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FoIP through Lingo

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Anonymous
April 3, 2005 1:30:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Hi all,

I need to be able to send and receive faxes at home. I recently
switched from dial-up to VoIP (Lingo) because they said they supported
faxing. Of course, now, my PC software (WinFax) doesn't work. I
called up Lingo tech support, who said faxing will only work to/from a
fax machine, not a PC. Also, they only support any protocol EXCEPT
T.38.

I've been reading up about T.37 and T.38, but I'm still looking for a
straight answer. I understand that T.38 will not work, but that T.37
might. I don't understand why a fax machine would work, when a PC
won't. Seems that a fax machine is only running software, so why
couldn't a PC do it?

Anyway, before I run out and buy a fax machine, I wanted to get y'all's
opinions. Do I really need a fax machine? If so, is there anything I
need to look for in the way of supported protocols? I'd really prefer
to send/receive the documents digitally. Is there really no PC
software that will work? (Not server stuff -- just something free or
relatively cheap.) I've seen some software that seems to allow sending
faxes via T.37, but not receiving.

I'm running WinXP. Cable -> Router -> Lingo box -> phone line -> PC
(fax modem).

Any suggestions are welcome.

Cheers
Dan

More about : foip lingo

Anonymous
April 3, 2005 2:56:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

My home phone system uses a phone number (the one folks use to call
me), and my PC modem is connected to that phone system. Doesn't that
answer any legal questions? You know, the WinFax software recognizes
that a call is coming in, and the caller ID even works. Sometimes I
even get partial pages of incoming faxes. If it's just a protocol
issue, I'd think some software would be smart enough to hande it.

As far as a monthly service, www.myfax.com was cheaper than eFax. It's
$10/mo, and includes 100 sent pages and 200 received pages. However, I
don't need a LOT of faxes in or out. I may even go months without
using it. But I do need to do it on occasion. I didn't want to pay a
montly fee for something I don't need every month. I may have to do it
though, until technology catches up with the need.

Any other voices out there?

Dan

On a clear disk, you can seek forever.
Anonymous
April 3, 2005 5:35:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Legally, a fax machine must be tied to a phone number. That number is
transmitted with the fax. (or so it was explained to me)

Check out EFax.
http://home.efax.com/s/r/gen-efax-plus5?VID=33674&CMP=K...
You can receive faxes using the free program, but need the paid version to
send.

" Your risk-free trial allows you to receive faxes at up to 5 different
email addresses and send up to 50 fax pages. After 30 days, regular eFax
rates will apply."

You may be able to use a virtual desktop into your office and send through
your office fax machine.

Pepperoni

"DanG" <dang@rmci.net> wrote in message
news:1112545841.816987.15100@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Hi all,
>
> I need to be able to send and receive faxes at home. I recently
> switched from dial-up to VoIP (Lingo) because they said they supported
> faxing. Of course, now, my PC software (WinFax) doesn't work. I
> called up Lingo tech support, who said faxing will only work to/from a
> fax machine, not a PC. Also, they only support any protocol EXCEPT
> T.38.
>
> I've been reading up about T.37 and T.38, but I'm still looking for a
> straight answer. I understand that T.38 will not work, but that T.37
> might. I don't understand why a fax machine would work, when a PC
> won't. Seems that a fax machine is only running software, so why
> couldn't a PC do it?
>
> Anyway, before I run out and buy a fax machine, I wanted to get y'all's
> opinions. Do I really need a fax machine? If so, is there anything I
> need to look for in the way of supported protocols? I'd really prefer
> to send/receive the documents digitally. Is there really no PC
> software that will work? (Not server stuff -- just something free or
> relatively cheap.) I've seen some software that seems to allow sending
> faxes via T.37, but not receiving.
>
> I'm running WinXP. Cable -> Router -> Lingo box -> phone line -> PC
> (fax modem).
>
> Any suggestions are welcome.
>
> Cheers
> Dan
>
Anonymous
April 3, 2005 6:35:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Fax is sometimes twitchy. There may be a hardware solution. I figure trying
to run a PC on the same connection may be the cause of the problem. Most
folks run a dedicated fax line and still have problems. If I really needed
a document, I'd rather receive a TIFF file by email, anyway.



