Fax sending over PSTN

Discussion in 'General' started by milauria, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. milauria

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    I need occasional fax sending over a PSTN line connected to my elastix box via FXO.

    The PSTN line is shared with other IP extesions of my Elastix box and I would like to connect my fax to a FXS module and route faxes from FXS to FXO on same card using custom context module in Freepbx. I want to keep it simple and send faxes over a PSTN without dealing with T38, hylafax etc.

    Before buying an extra FXS I would like you advise if this scenario is fail safe in your experience, please share your thought if this "analogue" faxing with elastix works or not ...
    thanks !
     
  2. trymes

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    Your proposed configuration is not unheard of. Having said that, you would require reliable fax detection to do this. At present, I do not think that Fax detection is reliable in Elastix 2.0 at present.

    Also, you would not need the custom context module in FreePBX. It is for a different problem. You would do the following:

    1.) Configure the Zap Trunk.
    2.) Create an inbound route.
    3.) Enable Fax detection on that route.
    4.) Set Fax extension as the fax destination
    5.) Set the regular voice routing as the non-fax destination.

    Keep in mind, however, that reliable fax detection is not currently present in Elastix 2.0 without work on your part. Having said that, I would do the following:

    1.) Buy an external Fax/Voice switch.
    2.) Plug the Fax machine into the fax port and Elastix into the voice port.

    Alternate option:

    1.) Most faxes come with a built-in switch.
    2.) Plug the line into the fax
    3.) Plug Elastix into the pass-through port of the Fax.
    4.) Set the fax into Voice/FAX switch mode.

    Just a couple of options. I recommend that you keep it as simple as possible.

    Tom
     
  3. milauria

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    Thank you for the explanation but I am a bit confused ... all I need to do is to send outgoing fxes from my elastix PBX, no need to receive.

    I want to do it through my PSTN which is shared with other phone extensions, I was thinking to set the fax as FXS extension so that if someone is calling through PSTN the fax machine reads "busy" signal before sending.

    Anybody had experience whith such configuration ? thanks a lot
     
  4. trymes

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    Aha! Missed the send only question. In that case, you have a few options.

    1.) Plug a fax machine into an FXS port and go. Your outbound route configuration will handle grabbing the call and sending it out via a trunk.
    2.) Use a virtual fax to send using the Fax tab of the GUI. You could also configure a Hylafax Client to interact with the built-in fax server. More complicated, but not rocket science.

    KEEP IN MIND: If you want to fax over a SIP trunk, you will have unreliable faxing (sounds like you are using a copper POTS line, though...)

    Good luck!

    Tom

    PS: The only caveat I have here is that I think some VERY OLD Digium cards (like the first generation of the TDM400P circa 2005 or so) don't play too nicely with fax. The same may or may not apply to el-cheapo clones, and it's highly unlikely you will need to worry about that.
     
  5. milauria

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    Thanks for your good advise !
    I run with an A400P as I thought the design of analogue cards is pretty stable since many years ... should I better consider a recent TDM ?
     
  6. trymes

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    I wouldn't worry about it. Just fire it up and give it a shot. If you run into problems, you can then figure out if they are related to the card (which they likely won't be).

    Tom
     
  7. haramarcuse

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    Why not go for internet fax that does not require a dedicated phone line. So no busy phone lines. Here, all fax files are sent as an attached file in an email.
     
  8. fraggle4

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    I have a fax machine set up this way on its own extension, it works fine.
    No special setup is needed to send faxes provided your audio levels are reasonably OK
    Asterisk will detect the fax tones and deactivate echo canceling.

    Since I had a dedicated pstn line for fax reception since the days before email I took this into the pbx via an Inbound Route/Zap DID with this extension as the destination, so incoming faxes go straight to it.
     
  9. Lee Sharp

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    What he said... :)

    Some options from cheap to free...
    http://www.a2.com/telecom/freefax.html

    We may be looking into this as well.
     
  10. haramarcuse

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    I guess the disadvantage of having a free fax service is you'll get limited faxing capabilities.
     

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