waigy
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:50 pm

Want to make mini portable fax machine

Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:07 pm

I want to make a mini portable fax machine similar to this which uses a mini thermal printer :
https://www.twilio.com/blog/2017/09/fax ... wilio.html

I later found out that the smaller printer called the adafruit tiny (https://www.adafruit.com/product/2751) comes with a usb cable and can be connected to a raspberry pi as mentioned here :
https://youtu.be/B-brDrnMXqY?t=67

I also found this article which mentions needing a twilio account :
https://www.twilio.com/blog/2018/05/bui ... chine.html

I have lots of pc experience but zero experience with arduino/raspberry pi etc.
I can't find a tessel 2 in the UK (used in the first article above) so would I be able to use one of the devices available from the pihut?
It will be used only as a fax machine so I won't need any extra capabilities eg. ports or processing power etc. unless they are needed by the fax process.
I want to do this as cheaply as possible so the most minimal microcomputer would be preferred and I am guessing I could use a dirt cheap mobile phone to handle the transmit and receive part?
If so, how do I connect a mobile phone to the microcomputer?

So in summary it would be fully portable and would work without the need of a laptop etc. and would be capable of receiving and printing a document sent by fax anywhere within mobile phone signal range.

waigy
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:50 pm

Re: Want to make mini portable fax machine

Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:28 pm

I am carrying on researching this and found out I could use a smartphone to create a wifi hotspot and allow the raspberry pi to connect wirelessly to that hotspot.
That would allow the raspberry to receive a fax then it could send the fax to the printer via the usb cable.

This seems like the method which would be easiest to setup.

This will be used in a vehicle so I would need the raspberry to connect automatically to the phone when I am within wireless range.

Could anyone on this forum help me with the software I would need to get this working?

drgeoff
Posts: 11941
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Want to make mini portable fax machine

Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:40 pm

Suggest you do a bit more research into how fax is transmitted. The vast majority of fax machines in the world use analogue modems. The modem tones are not handled well by the audio codecs in mobile/cell phone systems.

Maybe you should consider using a service that "translates" email to fax and vice versa.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

MiscBits
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:48 pm

Re: Want to make mini portable fax machine

Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:04 pm

I would look at the App store for your mobile for a fax app and then turn yourPi into a client on the phones WiFi and act as a print server.

When opening a new green field site, I've had the displeasure of using a few fax machines with built in mobiles and none of them performed very well. Was really happy when we got fax to email services instead :-)
Is a computer language with goto's totally Wirth-less?

waigy
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:50 pm

Re: Want to make mini portable fax machine

Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:12 pm

Thanks for the replies.
I have decided against this idea basically because the thermal printer would just be used as a printer so I couldn't really call it a fax machine.
If it was sent an actual fax from a fax machine that would have to be converted into an email or similar as mentioned so it is really just a document printer.

I got a reply from Possio who sell the smallest fax machine available (PM70 and Greta) and they mentioned that it would not be easy to find a fax enabled sim card for their machines as it has mostly been phased out (I'm in the UK) and, even if I did find one it would probably need a monthly subscription etc.

So I'm not going down the fax route anymore.

MiscBits
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:48 pm

Re: Want to make mini portable fax machine

Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:58 pm

Bit late but how about a GSM/GPRS module rather than a phone?

These often link to the Pi via the inbuilt UART and take AT configuration commands. Maybe one of these handles fax data and presents it on the serial port for a fax program to decode?
Is a computer language with goto's totally Wirth-less?

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Gavinmc42
Posts: 5678
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:31 am

Re: Want to make mini portable fax machine

Sun Apr 25, 2021 3:51 am

Do Elon's Starlink sats have LoRa?
Seem a few messaging systems using that now.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

drtechno
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:33 pm

Re: Want to make mini portable fax machine

Sun May 09, 2021 6:50 pm

There are plenty of cell phone hats out there if you search for them.
The fax software part is not a problem. There was lots of them created for linux years ago.

The OP abandoned this thread. Which either he genuinely wanted it but pass on the idea, or just wanted to advertise the other guy's stuff, or get you to join twilio.

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