"DanG" <dang@rmci.net> wrote in message
news:1112550993.381153.327200@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> My home phone system uses a phone number (the one folks use to call
> me), and my PC modem is connected to that phone system. Doesn't that
> answer any legal questions? You know, the WinFax software recognizes
> that a call is coming in, and the caller ID even works. Sometimes I
> even get partial pages of incoming faxes. If it's just a protocol
> issue, I'd think some software would be smart enough to hande it.
>
> As far as a monthly service, www.myfax.com was cheaper than eFax. It's
> $10/mo, and includes 100 sent pages and 200 received pages. However, I
> don't need a LOT of faxes in or out. I may even go months without
> using it. But I do need to do it on occasion. I didn't want to pay a
> montly fee for something I don't need every month. I may have to do it
> though, until technology catches up with the need.
>
> Any other voices out there?
>
> Dan
>
> On a clear disk, you can seek forever.
>
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 10:15:48 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

I've used the efax system with SunRocket and have had a pretty good
experience with it. Overall, both efax and SunRocket seem to work well
together. I would imagine efax would work well all around.
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 12:44:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

I use CableOne through the cable box to a LinkSys router, into the
Lingo box. The Phone 1 port's line runs into the homerun, where the
phone lines are sent out to the jacks around the house. One of those
jacks has a phone line into the modem on the PC. The PC is running
WinFax, but Microsoft Fax didn't work either. Is there anything I've
missed?

The techie did say they support any protocol EXCEPT T.38. Since I
didn't know anything about protocols at the time, I asked him to
confirm, which he did. He also said that any fax machine should work,
as long as it doesn't run T.38.

But then, I had other troubles with Lingo (dropped calls, no dial tone,
etc.), and I had to talk to four different techies before I found one
that really knew how to fix the problem. Maybe the guy I talked to
about faxing didn't know about FoIP, either. (shrug)

Dan
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 2:56:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

"DanG" <dang@rmci.net> wrote in message
news:1112545841.816987.15100@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Hi all,
>
> I need to be able to send and receive faxes at home. I recently
> switched from dial-up to VoIP (Lingo) because they said they supported
> faxing. Of course, now, my PC software (WinFax) doesn't work. I
> called up Lingo tech support, who said faxing will only work to/from a
> fax machine, not a PC.

The reason that Lingo only officially supports fax machines rather than
PC-based fax solutions might have to do with the fact that Win-modems are
notorious for not adhering to the standards that govern modems and fax
machines. (I assume that your fax solution on your PC is a program running
on top of an internal or external modem (a "Win-modem".) Most Win-modems
are designed and manufactured as cheap and dirty as can be pushed out the
door - as fast as possible. So, their performance is typically awful, and
they break the tight timing requirements of the T.30 standard, which governs
the communications between two fax entities. That said, there is no
functional difference between a regular fax machine and a PC-based fax
solution that has a modem with come sort of communications software running
in top of it. I mean, they both have a 2-wire interface to the telephony
line, right - so how would Lingo's gateways even know what you're running?
The fact it, they don't, at least until the initial handshake sequence is
exchanged.

What is your exact setup, BTW?

> Also, they only support any protocol EXCEPT T.38.

Do you mean that they support ANY protocol EXCEPT T.38 (i.e. AAL2 or FRF.11
fax relay)? Or they ONLY support T.38? I suspect the latter, since you're
almost certainly in an IP-based environment. No problem - T.38 is robust
and it works.

>
> I've been reading up about T.37 and T.38, but I'm still looking for a
> straight answer. I understand that T.38 will not work, but that T.37
> might. I don't understand why a fax machine would work, when a PC
> won't. Seems that a fax machine is only running software, so why
> couldn't a PC do it?
>

T.37 is store-and-forward fax over an IP network. T.38 is real-time fax
over an IP network. Find out for sure from your provider which (if not
both) they support.

> Anyway, before I run out and buy a fax machine, I wanted to get y'all's
> opinions. Do I really need a fax machine? If so, is there anything I
> need to look for in the way of supported protocols? I'd really prefer
> to send/receive the documents digitally. Is there really no PC
> software that will work? (Not server stuff -- just something free or
> relatively cheap.) I've seen some software that seems to allow sending
> faxes via T.37, but not receiving.
>
> I'm running WinXP. Cable -> Router -> Lingo box -> phone line -> PC
> (fax modem).
>
> Any suggestions are welcome.
>
> Cheers
> Dan
>

Now I'm confused. You mentioned earlier that you "recently switched from
dial-up to VoIP (Lingo)..." Does this mean that you switched from a dialup
connection to broadband for your PC's internet access? If so, then we're
dealing with a different kettle of fish. Let's get an exact idea of your
setup before we move on.

