first you might upgrade to OpenCPN 3.2.2
A lot of the connection stuff has changed and the manual refers to 3.2.2
There is no special set-up for AIS needed: it's a NMEA
stream like the one from a GPS
or an Autopilot
, with the specialty that it runs at 38400 bd instead of just 4800 in order to be able to transmit the complete traffic.
Please create the COM port at Connections to receive the corresponding data from your AIS (--> manual Data Connections) and post perhaps a screenshot of the relevant part of the settings.
You are under Windows? Please check if the COM port you want to use does appear in the device manager.
Using an USB-serial adapter the COM port number may change depending where it gets plugged-in.
In the connection settings of OpenCPN you will find a drop-down list with all COM ports
that are visible as well.
And come back with your findings please.