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Home Fax Machines

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jon_Are, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Well-Known Member

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    With a home fax machine - do I need a separate phone line/phone number to send and receive faxes?

    Or, do I just plug the machine into an existing wall jack, after which it will receive faxes sent to my current (normal) home phone number?

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  2. WayneO

    WayneO Well-Known Member

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    You can use your main line. You would probably set the fax to pick up after six rings so it doesn't get to the phone be you do. [​IMG] And it obviously tie up your line when using the fax and you probably would need to shut off an anwering machine as well if you had one.
     
  3. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Well-Known Member

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    So, I just connect it to an existing phone jack and tell folks that my fax number is the same as my home phone number?

    Can I leave both my answering machine and fax machine on and ready to receive a call at all times?

    Jon
     
  4. WayneO

    WayneO Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    Hooking up both devices on one line, I don't see how you could do it without conflict. Questions that I can't answer, but you'll have to test. If you set your fax and answering machine to pick up at 6 rings, which one will actually get the call first? If it's the fax, will the answering machine record the fax noise or will it interrupt the fax signal? If it's the answering machine, the fax machine won't get the fax. If you set one to answer quicker, that device will always get the call. Looks like one or the other to me.
     
  5. Scott Barnhart

    Scott Barnhart Well-Known Member

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    The best way to hook up a fax machine to a phone line and have it all work correctly is to get "Distinctive Ring" from your phone provider (and a fax machine that supports it, which probably all modern ones do).

    The phone co. gives you another phone number which rings on your main line, but with a different ringing pattern which your Fax machine can then recognize, and pick up the phone before your answering machine does.

    This is how I do mine, and it works like a charm. I think I am paying $5/month for distinctive ring service.
     
  6. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Well-Known Member

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    A lot of modern fax machines (hardware and software) have answering machines built in. When the machine picks up it will play your recorded greeting and if it hears a fax tone automatically switch to receive your document.

    E-fax is another option...
     
  7. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Well-Known Member

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    What I need, though, is a combo printer/fax/scanner/copier. I don't imagine that there are there any of these that have a built-in answering machine?

    Jon
     
  8. Jim_F

    Jim_F Well-Known Member

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    It's not a space saving approach, but my computer setup does all of those things. Fax/data/voice modem, USB scanner, photo printer, and HotFax software.

    Maybe not what you had in mind, though.
     
  9. BrianSimmons

    BrianSimmons Member

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    It is fine to have it on the same line. I have an HP 4 in 1 and a seperate answering maching on my line. The answering machine is set to pick up after 4 rings, the fax after 6 rings. Obviously the fax machine should never pick up a call. However, it does monitor the line and if the answering machine (or a person for that mater) picks up a fax call (which is determined by the incoming fax tones), it automatically picks up the line and receives the fax. All fax machines have this monitoring feature as far as I know. The only thing you need to make sure is that your answering maching will hang up if another line is picked up in the house. Most machines do this, and it is easy to test. Wait for a call and let the machine pick it up - pick up another phone somewhere in the house and make sure the answering machine hangs up automatically.

    The short answer is that both will work fine as long as the answering machine is set to pick up the line before the fax machine.
     
  10. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Well-Known Member

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    So...I don't need to pay the phone company extra every month for distinctive ring service?

    Jon
     
  11. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Well-Known Member

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    You can also buy a FAX Switch. They are around $100 but well worth it is you want to run a fax machine on the same line as your home number. It connects between your phone jack and your fax/phone/answering machine devices. (Has seperate jacks for all of them). It will listen to the line and sense when a fax call is coming in and automatically route it to the fax line. If you pick up the phone and hear the fax machine on the other end....the swith is still listening and it will automatically transfer the call to the fax line. You can also leave a message on your answering machine and instruct people to press a code to "send a fax now".
     
  12. BrianSimmons

    BrianSimmons Member

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    Jon - no you do not need to pay the phone company more money for extra services.


    Brian - I believe most fax machines now have this type of switching built into the machine. There is no need to buy an additional switch because your fax machine should already monitor the line and pick up automatically.

    During your answering machine message, you can tell people that if they are trying to send a fax, to just press the start button. This will start their machine sending the fax tones, which should automatically cause your fax machine to pick up on the line, and the answering machine should hang up automatically as well.
     
  13. Kelvin Tucker

    Kelvin Tucker Well-Known Member

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    One (at least for me) major benefit of the Distinctive Ring service, is I KNOW when a fax call is coming in.

    Imagine this:
    888-555-1234 = Home Number
    You hear a Single Ring, like today
    888-555-6789 = (Fax) Distinctive Ring 2nd Number
    You hear a Double Ring, as in Ring-Ring pause

    Call comes in -
    Ring - You pickup, or Answering Machine picks up

    Ring-Ring - FaX Machine picks up.

    Is it worth the extra $$$ ? Only you would know. [​IMG] I have it, mainly because of the packaged service which includes it anyway.
     
  14. Scott.J

    Scott.J Member

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    I just have a seperate line for my fax
     
  15. BrianSimmons

    BrianSimmons Member

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    Kelvin - good point about the distinctive ring tone for an incoming fax. I guess it just depends on how many faxes you really have coming into the house. If it is a lot, then I could see where a distinctive ring or even a seperate line would be helpful, but it is not required in order to make the system work. So someone like myself that only gets a fax once in a while (and I usually know when it is coming) can receive that fax without any special setup or extra cost.
     
  16. Gregg Shiu

    Gregg Shiu Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with efax at all for home or personal use. I love the idea of throwing away the fax machine and not wasting any more paper, however I doubt I'll get that kinda usage out of it at home. This however proabably would be a good idea to implement at our small business office, so if anybody has any input on this, it'd be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It works quite well, but it may not be suitable for some documents that require a ‘real’ (non-electronic) signature. This may not be an issue for a home fax, but this requirement is more common than you might think.

    Many instructions to real estate agents, attorneys, car dealers, various government bodies require one or more people to sign. If you think that you will have this requirement, a real fax is still a good idea.
     

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