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Decoding serial port device

I Ondy
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Right, bit of a complicated one to explain. I need to decode the 'commands' sent to and information received from a device so I can write a new program to control it. From what i've been told, it's a serial port device (from late 80's).
I have the original DOS based computer and program(or at least soon will have) that currently runs it. Now, is this feasable:
Splice a serial cable into the current one between the DOS computer and device, so in effect i have a 3 ended serial cable. Plug the '3rd end' into computer running a java progamme that listens to the serial port and prints on screen any 'commands' or acks sent down/up the line. Then just manually trigger every possible event from the original programme, making note of what is sent between PC and Device.
What do you think folks?
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