View Full Version : Phone fax connections

18-07-2002, 01:29 PM
How do I stop the pc fax picking up phone calls and phone picking up the pc fax instead of the answer machine. I have two seperate phone numbers. I want the pc to pickup the faxes not the phone.
I hope somebody can find something in their box of tricks that will help me.
Ta very much!
Bob. C.

Capt Jimbo
18-07-2002, 03:20 PM
Do you have faxability?
If so you should be able to set your modem to recognise "Distinctive Ring"
Set the fax to answer at a number of rings less than the answerphone.
This way the fax will answer first provided it recognises the combination of rings. If it doesn't it will leave the call to be answered by the answerphone.

18-07-2002, 04:04 PM
You will need to describe your setup in more detail.

I can read it several ways, but I assume by "2 separate phone numbers" you mean one for fax and one for phone.

I assume your answer phone is not software on your PC, but your fax is?

So in that case why are both phone lines going into the computer in order that it is even able to answer them?

If on the other hand you have both devices as software in your PC, it gets a tad more complex.

Awaiting enlightenment....

sam m
18-07-2002, 06:01 PM
I have struggled with trying to achieve this for a while. I have faxability and I have configured my fax program(s) Winfax Pro and Supervoice to recognise the distinctive ring of a fax as opposed to a voice call however after hours of adjusting and practice calls I am still no better off. I think that the only way to get this to work is to buy a modem that actually says that it has distinctive ring option. Most modems that I have looked at do not have this function. As I have a benchtop fax machine I use that for receiving and my computer for sending, not ideal but suits my purpose until my modem gives up then I will buy modem that has distinctive ring option.

sam m

Elwin Way
18-07-2002, 09:43 PM
Remember - if you have a winmodem - forget it.

They don't handle the specific ring codes.

Do a search for faxability

18-07-2002, 10:15 PM
tweak'es way is to connect the pc to the fax machine (provided its a model that can be linked). that way the fax answers the call and the pc handles the fax data.

19-07-2002, 09:04 AM
Thanks people for your interesting responses !
I think I better start from the begining!
I've had to upgrade from 95 to XP because of capacity problems.
I have a Brother Multi - Function Centre (MFC-1970MC) thats a phone /fax/copier /printer also faxability installed
On the 95 system - not a problem with ph/fx because the PC was connected to the Brother by a Multi - Function Link cable.
This öf course doesnt work with the XP system which has its on fax system. So what I want is for the PC to pick up the fax ring and the Brother to do the phone bit!
With the PC off the Brother does its thing by recieving and storing or printing faxes and taking messages no problem!
I have phone line with two different numbers from there one line goes to the phone the other to the PC
It seems simple enough so why doesnt happen?

Your turn you lot out there!



19-07-2002, 09:30 AM
Right Bob, thanks for the detail.

Firstly you do NOT have 2 phone lines. Faxability just makes the phone ring differently for a fax, when the second number is used, its still just one line.

Now, to go from W95 to XP you have most likely changed your PC as well, and the new one has a modem built in. (Working on assumptions here)

It will most likely be a "winmodem" or "soft" modem, which cannot discriminate between fax and phone rings, so if you want it to pick up on a certain ring type it will pick up on all rings.

The Brother, on the other hand could pick up on fax ring.

My understanding of the Brother is that it can interface with a PC for faxing, (plus printing/scanning) so the PC should talk to the Brother unit and not the phone line for these operations, leaving the Brother to handle the phone. Trouble is the Brother is too old and unsupported with XP right?

Dont see how you can get the internal modem to pick-up, but if you bought en external modem (NOT USB!) serial RS232 connection type, that supports faxability it should work....

Capt Jimbo
19-07-2002, 06:03 PM
At the risk of asking a stupid question
(Which I seem to make a habit of)
Why do you need the PC to pick up your faxes when you already have another dedicated fax machine in the Brother?

Susan B
19-07-2002, 09:21 PM
I can't speak for Bob but my logic tells me that it is an excellent idea to have the PC pick up the faxes. The faxes don't all have to be printed then.

I have suggested that my boss uses the PC for faxes to save wasting so much paper, toner, etc on the fax spam that is always coming through. A quick tap of the delete key and it's gone. Boss intends to try it when we get a new PC soon.

The fax machine would still be necessary as a backup in case the faxable PC falls over.

19-07-2002, 09:26 PM
Susan, to ensure you do not get repeat fax spam, identify the sender and fax it back, taping the paper into a loop. After 15 minutes they should run out of paper at the other end....

I agree and see the point of the original post, I sometimes activate soft fax reception when I know I have a large fax coming. Also many of my faxes are "evidentiary" in nature and need to be embedded in reports, so it saves scanning them.

In this case I think an external faxability capable modem is the cheapest fix...

Susan B
19-07-2002, 09:33 PM
Faxing spam back again? Now why didn't I think of that? ]:)

21-07-2002, 09:54 PM
You may find this useful. I have a Brother 520 MC and it handles the fax etc very well set up as per following details using Brother Missing link software and serial cable conversion unit that came with my Brother MC

I have a single ph line with 1 number, and no other services IE call waiting, fax etc !!!No extra Phone line charges!!!

Telephone line plugs into Brother line in.
PC Modem Rockwell 56 PCI plugs into lineout on Brother MC
Brother serial conversion unit into Brother PC1/p socket then serial plug to PC serial socket
Brother Missing Link software loaded into PC windows 98 startup menu

Brother set up as follows

MC to PC enabled
Set up to detect fax code. or if Phone call allow pickup, or after 6 rings to message recording.
If after hearing message caller can dial *91 to advise a fax is following
If fax detected and PC off will print out fax
Note you can set up message cetre to store fax's in memory. I havent used this feature as it reduces phone message time.

If PC turned "on"
Instead of printing fax it is stored in Brother Fax Message dir in PC. Where you can read it,
delete it
send it from PC as a fax via Brother software.

In addition you can scan a document into PC at 300dpi by selecting scan doc and feeding it through Brother as if sending a fax.
I dont have softwqare but no doubt you could convert into text so word could allow editing if required.

Software allows setting up multiple groups for combined fax out etc


21-07-2002, 10:04 PM
Bobs problem stems from the fact that Brother software for his unit does not support Windows XP, or he would be fine. He simply cannot link them together.

21-07-2002, 11:33 PM
Faxing spam back to run out paper at the other end....cool!
What if spammers' sending from PC??? ;)

So what you do????....leave fax paper in loop for whole day and fill up the hard drive at the other end :D

22-07-2002, 03:28 PM
Someone could write a bat file for this, no doubt !!!.


Les 3

31-07-2002, 03:09 PM
Just a note to thank all those who took the trouble with suggestions on my phone / fax connections problem.
We have now got it sorted.
Thanks again!

Now can anyone tell me why my Panasonic Laser printer (KX-P6500) has suddenly decided not to print certain letters? ie R / T / W / B in capitals.

31-07-2002, 03:23 PM
Make sure your printer port is set (in the bios) as an EPP type.

You get the strangest results otherwise...neatly missing out whole pages for instance.