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Using HyperTerminal Private Edition with Relay Centers

Many of us have found that using a computer with Relay is better than using a TTY because it is faster and you have a bigger screen. Several software programs are available that will allow a computer to operate as a terminal in ASCII mode and most, if not all, Relay Centers can operate in ASCII mode. HyperTerminal is one such program and it comes standard on Windows 98. The "Private Edition" version is better than the standard version and it is a free download for private users. See  These instructions show how to configure HyperTerminal PE for Relay.

I am assuming all Relay Centers use the ACSII default of 8 data bits, no parity bit, and one stop bit. (8-N-1) If this needs to be changed, it can be. See part 2 step 3.

Part 1

1. Go to the location on your hard drive where you downloaded HyperTerminal PE, and click on it. That should start the install process.

2. After it is installed, find HyperTerminal PE in the start menu and select it. (It gives a lot of choices, but the main program is what you want at this point.) [Note: If the basic version of HyperTerminal is also installed on your system, you have to make sure you select the HyperTerminal PE version instead of the basic HyperTerminal. You may want to uninstall the basic version.]

3. The first screen that comes up asks you to enter a name for your new connection and a icon. The icon doesn't matter. I named my connection "GA RELAY".  (Georgia Relay)
4. The next screen asks for the phone number you want to dial. Some Relay Centers have a different phone number for TTY and computer. Choose the computer (ASCII) number.
5. A.  Make sure the phone number to be dialed includes any necessary digits such as a "1" for long distance or a "9" for an outside line. If the phone number is correct, click on "Dial" and it should make a connection.

If the phone number is NOT correct, click on "Dialing Properties" to enter necesary digits. Click on OK on that window to return here, then click on "Dial".


5. B. If you need to enter a digit for an outside line, enter it on this screen. For long distance, a "1" may need to be entered, but the software may include one automatically depending on your Area Code Rules. Click on the "Area Code Rules" button to set up unique dialing requirements for your location. In my example, I did not enter a "1", but since my area code is 706 and I am dialing a 800 number, HyperTerminal automatically included a "1".

Click "OK" when you are done, to return to step 5. A. 

You should see a message from Relay that says something like "Number calling please." If you do not get to this point,  then I suspect there is a problem with the number dialed or there is an incompatibility in the basic ASCII default of  8 data bits, no parity bit, and one stop bit. (8-N-1) Try 7-N-1, or try  changing the "N" to odd parity or even parity. See Part 2, step 3 for  instructions on how to change the basic ASCII data structure.

If you did get a message from Relay, just type that you are testing your connection. You may not see what you typed at this point, but that is OK. End the session with Relay by clicking on the icon of a phone that is off hook. Then close the window and choose save when it asks you.

Part 2

1. Click on your Relay ICON   [See the note above... make sure Windows launched HyperTerminal PE instead of the basic HyperTerminal.]

2. Cancel the Dial screen that comes up.

3. On the blank HyperTerminal screen, click on File, then Properties. The Properties screen has two tabs - "Connect To" and "Settings".

4. The "Connect To" tab is displayed by default. Use this tab only if you want to change your dial in number or change the basic ASCII data structure from 8-N-1. If you need to change 8-N-1 to something else, select "Configure" under the Modem pull-down window. This step should rarely be necessary.

Continue these instructions by selecting "Settings".

5.  On the Settings window, click on the pull down box for Emulation, and select VT100.  Other terminal types may work, but I have found VT100  gives good results.

6.  On the Settings window, click on "Terminal Setup".

7. Here you change the number of Rows and Columns. You will need to make the number of columns compatible with the font size you choose. Try 40 columns to start. The objective is to have a window with easily readable font and no horizontal scroll bars. You do this by balancing the number of columns, font size, and window size. Window size can be changed by dragging the mouse pointer on the window edge. See step 11 for font size.

The other options on that screen are OK. Click on OK. That takes you back to the Settings window.

8. On the Settings Window, click on ASCII Setup
9. The ASCII Setup window. Put check marks on: 
   "Send line ends with line feeds"
   "Echo typed characters locally" 
   "Append line feeds to incoming line ends"
   "Wrap Lines that exceed Terminal Width"

(Your Relay Center may echo typed characters and if so, you will get double characters, so clear the check mark for "Echo Typed Characters Locally" if this happens.)

10. Click OK on the ASCII Setup window, then click OK on the Settings window. This takes you back to the blank HyperTerminal window.

11. On the blank HyperTerminal window, click on "View", then "Font".

This is where you can select the font and size you like. I use 14 size to make it easier to read.


12. Click OK on the Font window

13. Click on "File", then "Save".

Exit the program and then click on your Relay icon to test it. If you need additional help, or if you discover a mistake in these instructions, please specify which step (Part 1, step x, or part 2, step x) is unclear. 

Good Luck!!   Ron Vickery

Part 3

This part concerns two functions you may want to use:

A. Allowing HyperTerminal to answer a call. You may need to do this when using reverse 2LVCO.
B. Creating and sending Key Macros or Text Files. These are useful to automate your initial message to Relay depending on what you want to do. You may have one macro to request 2LVCO and another to request an answering machine retrieval.

I do not recommend that you jump into this part without mastering the basic setup in parts 1 & 2.

1. To allow Hyperterminal to answer a call, first perform the setup for your Relay connection and get it working correctly and have a easy-to-find icon on your desktop. Now, when you are expecting a call, click on your Relay icon, but cancel the dial function when it appears. You should then have a blank HyperTerminal window like this one. Click on the "Call" menu function. A pull down window will appear with a selection named "Wait for a Call". Click on that and then the blank window will change to the next illustration.
2. Notice the words at the bottom of the window that says, "Waiting for Calls". When you receive a call from another computer, HyperTerminal will attempt to make a connection, and you can look in this area to see the status. If you want to stop waiting for a call, click on the "Call" menu and there will be a selection for that.
3. To send a short canned message, one method is to use a key macro. To generate a key macro, click on the "View" menu on the blank window shown above. Select "Key Macros" from the pull down window. In this example, I already have one set up. The <F5> means the function key on my keyboard that is named F5. The rest of the data on that line is what will be sent to Relay when I press F5. If you do not have a key macro set up, click on "New".
4. The small area at the top labeled "Key", is where you enter your key. I use a function key, such as F5, but the notation indicates you could use some other key strokes. The larger area labeled "Action" is where you enter your desired text. It could be a request for 2LVCO with your voice number entered, or it could be something else, such as instructions for answering machine retrieval.
5. Now I have entered my key and my action. Click on OK. The next time you want to call Relay, after you receive the initial response from Relay, press your key and the text will go to Relay.

Key macros must be short, it seems. I have tried to enter a longer text and HyperTerminal does not accept it. For longer text, sending a text file is better. That's the next topic.

6. First, you have to generate a text file. I use Notepad since it contains nothing but text. I saved my Notepad file in the HyperTerminal folder. Now when I select the "Transfer" menu function, a pull down window will appear with one item called "Send Text File".
7. When I performed the above action, this window appeared and the name of my text file is "2LVCO Request". When I select that file and click "Open", the next window appears.
8. That's all folks!