Since you're posting
here, you obviously have access to a computer. If it's Windows XP-based AND it has a 9-pin serial port , you can use the included Hyperterminal application as mentioned before. If you happen to have a laptop with USB ports
only and no serial port - do yourself a favor and find a local geek who can help you. If yours does have a serial port, then proceed:
You can find Hyperterminal under "All Programs" -> "Accessories" -> "Communications" -> "Hyperterminal". When you start the program, it may ask you if you want to make Hyperterminal your default telnet program - go ahead and click "yes" for now. Then it will attempt to create a new connection and ask you for a name and to choose an icon for it. Call it "direct" and choose any icon. Click "Ok". It will then ask you for details for the phone
number you want to dial. This shows Hyperterminal's heritage from the late 80's - before the Internet
as we know it - when it was one of many terminal programs used to dial via modems to various BBS's and Compuserve, AOL and Prodigy. Just click on the "Connect using" field, and choose COM1 (hopefully if your computer has a built-in modem
- most do - it's configured to use COM3). Then the phone
number fields go gray (don't allow input), so click "Ok".
Next pops up a window asking you to set the bits per second - set it to 9600. Data bits should be left at 8, parity none, and stop bits 1. Flow control should probably be left to "hardware", but can be changed to "Xon / Xoff" or "none" if you can't connect to the AIS. Click "Ok". Hit the enter key a couple of times and see if you get a prompt from the AIS. If not, go back and check your settings by clicking on "Call" in the menu bar of Hyperterminal, then "Disconnect". You can then check your settings by clicking "File" on the menu bar, then "Properties", then the "Configure" button.
Then you should be able to try the "i38400" command to change the bit rate, and "q" to save the config and quit.
Sorry about all the details, but that's Windows for you... If you have Vista, then Hyperterminal may be located somewhere else under the Start button. If it's a Mac, I don't know what they use (perhaps you can use the Unix terminal emulator program "tip"?)
FWIW - "baud" rate is a misnomer from the old days. Bauds are the number of signal changes per second, and with old modems - up to 2400 bits/second, the modem actually encoded bit per signal change (Hertz), but that went out the window with modern modems. They used fancy bit encoding schemes which could represent 2, 4 or 8 bits per signal change (or symbol). Modern v.92 modems can represent 7 bits per symbol, sampled 8000 times a second, for a bit rate of 56,000 bits per second. Needless to say, the term baud doesn't cut it any more, since you can cram an awful lot of bits into a baud nowadays! Sorry, to my ears someone saying "38400 baud
" is about as bad as fingers on a chalkboard!!!