James
Anonymous
April 5, 2005 7:54:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

"DanG" <dang@rmci.net> wrote in message
news:1112629481.853269.109270@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> I use CableOne through the cable box to a LinkSys router, into the
> Lingo box. The Phone 1 port's line runs into the homerun, where the
> phone lines are sent out to the jacks around the house. One of those
> jacks has a phone line into the modem on the PC. The PC is running
> WinFax, but Microsoft Fax didn't work either. Is there anything I've
> missed?
>

Hmm. I think I might see the problem. (Bear in mind that I could be wrong
here.) If you've transitioned your PC's internet access from dialup (using
a modem) to cable access, that means that you've by necessity had to
reconfigure your PC's network settings. Chances are good that the modem is
now disabled, since it's no longer your conduit into your ISP. All your
PC's packet network traffic is now going out through an Ethernet adapter,
into your cable modem router, then out to the cable connection, instead of
through the modem like it used to. So, you may not be able to use the PC as
a fax machine, because the fax software on your PC communicates with the
modem, and uses it to do actual modulation/demodulation of the fax traffic.
Since the modem is now "out of the loop" as far as your ISP is concerned,
the fax data has nowhere to go. Now, I'm no expert on cable modem
technology, and I don't know your exact network topology, but unless you've
connected up the PC's modem to a 2-wire RJ-11 jack on your cable modem box,
you're not going to get anywhere. (I think you said before that you had
connected the modem to a phone jack on the cable modem box, right?) Even if
you have, it may be that the modem has been disabled internally through some
settings in your PC's network configuration. The real way to test this is
to try to make a fax call using your PC and the modem through a regular
phone line to see if your PC is still capable of sending faxes. If it
isn't, then something has changed on your PC and you need to fogure out how
to re-enable it. If it is, then clearly the problem now resides with the
fact that your phone service is now running through the cable modem box.

> The techie did say they support any protocol EXCEPT T.38. Since I
> didn't know anything about protocols at the time, I asked him to
> confirm, which he did. He also said that any fax machine should work,
> as long as it doesn't run T.38.
>

So what the techie is saying is that their media gateways (up at the ISP's
head end) do not support T.38 fax relay. This is quite typical of cable
providers - they look for the cheapest solution, and that solution is
typically so-called "fax passthrough", where the fax traffic goes through
the G.711 64kbps PCM voice codec, instead of being sent to a T.38-capable
fax relay codec. All this means to the layperson is that you can't expect
to use an IAF ("Internet Aware Fax") device to send faxes; rather, you must
use a standard T.30-compliant Group 3 fax device (such as a regular old fax
machine, or a PC running a fax-capable modem) in order to send faxes. This
is not an issue here since you're not trying to employ an IAF.

> But then, I had other troubles with Lingo (dropped calls, no dial tone,
> etc.), and I had to talk to four different techies before I found one
> that really knew how to fix the problem. Maybe the guy I talked to
> about faxing didn't know about FoIP, either. (shrug)
>
> Dan
>

We can find a fix to this problem. The dropped calls and no dialtone
situations you listed don't give me a lot of confidence in your ISP, so we
might end up basing our heads against hard objects for a while, but we can
figure this out.
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 12:47:35 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

The trouble with dropped calls and no dial tone appeared to have been a
configuration issue. I was using DHCP rather than defining a static IP
for my network. Per one Lingo techie's recommendation, I configured a
static IP address, and I have not have a problem since (so far). I
wish I could talk the that guy again. His explanation of the
problem/resolution actually made sense. I haven't had much confidence
in the other techies I've talked to.

I figure the fax modem and the phone line are active. Incoming calls
activate the caller id in the WinFax software. Sometimes I can even
receive a page or two before the line is dropped. Outgoing faxes, via
WinFax or Microsoft Fax, will even handshake with the receiving machine
before disconnecting. It makes me think it's a protocol issue, or
silence suppression. I hoped I could just add some options to the
modem "AT" parameters, but nothing in the manual seems to deal with
this problem.

I've emailed Lingo twice, attempting to confirm what the techie said
(the one I talked to about faxing). Even though they promise a
response withing 24 hours, I've yet to receive one. (Maybe they're
trying to fax the response to me.)

I appreciate you're digging into this, James. I'm getting pretty
frustrated with it.

Dan
April 6, 2005 1:29:00 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

On Tue, 5 Apr 2005 15:54:12 -0400, "James Calivar"
<amheiserbush@yahoo.com.au> wrote:

>providers - they look for the cheapest solution, and that solution is
>typically so-called "fax passthrough", where the fax traffic goes through
>the G.711 64kbps PCM voice codec, instead of being sent to a T.38-capable
>fax relay codec. All this means to the layperson is that you can't expect

What is the difference between G711/A and G711/U?

