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sdb Honor Student
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sdb
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎03-07-2010
Message 1 of 4 (3,921 Views)

HP OfficeJet J4680 Fax Setup Challenge

 

Your solutions are excellent, now I have another question for you.... I have a new OfficeJet J4680 and am trying to set up the Fax.  I have one analog phone line in the house.  I have a DEC 6.0 Telephone/Answering machine (TAM?) that plugs into the wall on the second floor of my 3 story house, which then broadcasts to 3 other phone handsets (not plugged into wall phone jacks) throughout the house.  (The phone line has no special features on it).  My dilemna is this - the OfficeJet printer is in my home office on the First floor of the House - connected to the computer via USB cable.  Since the printer/fax are on a different floor than the TAM, I can't physically plug the TAM into the 2-Ext port on the back of the Fax/Printer (unless I were to run a really long phone cord up the stairs...which I obviously don't want to do...).  I would appreciate your suggestions.  I've thought of 2 solutions, but haven't tested either one - I'm hoping to learn from your expertise first.

 

1) Just leave the TAM connected to the wall phone jack on the second floor, and connect the Fax/Printer (via which port - 1-EXT port, or 2-Ext ?) to the wall phone jack on the first floor.  I'm not sure if this would work, or if there would be a conflict with the fax answering incoming phone calls.

 

2) I could try to do what I did with my old stand-alone Brother Fax machine (which was piece of...and now resides in the garage recycling bin, having been thankfully replaced by the ne J4680).  What I did, was purchase a Telehone A/B switch from Radio Shack.  I plugged the fax into the B side, then whenever someone wanted to send me a fax (or I wanted to send a fax) I pushed the "B" button on the switch and the fax worked fine.  The only problem was that I couldn't receive faxes automatically - I had to chat with the person first and tell them to hang up while I hit the fax "B" button on the switch to turn on the fax, then have their fax machine call back.  Also, I frequently forgot to turn the A/B switch back to "A" so the the fax would be disconnected and the phone would turn back on - then we never heard the phone ring when someone called us, and they heard fax tones.

 

I'd appreciate any suggestions.  Obviously the ideal solution would allow us to have the fax on all the time, without having to plug the TAM into it.

 

On a separate note - My PC is old and has USB 1.0 ports which I've used to plug the J468 into - seems to be working fine (although I suspect the USB 1.0 port is slowing the printer down).  However, I also put a separate USB 2.0 Hub on the PC.  Would I be better off connecting the OfficeJet to the USB 2.0 Hub?  I'd think it would be faster for the printer, but I seem to remember reading something somewhere that said peripherals work better when connected directly to the PC's built in ports rather than external Hub ports.

 

Again, many thanks for your advice.

 

Scott

 

Regents Professor
DexterM
Posts: 4,502
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 2 of 4 (3,904 Views)

Re: HP OfficeJet J4680 Fax Setup Challenge

If it is not possible to connect the TAM to the fax, then connect the fax to the wall jack using the 1-LINE port. However, you'll need to receive the faxes manually by pressing the Start button when the fax is ringing. Turn off Auto Answer too by pressing Setup>Fax Settings>Answer Options>Auto Answer.

 

The best solution is to either connect the TAM to the 2-EXT port, or to go for a Distinctive Ring pattern service, so that you can program the fax to only answer calls with the distinctive ring.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinctive_ring

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sdb Honor Student
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sdb
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎03-07-2010
Message 3 of 4 (3,896 Views)

Re: HP OfficeJet J4680 Fax Setup Challenge

Thanks Dexter - You're really invaluable on these Boards.

 

I'll look into your distinctive ring suggestion - or I may just move the TAM down to the first floor so that it can be plugged into the 2-Ext jack the way it was designed to work best.  This would also facilitate me moving from AT&T to Comcast VOIP (to stop those outrageous AT&T bills) which would require a new modem (or router if I want to go wireless) near the PC for the TAM.

 

Big question here - will the J4680 work with VOIP like Comcast digital voice?  Comcast swears that it will, but I believe I read in the Printer/Fax getting started guides that the Fax would only work with Analog phone lines - but I don't know enough about VOIP to know for sure.

 

 

Just fyi, as to the Fax in my current situation, I did my solution #2 - it it is working fine.  I plugged the phone line from the wall into an A/B switch  - I then ran the J4680 Fax line from the 1-Line jack on the All-in-One to the "B" jack in the A/B switch (I don't think it would matter A or B - the other is left empty).  I then set my TAM to answer at 4 rings, and the J4680 to answer at 2 rings.  This way, when the "B" Fax switch is on, the J4680 picks up an incoming Fax call before the TAM can get to it.  The only thing I have to remember is to reset the A/B switch to "Phone" - plus obviously I have to be around for a Fax transmission - but that's no different than would be the case with the Distinctive Ring service.  I guess the lesson is to do it the way it was designed and avoid work arounds.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

Scott

 

 

Regents Professor
DexterM
Posts: 4,502
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 4 of 4 (3,888 Views)

Re: HP OfficeJet J4680 Fax Setup Challenge

The J4680 may, or most likely may not work with a VoIP phone line. Check with Comcast if they have a Fax over IP(FoIP) service, which would help you fax through your phone line.

 

And Distinctive Ring is very different from the A\B switch. The biggest advantage is that you don't need to manually switch the line when you are about to receive the fax. Once you program the fax, it'll automatically receive the calls with the distinctive ring and leave the normal calls alone.

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