Question about Brother MFC 240C All-In-One InkJet Printer

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Trying to get Brother MFC-240c fax to work with VOIP modem

I have a Brother all in one, multi function copy/print/fax machine-the model is MFC-240c, it is only a few months old and was working fine when I had it hooked up straight to my telephone line when I used to have Verizon phone service. Then I moved & since Verizon did not offer FIOS high speed internet in my new home I now have Optimum Online (Long Island, NY) which uses VOIP where the phone line runs through the computer modem instead of a regular telephone jack. I had remembered hearing in the past that people who have VOIP modems have difficulty using their fax machines, and since I do a lot of work from home it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY that I be able to receive faxes, and also be able to send them from time to time (it is more important for me to be able to receive at least but I would like to be able to do both).
Anyhow, when I ordered Optimum Online I explained this to the rep who assured me that MANY of their customers use their faxes with their VOIP modem and she does not know of ANY PROBLEMS like what I had heard. So, I trusted her word (and also the fact that in this area it seems Optonline is THE ONLY high speed cable internet provider, everything else is DSL, so I got the package with the phone, internet and cable for the best deal. ANYHOW-sure enough the fax DID NOT WORK when I simply plugged it into the VOIP modem. I unplugged the phone from the modem and plugged the fax in its place (which is the same as I would do if it were a regular telephone jack) and it DID NOT WORK.
So then I did some research online and found out that the Brother MFC-240C is not made for use with VOIP technology but CAN be used with it if some ''adjustments'' are made to the ''baud rate''. So, I read that I should change the ''compatibility'' feature on the fac machine to ''basic'' which ''lowers the baud rate and will allow me to send and receive faxes. I have NO IDEA what any of this means but I followed the instructions and changed the settings and figured now it should work.
No such luck, my boss tried 10 times to fax me something with no success and then today I tried about 7 times to send a fax, and I tried 5 different fax numbers just to be sure the problem was not on the ''other end'' and EVERY TIME my machine tries to send the transmission it says ''busy/no response'' and then my 'transmission report' comes back as failed with ''busy/no response''
So, now what? Are there any other settings I can try to change to get this to work. According to what I have read, the VOIP technology is different than the regular telephone line in that it is too fast or something, and so the transmission gets jumbled or lost en route and that causes the failed transmission, so changing the ''baud rate'' and making it slower helps to make it work correctly. However, the fact that I am not getting an error message that says 'failed or error'', but instead getting a ''busy/no respponse'' gives me hope that maybe I can get it to work.
My best bet would be to find someone who has this machine or a similar machine and uses VOIP and has gotten theirs to work, PLEASE TELL ME HOW.

Also, this is a little off subject but while I am here I will throw this in to, I have one more problem that I would like to figure out if I DO GET THIS FAX WORKING. I would also like to be able to have my telephone and fax on at the same time instead of having to unplug my phone every time I expect a fax ofr want to send one, because sometimes my boss needs to send me faxes while I am not home. I know there is some settings with the fax machine itself where I can set this up and have the fax pick up for ''fax calls'' but the phone will still ring for regular calls, or maybe it is that there is a distinctive ring if it is for the fax, that way I know not to pick up the phone, and can have them both plugged in at the same time all the time (but I believe I have to shut off my answering machine for this to work), anyhow, I already looked some of this up and I can get instructions on how to set that up from the Brother manuals, what I need to know is if using VOIP is going to cause yet another problem in being able to use this feature. Will the setup to do that be the same as if I were using a regular telephone jack or will I need to do something special because I am using a VOIP modem? I did notice TWO phone jacks on the modem, not sure if that makes a difference at all.
I know in the long run if this does not work, then I will have to cancel my optonline service and get a REGULAR dedicated phone line for my fax and phone calls and get a different plan for my internet and cable since the deal will not be so great if I don't get ALL THREE services from optonline together, I am hoping I do not have to do this and that someone can help me figure this out. I WISH VERIZON FIOS would come to this area. I am in Mineola and it is literally available just a few blocks away, I wish they would come here because after having Verizon FIOS I can tell you that Optonline is ABSOLUTE ****, VERY SLOW INTERNET (don't believe all the hype on the commercials on tv, FIOS IS EXTREMELY FASTER, this one seems to lag a lot) and besides that the DVR ABSOLUTELY STINKS, after having the Verizon Fios DVR with all the great features for recording shows, the optonline DVR is almost like using a VCR, it is NOT user friendly, there is no ''search feature'', you literally have to scroll days ahead through the GUIDE to pick the shows you want to record, it always screws up and does not record my series as I have it set TO DO, it is JUST ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE compared to FIOS, but I really have no choice right now as Verizon only offers DSL and Direct TV in my area instead of FIOS and NOBODY ELSE offers high speed internet, it's crazy. PLEASE HELP.

