Question about Brother IntelliFax-2820 Laser Fax

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Fax machine phone connections

I'm new to this forum, hopefully you can help or direct me. As a tech trainer I often disseminate information to our techs. We have been installing digital phone to business and residential customers for quite some time. Occasionally we encounter problems with older fax machines that are sensitive to the polarity of the phone connection, the red and green wires(tip & ring) connected backwards. But a new issue is circulating about using a 4 wire silver satin phone cord to connect to the fax machine rather than the two wire cord (usually provided). If a 4 wire connector is used, are the outside wires (yellow & black) acting as antennas causing the fax machine to become confused? Or is there another explanation why a 4 wire connector on some fax machines would cause malfunction? Thank you very much,.

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  • Bill G
    Bill G Jan 30, 2008

    Thanks for the quick response. This situation does not apply to a specific occurance - trying to "nip it in the bud" as other explanations pop up. In any case other than an installation error the outside pair of wires should not be grounded. eMTAs allegedly ( I haven't measured it yet) put out -48 vdc on both telephone lines although only one may be active. The two lines are supplied from a primary port on 4 wires, red, green, black, yellow. (I could see a problem if there is unexpected voltage on the second pair of wires) However, if the eMTA goes directly to a network interface device for distribution and does not connect the outside pair (for non-active line2) and a 4 wire cord is connected to the fax machine - is this a known potential problem to introduce spurious interference that would disable the fax machine?

  • Bill G
    Bill G Jan 30, 2008

    Thanks for the basic phone install procedures.

    If you run across anything about how a 4 wire silver satin cord with the secondary pair improperly or not connected to anything and affecting the fax operation, I would be interested.

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  • Brother Master
  • 1,362 Answers

I beleive it's because they are grounding out on the fax, which then resets some of the functions.

Did you measure if there are any activity on those two lines?
V or Hz?

Posted on Jan 30, 2008

  • CheckitRight
    CheckitRight Jan 30, 2008

    The best procedure is to test each outlet before disconnecting the incumbent phone service provider. Go to each outlet, unplug any phone or wire, and use a butt set or a phone you know is working to check for dialtone and the ability to dial out. Document your findings on a room-by-room basis, indicating pass or type of failure mode.
    Once your service is installed and you’ve checked for dialtone at the embedded multimedia terminal adapter (EMTA) before it is connected to the customer’s wiring, you can verify service at each outlet. Begin by disconnecting all phones from outlets to isolate any potential problem in customer premises equipment (CPE - phones, fax machines, etc.) that might feed back into the customer’s wiring. This is particularly pertinent if noise on the line is a problem for the installation site.

    At each outlet, check for availability of dialtone, the ability to dial a number, and the clarity of a telephone connection. Once again, your best test tool for doing this is the butt set, but a known working phone will do most of the job in a pinch.
    On outlets where dialtone is present, verify that dial tone can be removed (broken) as soon as a number is dialed. This is a special testing scenario where just dialing on your butt set or a working phone will not reveal a problem. Failure to break dialtone is caused by the wire pair being reversed at a connection point. Newer phones and test sets automatically detect and compensate for this condition, but it may cause problems later with older or low cost phones and other equipment, such as fax machines.

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