NOT plugged into the PC run CommTest and take note of the ports that are shown in green.
2. stop CommTest, plug in the USB cable/adapter and run CommTest again. The extra port shown in green is the port that has been assigned to the cable. Use this port number in the program. If no extra port is shown then you probably need to install drivers for the USB cable/adapter.

An alternative way to determine the port number is to plug the USB cable/adapter into the PC and then use the Windows Device Manager. Look at the section Ports (COM and LPT) to see if your device is listed. If it is not listed look for any other entry in the list of devices with a yellow question mark (?) or warning triangle next to it showing as an unknown device. Remove the cable and see if the unknown device disappears. If it does then you need to install drivers for it to be recognised by the operating system.