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I can't get the rig to talk to the computer

The most likely problem areas are

1) the COM port speed setting for the rig is not the same as the computer's COM port speed. See
here for COM port setup.

2) the COM port number is not correct. See
here for changing the COM port setup.

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

4) An unlikely problem is that the rig requires a reset to sort out some oddity that has lodged itself in its memory.

Note that if you do a RESET of the VR-5000 it will revert to its default speed of 4800 baud. You will have to change it back to 9600 baud if that is your normal operating speed.