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Fax and telephone on same line
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Posted 11/15/2012 18:52 (#2699063)
Subject: Fax and telephone on same line

Our single line does not have a voice mail service so we have an answering machine hooked to it. Today I spent some time trying to get it to where it would either receive a fax or record a voice message depending on the kind of call.

Our fax machine is a cheap HP J3640 All-in-One machine. The owners manual says that you should hook it to the wall and then hook your phone/answering machine to the fax machine. Next you set it to "AutoAnswer" mode and then set the "rings to answer" to one or two more than the answering machine is set at. The answering machine kicks in on the fourth ring so I set the fax machine to answer on ring five.

The problem came when setting it to "AutoAnswer". I don't know if our firmware is different than that of the user manual or what but the options are:


Finally I just decided to bother a local business that we do a lot of business with and ask them to send some test faxes while I adjusted the fax machine settings. I selected "FaxTel" mode first. It rang 4 times and the answering machine picked up. I was expecting a success to be represented by the fax machine realizing it was a fax and picking up before the answering machine picked up. Because of that I decided to pick up the phone, hit "end call" and then try another setting. At that point I noticed the fax machine said "connecting". I thought that was odd but I still thought I was in failure mode so I hit "cancel" on the fax machine.

Next we tried "AnswerMachine" mode. Same results except this time the fax machine did not say "connecting" (that I remember). Next I tried "Fax" mode. Same thing except this time I did not answer the phone so I could hit "end call". So while the answering machine was playing its pre-recorded message I observed as the fax machine said "connecting" and then "Recieving Pg 1" and then it printed the cover letter off. No message was recorded on the answering machine.

I also made a test call with my cell phone and was able to successfully leave a message. This is exactly how I want it to work but it seems odd to me that the fax machine did answer even though it didn't ring 5 times when a fax came but it did not answer when it didn't ring five times when I called with my cell phone.

Can anyone explain how this works so I can understand it better? I like that it's working but I don't like that I don't understand why it's working. Thanks.
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