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How to receive faxes with cable and voicemail.

Posted on 2009-04-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
Hi,
I have an HP C7200 "All in one series" printer.  I have Comcast cable modem with voicemail.  HP''s fax setup directions are usless concering voicemail setup.  Directions include "with voicemail you must receive faxes manually".  What does this mean?  Please advise.

Thanks,
Joe
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Question by:jstaron7
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ElrondCT earned 500 total points
ID: 24158838
I'm not sure what you mean about a cable modem with voicemail. Do you have a phone line so that you can make and receive regular telephone calls (i.e., plug in an ordinary telephone to a jack and make a call; a regular 10-digit telephone number has been assigned to you)?

If so, then you can plug your fax machine into the jack that a regular phone would plug into. However, most fax machines in automatic answer mode won't easily share a phone line with voice calls--they'll grab the incoming call whether it's a fax or not. If you want to use the line for incoming voice calls (voicemail or live answer), you either need to set the fax to manual receive, so that when you know a fax is coming in, you press a button on the machine to receive the call, or you need to buy a switch that will answer the call, determine whether it's a voice or fax call, and route it accordingly.

Please describe your situation in a bit more detail (what phone lines you have, whether you want automatic or manual receive for the fax), and I can help you set it up accordingly.
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by:jstaron7
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Hi ElrondCT,

I'm using Comcast as my ISP, whic uses a cable modem to access the internet.  The cable modem has a phone plug for telephone service.  Comcast phone service is "Voice over IP" and it includes an answer service called "voice mail".  So I am not using an "answering machine" for messages.  I plug the fax line directly into the cable modem's phone line when I have a fax coming through.

The only "button" on the fax machine is "auto answer", which I turned off.  There is no button to turn on when I know a fax is coming throughj.

Thanks,
Joe  
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by:ElrondCT
ElrondCT earned 500 total points
ID: 24160836
OK. How do you want to use it, in an ideal world? Do you want to be able to receive voice phone calls, have unanswered voice calls go to voice mail, and have the fax automatically answer fax calls? If that's your interest, you will not be able to use Comcast's voice mail, because there's no way to know if an incoming call is voice or fax without answering the phone, and voice mail will only respond if the phone is unanswered. That's the reason your fax manual says it won't work with voice mail.

The only solution that I know for that type of request is a fax/voice switch. I have a ComSwitch 7500, which handles voice, answering machine, fax, and modem; there are others out there, less expensive, that don't have the modem option, which would be fine for you. You'll have to use an answering machine, though, not Comcast's voice mail. The way a switch works is that it actually answers the call and generates a pseudo-ring while listening on the line for the tone that a fax machine sends when it's calling. If the fax tone is heard, it routes the call to the fax machine; if not, it switches the call to the voice jacks, and you or your answering machine can answer.

If this isn't the setup you're looking for, please describe what you want, and we can work through how to accomplish that.
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by:jstaron7
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Thanks!
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