TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Sharing One Line for Fax and Voice?

Re: Sharing One Line for Fax and Voice?

Joshua Putnam (
Wed, 26 Apr 2006 09:08:18 -0700

In article <>,

> Sorry for jumping in, but how do those boxes work? Does the box pick
> up the line, waits for a few seconds, and ...

> - if it gets a FAX tone, it will direct the call to the fax plug
> - if it gets nothing, it will forward it to the phone plug?

> But if it's a voice call, will users just get silence for several
> seconds, or does the box simultaneously listens to the incoming call
> to tell if it's fax or voice, and also play a ring tone so, in case
> it's a human calling, the caller thinks the phone is still ringing?

The one I use does keep the ring tone going while it listens for a fax

Unfortunately, these boxes don't work for at least two types of
incoming faxes:

1. Some computer-generated faxes don't start generating a fax tone
until after the line is answered and the ring tone stops. That was
much more of an issue when I started using the box back in the late
80s, very few of those machines seem to be around by now.

2. Some humans send all their faxes manually, and don't hit the
"start" button until they hear the receiving fax answer and start
squawking at them. So they try again and again, and leave hangup
voicemail instead of sending the fax. Sometimes they can be convinced
to change their ways, sometimes they can't. One client in particular
has been sending faxes this way since they got their first machine in
the 1970s, and they've trained the entire office to always send faxes
on manual dial, so I get to talk to them more often than I otherwise
would! is Joshua Putnam
Braze your own bicycle frames. See

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