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John, Engineer and electronic enthusiast for more than 12 years.
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My fax refuses to send, displaying "Ringer Off." How do I

Customer Question

My fax refuses to send, displaying "Ringer Off." How do I bypass this problem? Bob
JA: What's the make/model of your device? How old is it?
Customer: Panasonic KX-FP101, probably ten years old. It worked okay yesterday.
JA: How long has this been going on? What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: Going on only today. No troubleshooting efforts made as I did not know procedure.
JA: Anything else you want the electronics expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: NO
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Consumer Electronics
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

A 'ringer Off' message means it won't sound a ringtone when a call comes in. I think that is all that means.

But, not being able to send is different, and could be a severe problem. I will need to ask a few questions, please, before I can offer helpful advice:

1: when you try to send, what happens? and is there any error message or error code?

2: can you still receive faxes?

3: has your phone line service changed at any time recently, and what is your current phone line service now?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Russell .... Thanks.When I attempt to transmit, the fax dials the number and I hear the connection tone, normally just before the first sheet enters to be scanned and transmitted. In this case, a brief "beep" sounds and the display window shows, "Ringer Off" and no further activity occurs.I haven't received any faxes today. It's a home fax and traffic is minimal.The connection is sharing a land line with my telephones.Yesterday, I successfully sent a fax in spite of this same Ringer Off message. It did take about four tries before being successful, however. Today, I tried about six times without success.Bob
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

OK. Thanks for the description in detail.

I'm not sure what is wrong, yet. Does this happen with more than one dialed number to send to?

Try dialing a voice phone number that is not on the same line - e.g. your cell phone. See (from the cell phone) what happens - it should ring your cell phone, then when you pick up, it should beep at your repeatedly.

Let me know what the result is.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That rang at my cell phone, successfully.Bob
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

OK, good. Try dialing the HP Test Fax facility, and sending (if it sends) a one-page black-and-white fax.

If it goes through, you should get a fax-back within 5 or 8 minutes, confirming the reception capability also hopefully.

1-888-hpfaxme (or, 1-***-***-****)

Let me know how it goes.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Okay, will do.Bob
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

Let me know how it goes, by and by. No hurry. Thanks.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Russell ... the test fax apparently transmitted okay. (No response, yet.)Bob
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

Well, good so far. Wait for the return-fax, though. It may take 3 or 5 more minutes.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Nothing yet in terms of a response to the test fax.Bob
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

In case I didn't ask it before: When sending a fax failed, was there any error message on your machine?

Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

I guess the error message was the 'Ringer Off' message. Did that appear when you sent to the HP Fax Test service?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Russell ...It's dinner time here (EST) so I need to tend to that and tackle this problem when (and if) I'm sharper. There was no error message when the fax failed. Maybe my fax's old age is catching up.I'll sign off for tonight. Thanks for your efforts. Happy Thanksgiving.Bob
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

That's interesting. To sum up: it can dial out, so the line isn't at fault.

It seems to send OK to HP, but... perhaps not. (A pity we can't be sure, despite the lack of a Ringer Off message.)

So... I'll need the delay to think of another approach to this. Let's resume tomorrow. Thanks, ***** ***** dinner. (I'm in EST also.)