Does the difference have any impact on sending faxes over IP, which
version of the codec would be more appropriate?
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 11:59:44 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

I don't have a direct phone line anymore. I didn't want to pay for a
phone line just to send/receive the occasional fax. But I know it
worked when I did have a phone line, before switching to cable.

Here is an interesting article: http://www.soft-switch.org/foip.html.
It explains a lot, but doesn't actually say that FoIP is possible in
the straight-forward way I want to.

Dan
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 1:19:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

<omni@zmaxdap.com.spam> wrote in message
news:74t551t2jlci9hjkipqasi95kb94adugtq@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 5 Apr 2005 15:54:12 -0400, "James Calivar"
> <amheiserbush@yahoo.com.au> wrote:
>
> >providers - they look for the cheapest solution, and that solution is
> >typically so-called "fax passthrough", where the fax traffic goes through
> >the G.711 64kbps PCM voice codec, instead of being sent to a T.38-capable
> >fax relay codec. All this means to the layperson is that you can't
expect
>
> What is the difference between G711/A and G711/U?
>
> Does the difference have any impact on sending faxes over IP, which
> version of the codec would be more appropriate?

The difference between G.711 A-law and G.711 u-Law (that's the Greek letter
"mu" by the way) has only to do with the particular characteristics of the
companding algorithm used. A-law and u-law companding are very similar, but
for whatever reason, A-law is preferred in Europe (on E1 lines) and u-Law is
used on North America (T1 lines). A-law companding provides a slightly
larger dynamic range at the expense of inferior small-signal quality
(slightly higher idle channel noise).

There should be no discernible difference between then two as far as fax or
modem performance is concerned on telephony lines. As for which is "more
appropriate" for sending fax over IP, it's really a question of whether your
IP-based media gateway exists in a T1 or E1 environment. That pretty much
fixes your choice for you.

James
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 1:30:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

"DanG" <dang@rmci.net> wrote in message
news:1112759255.962106.181560@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> The trouble with dropped calls and no dial tone appeared to have been a
> configuration issue. I was using DHCP rather than defining a static IP
> for my network. Per one Lingo techie's recommendation, I configured a
> static IP address, and I have not have a problem since (so far). I
> wish I could talk the that guy again. His explanation of the
> problem/resolution actually made sense. I haven't had much confidence
> in the other techies I've talked to.
>
> I figure the fax modem and the phone line are active. Incoming calls
> activate the caller id in the WinFax software. Sometimes I can even
> receive a page or two before the line is dropped. Outgoing faxes, via
> WinFax or Microsoft Fax, will even handshake with the receiving machine
> before disconnecting. It makes me think it's a protocol issue, or
> silence suppression. I hoped I could just add some options to the
> modem "AT" parameters, but nothing in the manual seems to deal with
> this problem.
>
> I've emailed Lingo twice, attempting to confirm what the techie said
> (the one I talked to about faxing). Even though they promise a
> response withing 24 hours, I've yet to receive one. (Maybe they're
> trying to fax the response to me.)
>
> I appreciate you're digging into this, James. I'm getting pretty
> frustrated with it.
>
> Dan
>

OK, so then it's probably not a case of your modem being disabled. Can you
try my idea of hooking it up to a line that's not going through the cable
box? Just a plain old telephone line. I suspect that you will be able to
successfully make fax calls - if so , then it's definitely a case of
something in the cable modem box screwing up your fax modem.

As I said before, I'm not an expert on cable modem boxes, so I don't know
the exact innards of what goes on inside of one, but it should not impede
fax traffic if the ISP has properly configured their network. I'll ask
around here at work and see if I can't get a good explanation of what
happens inside a cable box. You've got my curiosity up and I'd like to hear
an explanation of why it will or won't work.

James
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 1:47:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

The cable box is a Motorola SB5100.

I've actually had a bit of a breakthrough, though. I tried setting the
maximum bit rate on the modem down to 2400, and unchecked the ECM boxes
(figuring those are Echo Cancelling options). I was able to send a
fax!! I don't know if the ECM options made the difference, or what max
speed I could use. Might take some tweeking and testing.

Dan
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 3:36:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

"DanG" <dang@rmci.net> wrote in message
news:1112799584.008620.217300@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> I don't have a direct phone line anymore. I didn't want to pay for a
> phone line just to send/receive the occasional fax. But I know it
> worked when I did have a phone line, before switching to cable.
>

Again, we have not definitively ruled out a config change on your PC as the
culprit, although based on your earlier statements, I don't believe that
this is the case anymore.

