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Author Topic: How to: send a fax with minimum hassle  (Read 877 times)
jessejazza
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Posts: 14


« on: February 04, 2013, 11:23:42 am »

I find being able to fax for business very useful and it's not outdated technology - garages, doctors, social services will often have a public fax number whereas often with email one has got to telephone first. Fax also means that action can be taken by someone else in the office on the addressee's behalf if they are off sick. Sending a fax in the UK is much cheaper than sending a letter which is now about 60p. If you have a serial modem sitting on a shelf redundant from dial up days why not put it to good use! efax is the simplest to use but there is mgetty-sendfax and Hylafax (full fax server) - efax is fine for small office/home use.

---

Not able to follow all info given in the .efax-gtcrc and .efaxrc i just sent a fax to see what i got using the options in efax manpage. The script 'fax' and efax-gtk are frontends so to me efax with options seemed an easier route first. The efax-gtk seemed to have several releases, some didn't work so i didn't want to rely on it. I found the only use i saw for 'fax' was the 'fax make' command for the splitting up of the ps file into the number of pages. I use Evince for reading tif and ps files as it's a document reader not just pdf viewer.

To send a fax one's got to convert to a ps (using cups or pdf2ps), break that up into separate pages (fax make file.ps) and then send those using device, telephone number and ps file.

james@james:~/Desktop$ efax -d /dev/ttyS0 -tT0018108212980 rowing.ps.001 rowing.ps.002
efax: Tue Jan 15 10:27:44 2013 efax v 0.9a-001114 Copyright 1999 Ed Casas
efax: Tue Jan 15 10:27:44 2013 efax v 0.9a-001114 Copyright 1999 Ed Casas
efax: 27:44 compiled Jun 21 2006 05:59:09
efax: 27:44 opened /dev/ttyS0
efax: 27:45 using BT Enabler Fax Modem VER 4.07 V.92 BT Enabler Fax Modem VER 4.07 V.92 BT Enabler Fax Modem VER 4.07 V.92 in class 2
efax: 27:45 dialing T0018108212980
efax: 28:01 remote ID -> "         18108212980"
efax: 28:01 connected
efax: 28:08 session 196lpi 14.4kbps 8.5"/215mm  any   1D    -     -  0ms
efax: 28:08 header:[Tue 15 Jan 2013 10:27:44 GMT                        P. 1]
efax: 29:22 Warning: EOF before RTC
efax: 29:24 sent 20+2291 lines, 143356+0 bytes, 76 s  15090 bps
efax: 29:24 Error: flow control did not work
efax: 29:28 sent -> rowing.ps.001
efax: 29:28 header:[Tue 15 Jan 2013 10:27:44 GMT                        P. 2]
efax: 30:26 Warning: EOF before RTC
efax: 30:28 sent 20+2291 lines, 112414+0 bytes, 60 s  14988 bps
efax: 30:28 Error: flow control did not work
efax: 30:33 sent -> rowing.ps.002
efax: 30:34 done, returning 0 (success)

To test i chose to fax a sheet with diagrams and one of text.
Fax was a diagram of my rowing machine instructions p1 and p2 and the efax manpage.

This resulted in three issues to solve - perhaps just applicable to my modem.

a] Warning: EOF before RTC

Ed Casas replied when i emailed
"The warning means that the software that created the fax file (presumably ghostscript in this case) did not append the 'RTC'sequence to the end of the image data. efax (and/or the Class 2 modem) will append the RTC sequence itself. This is not really a bug in ghostscript as there is no standard for fax image files."

b] Series 2 modem and although the manpage claims Series 2 modems are default it would seem sensible to use the -o2 option to explicitly force it's use

c] Flow control not working as intended it would seem so use the -oh option to resolve

Perhaps worth looking at the options list (i was only interested in sending as i receive from efax through my email inbox).

-a (not required for most modems)
-c (not required for most modems)
-d /dev/ttyS0
-f (ignore leave as default)
-g (ignore as not receiving calls)
-h (ignore default will provide phone number and page numbers)
-i (ignore)
-j (ignore)
-k (ignore)
-i (ignore)
-o (explicitly force the use of class 2 and flow control)
[for Class 2 modem and flow control; hardware RTS/CTS and software XON/XOFF. Use options -o2 and -oh.]
-q (ignore)
-r (ignore)
-s (ignore)
-t number to be dialled - prefix number by T for Tone (don't think in fact required these days in UK anyway)
-v (ignore)
-w (ignore)
-x (ignore)

Looking at the list after reading the efax manpage very few options are in fact required for sending. The 196lpi 'fine' is also default and no intialisation code needs to be sent.

For me those were the three issues easily solved. Note the cli changes for the second attempt for the rowing machine (i didn't post the manpages).
 
james@james:~/Desktop$ efax -d /dev/ttyS0 -o2h -tT0018108212980 rowing.ps.001 rowing.ps.002
efax: Tue Jan 15 10:31:23 2013 efax v 0.9a-001114 Copyright 1999 Ed Casas
efax: Tue Jan 15 10:31:23 2013 efax v 0.9a-001114 Copyright 1999 Ed Casas
efax: 31:23 compiled Jun 21 2006 05:59:09
efax: 31:23 opened /dev/ttyS0
efax: 31:23 using BT Enabler Fax Modem VER 4.07 V.92 BT Enabler Fax Modem VER 4.07 V.92 BT Enabler Fax Modem VER 4.07 V.92 in class 2
efax: 31:24 dialing T0018108212980
efax: 31:50 remote ID -> "         18108212980"
efax: 31:50 connected
efax: 31:57 session 196lpi 14.4kbps 8.5"/215mm  any   1D    -     -  0ms
efax: 31:57 header:[Tue 15 Jan 2013 10:31:23 GMT                        P. 1]
efax: 33:14 Warning: EOF before RTC
efax: 33:17 sent 20+2291 lines, 143351+0 bytes, 80 s  14335 bps
efax: 33:21 sent -> rowing.ps.001
efax: 33:21 header:[Tue 15 Jan 2013 10:31:23 GMT                        P. 2]
efax: 34:20 Warning: EOF before RTC
efax: 34:23 sent 20+2291 lines, 112409+0 bytes, 62 s  14504 bps
efax: 34:29 sent -> rowing.ps.002
efax: 34:29 done, returning 0 (success)

Spot the difference; note the rowing machine beam appears broken and on the manpage in the centre lines are mixed up. (didn't list the terminal output for the manpages).









Thus for sending one needs to state modem class and required flow control - that's all depending on one's modem of course. It's that simple and not really worth spending time on efax-gtk imo.

To make life easier worth adding an alias to .bash_aliases
alias jfax='efax -d /dev/ttyS0 -o2h -tT' is now in mine

Then one's terminal commands simply becomes
jfax number faxfile.ps.* (worth using a wildcard to save typing in each page).

That's the route i'd recommend and i hope what i've done is helpful to folk sometime. You may prefer to use the 'socket' that efax-gtk offers but my steps will allow you to ensure your modem is set up correctly - forget auto detection for modem class.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 11:32:13 am by jessejazza » Logged
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