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jikmeb
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:53 am    Post subject: Sending Faxes Without a Dedicated Line Reply with quote Back to top

Hello:

I want to send occassional faxes through my existing single line. I do not need to recieve them and don't need a $9.95 dedicated line.

I use a:
--Dell Dimension 5100,
--Road Runner cable modem
--2-phone Panasonic cordless (KX-TG2357) w/one remote base.
--Vonage Motorola router

I read that a splitter allows you to plug both a phone and fax device into a single router port.

If so, could someone explain the configuration and recommend the type/brand of splitter?

Thanks in advance
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Splitter Type:

There are two main types of splitters, a Y splitter which turns one phone jack into two and a L1/L2 splitter which splits line 1 and line 2 apart and provideds a jack for each.

You need the "Y" type splitter. Some of these come designed to plug into the wall, others come with a short "tail" on them. The "tail" type is preferable because the integrated unit is difficult to plug into adapters.

(Integrated unit, harder to use)

(duplex jack with short line cord, easier to use)

Configuration:

Plug the splitter into the line 1 port on your Motorola router, connect the phone to the splitter. Connect the phone line from your fax machine (computer modem) to the other jack of the splitter. You should have dial tone on the phone and fax.

Use:

You may have some issues faxing with Vonage. These can be overcome with a little effort. There are plenty of posts here that describe how to set up your faxing. Briefly, use Vonage's highest quality setting (on some devices this can be accomplished by dialing *99), turn off ECM on your fax machine and lower the baud rate until faxes are successful.

[EDIT: After a bit of online shopping finding the type of splitter I recommend appears to be difficult. One alternative is to use a splitter that has three jacks, you then use your own short line cord to connect the splitter. These splitters seem a bit more available.



The splitters I am using came with my TiVos.]

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jikmeb
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Scerruti: Thanks!

You confirmed what I had read.

I already had a non-"tail" Y-splitter lying around and, as you said, it was problematic: they don't "click" into the port and lock into place (wonder why...?).

However, I just connected it, the line was live, and I sent a 5-page fax. The adapter passed the test, but since it did fit loosely in the port, I'll remove it after transmitting and plug the phone back into the router for a secure connection (or just unplug phone, plug in fax, transmit, then remove fax cord and reinsert phone). But the non-"tail" is fine in the meantime.

Incidentally, does a Y-splitter literally split incoming data to allow for simultaneous dual-use? Do phone calls come through while I fax, or is the phone line busy?

Thanks for your insight!

jik
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The splitter shares the same phone line. If you pick up a handset while a fax is in progress you will hear fax tones, similarly if you try to send a fax while on the phone you will hear the fax machine or fax modem attempt to dial.

The splitter works in exactly the same way house wiring does, it can be used with two phones for instance if you want to have two people in the same room on a call.

Typically they are used for what you are using it for, to share a phone line with another device, perhaps an answering machine, caller-id box or a TiVo or satellite receiver.

There are devices that provide exclusive line sharing, that it it provides the ability for a device to seize the line when it is using it so that other devices don't have access. These are typically used in conjunction with alarm systems.

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jikmeb
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

So, when the fax is in use, no calls will come through...

May as well unplug the phone and insert fax line when I need to send a fax, then re-insert phone line afterward. Seems the more secure "tail" adapter would save me that hassle -- by always allowing fax & phone to be simultaneously attached -- but not allow dual, simultaneous use. Good deal, either way!

I read that faxes sent this way, w/o a dedicated line, are charged as regular calls...is this true?

Thanks again!
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

For the occasional fax unplugging the phone and connecting the fax is a reasonable solution.

Fax calls are charged the same way voice calls are.

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mundy5
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

May I also recommend that you change the speed to 9600 baud for your fax. In addition, they recommend that you use the highest bandwidth setting for sending faxes so if you are using bandwidth saver, you will want to enter in the prefix *99,, and then the phone number. This will reset to the highest bandwidth for the call.

I have had some issues with faxes not going through until I changed the speed down to 9600. Ever since then, I've had all my faxes go through with no problems.

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jikmeb
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks, Mundy5...I lowered the baud rate in my fax to 9600.

--Should I keep it at that rate, or raise it again after faxing?

--What exactly does lowering the baud rate do to enhance the fax function?

--Also, I was wondering what exactly the *99 code does to the process as well.

jik
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I cannot speak about all the technical details of why these two things are recommended since I'm not a fax tech or anything like that. What I can say is that the *99 changes your phone connection to the highest quality and then lowering your fax baud rate to 9600 seems to produce a high reliability rate for transmission. I used to have it set to the usual 14400 but it resulted often times in in complete faxes etc.

I believe Vonage recommends these two changes for faxing using the Voip.

You might as well keep it at that rate if you intend to use Vonage as your main connection for faxes.

Hope this explains it a bit. I think the quality of the connection at this point in time seems to struggle with handling a fax at 14400 baud rate for whatever technical reasons.

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vonalink
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

jikI was wondering what exactly the *99 code does to the process as well.meb wrote:
Thanks, Mundy5...I lowered the baud rate in my fax to 9600.


Unless you are going to use the fax machine to send on a PSTN line, leave it at 9600.

Quote:
What exactly does lowering the baud rate do to enhance the fax function


The is the speed of fax transmission. A lower speed fax can be sent on a lower quality line.

Quote:
I was wondering what exactly the *99 code does to the process as well.


*99 is temporarily setting the Vonage line is use the highest quality G.711 codec. To use G.711 for all calls, do the following:

1. Login to Vonage web site
2. Locate Features page
3. FInd Bandwdith Saver and set it to the highest (90kbps).

After making the above change, you do not need to enter *99 anymore.

G.711 codec is mandatory for fax. The other lower quality settings compress the audio too much.

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Last edited by vonalink on Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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