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  • mineola5 Jun 26, 2009

    I just wanted to add that I DID SOLVE THE MAIN ISSUE ON MY OWN-but thank you to "Mbakeef" for offering an alternate solution, it is nice to know there is an alternative if I was unable to use my VOIP with my fax, but that is no longer the case, I also would not have wanted to incur any type of additional fees, that is why I really wanted to get it to work through my home phone VOIP line which would not cost me anything additional, if I had to start paying to receive the faxes from my boss, depending on the costs, it would cut into the money I was earning (which was just small extra money on the side to do this work from home) and in the long run, may have made doing the work not even worth it, who knows.



    But, I was VERY SURPRISED to only get ONE RESPONSE to this question and not have anyone out there who had this similar issue be able to offer any advice, because like I said, I do have it working now, so I'm shocked to have not gotten more responses. For that reason, I wanted to add this "follow up" in case anyone else out there has this issue and comes looking for the answer, I want to let you know that it DOES WORK, at least it did for me, with my VOIP modem. It actually WAS AS SIMPLE as just changing the "compatibility" setting to "BASIC" to lower the baud rate and that actually was the plain old simple solution to the problem, as the machine seems to be working just fine now for both sending and receiving faxes. The reason it was not working for me after I changed the compatibility settings was due to my own careless error of having the telephone line/cord plugged into the wrong hole on the side of the fax. There are 2 little holes for the cord to plug into on the side of the fax. So, I had my telephone cord plugged into the VOIP modem correctly (in the place of my telephone being plugged in) but on the fax machine itself I had plugged it into the wrong hold (one is for EXT and one is for LINE) and to tell you the truth, even now I forgot which was for which but bottom line is that it was as simple as that. After I had nearly given up hope in looking for a solution and kept getting the "busy/error" when I tried sending a fax and my boss could not successfully send me a fax either, I went to just disconnect the wires and plug my phone back in and I noticed the additional hole on the left side of the fax and thought "maybe I just plugged it in the wrong hole" and so I tried the other hole and sure enough it was as simple as that, I just had it plugged into the wrong hole. Then my boss was able to successfully send me a fax and I was able to successfully send a fax as well. I just wish my machine would have TOLD ME that the ERROR was that it was not plugged in correctly instead of doing what it did which was RING and act like it was TRYING to send a fax and then say "busy/error".



    SO....to sum it all up, for anyone who has a Brother MFC-240c, it may not be MADE to be compatible with VOIP, but all you have to do is get the instructions from the manual or online on how to change the compatibility settings, which IS VERY SIMPLE-it is done right on the keypad menu on the front of the machine, as simple as pressing a few buttons and selecting "ok" and that is it, as long as you have your wires and cords plugged in correctly it should work, IT DID FOR ME. Now, I just have to see if I can figure out how to have my phone plugged in at the same time a s the fax and have it detect the difference between a voice call and a fax because currently I am just leaving it plugged in and using it as FAX ONLY. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE and thanks for the ONE ANSWERER WHO TOOK THE TIME TO RESPOND-THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR TRYING.

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I also went to the Brother site, and for the newer model MFC-250c there is a totally different set of troubleshooting steps. I would say for this model, you are probably out-of-luck. The FAQ for that problem was written back in 2006, and if that's the age of the printer it's probably simply not compatible. I'm sorry.
I would suggest that if that's the only issue you are having with the printer and receiving faxes is more important than sending, your best bet is to do it virtually. I have a virtual 866# that I use for my business, but you can also have a local #. Your faxes will come directly into your email inbox, and then if you needed to print them, it would be like printing anything else. To send, the provider you use for the phone # (I use RingCentral and love it!) should have some software that allows you to send the fax directly from your computer. If you don't want a package deal like that,(because it would replace your current VOIP) then you can also use a website called TrustFax. I used them successfully for years. Very accurate. At worst, you would have to scan-in the document first and save it in order to send from your computer. Yes, it's a monthly fee for a service, and Trustfax is yearly for a particular # of faxes at x cents-per-fax, and then you can add credit if you go over. You could also save-up for a new printer! I use the Canon MP830, myself. If you do the above, you won't have to worry about your fax picking-up seperate. It's all digital and you'll get it in your email. Also, you can get another number from the VOIP provider that you just use for faxing. Remember, VOIP goes through your internet, so you could theoretically have any # of 'lines' to call and no wiring for any of them! It all plugs-into the same equipment for your first line. Nothing extra needed.
Can't help you with the DVR problem, unfortunately. Don't live in your area. If it's any consolation, it's universal depending on the brand. I would see if you can find out who actually manufactures it and if that's the only model they carry. I had HD service and actually traded in the 'new' model for the old one because the newer DVR's they were giving out were *terrible*.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009

  • Mbakeeff Jun 27, 2009

    Glad you fixed it! I should have asked that, so thank you for posting the comment! Having that error message simply meant you didn't have a "dialtone" and you are right. It would have been nice to see that instead of 'busy". "Busy" tells me I have a dialtone!

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