> Here is an interesting article: http://www.soft-switch.org/foip.html.
> It explains a lot, but doesn't actually say that FoIP is possible in
> the straight-forward way I want to.
>
> Dan
>

Yes, I'm aware of most of the issues in this article. (I spent the past 3
1/2 years developing fax relay software specifically for VoIP networks.)
It's quite possible that the default codec in your system is a low-bit-rate
voice-specific codec, which of course, fax won't go over. However, there
should be "smarts" built into your cable system that detect when a fax is
being sent, and automatically switch over from a low-bit-rate voice-specific
codec to something that will accomodate fax (like G.711 u-Law, or even G.726
32kbps). It's a good bet that this might be the cause of your problem.

What is the make and model of your cable modem box? Maybe I can look up its
spec cheet and get a better picture of what's involved here.

James
Anonymous
April 7, 2005 1:15:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Another case can be made, too. Just because the user of an IP network
has access doesn't mean the recipient does, which is my case. Several
of the people to whom I need to send/receive documents do not even have
email.

I'm still not sure if I ever got an answer, though. Lingo says they
support FoIP, but not T.38. If T.37 (store and forward) works, will a
fax machine (rather than a PC) do that (as Lingo said it would), or
does it require other hardware/software? Or is Lingo not exactly
telling the truth about their ability to support FoIP?

Dan
Anonymous
April 7, 2005 3:31:25 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

"DanG" <dang@rmci.net> wrote in message
news:1112806074.583557.182040@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> The cable box is a Motorola SB5100.
>
> I've actually had a bit of a breakthrough, though. I tried setting the
> maximum bit rate on the modem down to 2400, and unchecked the ECM boxes
> (figuring those are Echo Cancelling options). I was able to send a
> fax!! I don't know if the ECM options made the difference, or what max
> speed I could use. Might take some tweeking and testing.
>
> Dan
>

ECM = "Error Correction Mode". This basically means that the page data is
HDLC-encoded into blocks of data, and if the receiver dow not receive the
data with the same calculated checksum as is transmitted, the data is
resent. The problem with this on packet networks, however, is that if you
have significant packet loss, it's quite possible that some blocks of data
will never get through error-free before the T.30 ECM protocol decides that
it's had enough and terminates the call. Hence, you miss entire pages,
instead of just getting a few garbled scan lines on the page (which the
human eye can typically interpolate for you).

It's ridiculous that you should have to slow the fax modem down to 2400 bps.
That's the lowest speed available. You should be perfectly capable of
sending non-ECM faxes at the full rate of 14400bps. If not, that says quite
a bit about the health of Lingo's packet network.

James
Anonymous
April 8, 2005 11:36:11 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Okay, I talked to Lingo again. No new information, though. The techie
just reiterated (in more detail) what they said before: you have to use
a fax machine (not a PC) with a 14400 modem, and they don't support
T.38.

I asked about fax relay and fax passthru, and was told that they can do
either. I asked if I need to do anything to tell the fax machine which
protocol to use, and the techie said no.

I'll have to see if I can borrow a machine.
Anonymous
April 8, 2005 5:41:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

"DanG" <dang@rmci.net> wrote in message
news:1112970971.886245.11760@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Okay, I talked to Lingo again. No new information, though. The techie
> just reiterated (in more detail) what they said before: you have to use
> a fax machine (not a PC) with a 14400 modem, and they don't support
> T.38.
>
> I asked about fax relay and fax passthru, and was told that they can do
> either. I asked if I need to do anything to tell the fax machine which
> protocol to use, and the techie said no.
>
> I'll have to see if I can borrow a machine.
>

Yes, see if you can borrow a fax machine. I cannot for the life of me
figure out why a "real" fax machine would work when a PC-based fax modem
would not, though. They are functionally identical.

When the tech says that "they can do either" fax relay or fax passthrough -
but they DON'T support T.38 - then unless they're using a proprietary fax
relay solution I haven't to foggiest notion of what he is talking about. On
IP networks, today's fax relay is T.38. Older gateway solutions (for
example, some Cisco boxes) fielded proprieteary fax relay software, but that
requires having an identical box on both ends, which cannot be guaranteed.
I think the techie is misinformed, and it sounds as if they are all just
trained to parrot back the same lines to customers.

let's hear what happens with the "real" fax machine.

James
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 4:08:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Sorry. No news yet. I thought I'd borrow a machine from the office
across the street from me, but apparently they only have a huge floor
model. They suggested that I buy one, then return it th next day, but
not fair to the store. I even thought I could rent one for a day, but
can't find any place that rents computer equipment around here.

The saga continues...
!