FAQs & Troubleshooting

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MFC-9840CDW

FAQs & Troubleshooting

FAQs & Troubleshooting

MFC-9840CDW

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Date: 04/07/2011 ID: faq00002454_000

Can I use voice mail on the same line as my Brother machine?

If you have voice mail on the same telephone line as your Brother machine, there is a strong possibility that voice mail and the Brother machine will conflict with each other while receiving incoming calls. Depending on which of the 2 (Brother machine or voice mail) answers first, will determine where the incoming call will be received.

There are a few things you can do to avoid conflicts between your Brother machine and voice mail service:

  • Change your Brother machine's Receive Mode to "Manual" so that it never automatically answers incoming calls.  In Manual Mode, incoming calls will go to your voice mail service unless you choose to activate your Brother machine.
    See the section titled "Using Manual Mode."

  • Get Distinctive Ring service from your telephone company and program your Brother machine to only answer one of the two numbers. People who call your original number can still leave messages on your voice mail service, and your Brother machine will answer calls to your Distinctive Ring number.
    See the section titled "Using Distinctive Ring."

    Distinctive Ring function is not supported in some countries.

    Distinctive Ring is a function of your Brother machine that allows a person with one line to receive fax and voice calls through two different phone numbers on that one line.  Brother uses the term "Distinctive Ring" to describe this service, but telephone companies market it under a variety of names, such as Custom Ringing, Personalized Ring, Smart Ring, Ring Master, Ident-a-Ring, Ident-a-Call, Data Ident-A-Call, Teen Ring, SimpleBiz Fax & Alternate Number Ringing, FaxAbility and BT Call Sign.

  • Connect a physical answering machine to a telephone jack (socket) on the same line as the Brother machine or to the Brother machine's EXT jack (socket) and use it to record voice messages.  If you do this, you can cancel voice mail service.
    See the section titled "Using an External Answering Machine."

Using Manual Mode:
  1. In Manual Mode, your Brother machine will not answer the line automatically unless you are using your telephone company's Distinctive Ring service. See the section titled "Using Distinctive Ring" for information regarding the Distinctive Ring feature.

    Manual Mode requires that you answer every incoming call by lifting the Brother machine's handset or the handset of a telephone that shares the line with your Brother machine. If the incoming call is a telephone call, then complete the call as you normally would.  If you hear fax-sending tones when you lift the handset, press *51 (*91 for New Zealand) and your Brother machine will start receiving the fax.  When you hear the receiving tones produced by your Brother machine, replace the handset and your machine will receive and print the fax.


    To put your Brother machine in Manual Mode, please follow these steps:

    For FAX-1360/FAX-1860C users:

    1. Press Receive Mode.
    2. Continue to press Receive Mode until Manual appears. Press OK.
      After 2 seconds the screen returns to the date and time display, along with your new Receive Mode setting.

    For other users:

    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set.
    2. Choose Initial Setup => Receive Mode => Manual.
    3. Press Stop/Exit to exit the menu.

  2. If your Brother machine's Easy Receive (Fax Detect) feature is turned on, then you do not have to press *51 (*91 for New Zealand) to receive a fax in Manual Mode.  Simply lift your Brother machine's handset or the handset of a telephone that shares the line with your Brother machine, wait until you hear your Brother machine's fax receiving tones, and hang up the handset.  Your Brother machine should receive the incoming fax automatically. Additionally, if a caller wants to send a fax after speaking to you, simply press *51 (*91 for New Zealand) when they are ready to send the fax.


    To enable your Brother machine's Easy Receive (Fax Detect) feature, please follow these steps:
    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set.
    2. Choose Fax => Setup Receive => Easy Receive or Fax Detect => On.
    3. Press Stop/Exit to exit the menu.
    Using Distinctive Ring:

    You can avoid conflicts between your voice mail and your Brother machine by using your telephone company's Distinctive Ring service.  Distinctive Ring allows you to have two different numbers on the same telephone line, each with its own ring pattern.  Therefore, you can have your voice mail assigned to answer only your "main" telephone number and program your Brother machine to only answer the second number.  Since voice mail and the Brother machine will not try to answer the same ring pattern, conflict between them is avoided.


    You must pay for your telephone company's Distinctive Ring service before you program your Brother machine to work with it. Please contact your local telephone company for availability and rates.  Brother uses the term "Distinctive Ring" to describe this service, but telephone companies market it under a variety of names, such as Custom Ringing, Personalized Ring, Smart Ring, Ring Master, Ident-a-Ring, Ident-a-Call, Data Ident-A-Call, Teen Ring, SimpleBiz Fax & Alternate Number Ringing, FaxAbility, and BT Call Sign.

    To program your Brother machine to work with your telephone company's Distinctive Ring service, please follow these steps:
    1. Press Menu or Menu/Set.
    2. Choose Fax => Miscellaneous => Distinctive, BT Call Sign or FaxAbility => Set(On).
    3. The Brother machine will begin to play a ring pattern.
      If you do not hear any ring pattern here, go to STEP 4.
      If you begin hearing ring patterns, these can be programmed into the unit. There are four ring patterns available, and you should choose the one that matches the Distinctive Ring pattern assigned by your telephone company. You will hear each pattern as you select it, which should help you make the correct choice.
      These ring patterns are as follows:
      • Long-Long (this ring pattern is often called "Short-Short" by phone companies)
      • Short-Long-Short
      • Short-Short-Long
      • Very Long (this is the standard telephone ring pattern)

      Please note that you can only select one of these ring patterns at a time. If the ring pattern assigned by your telephone company is not listed, please call your telephone company and request that they assign one of the selectable ring patterns.
    4. Press Stop/Exit to exit the menu.

    When you are using the Distinctive Ring feature, your Brother machine's Receive Mode is automatically set to Manual. If you disable Distinctive Ring, the Receive Mode will still be Manual until you change it.


    Using an External Answering Machine:

    You can connect an external answering machine to a telephone jack on the same line as your Brother machine or to your Brother machine's EXT jack (socket),which will allow you to receive both faxes and voice messages automatically.

    When someone dials your telephone/fax number, every telephone on the line, including the Brother machine, will ring according to the number of rings you set on the answering machine.  If you do not answer the call, your answering machine will.  As your answering machine's outgoing message is playing, your Brother machine is silently "listening" for fax-sending tones.  If your Brother machine detects fax-sending tones, then it will take over the line and receive the fax.  If your Brother machine does not detect fax-sending tones, then your answering machine will continue to play your outgoing message so the caller can leave a message.

    To set up an answering machine to share the telephone line with your Brother machine, please follow these instructions:

    1. Physically connecting the answering machine to the Brother machine:

      1. Connect a telephone cord from the jack (socket) labeled LINE on your Brother machine directly to the telephone jack (socket) in the wall.
      2. Plug your answering machine directly into a telephone jack on the same line as your Brother machine or into your Brother machine's EXT jack (socket).
      3. Set your answering machine to answer within 4 rings.

      • Brother recommends setting your answering machine to answer in 2 or 3 rings, as using 4 rings may cause problems with receiving faxes.  If your answering machine takes too long to answer an incoming fax, then the sending fax machine may drop the call.

      • Your Brother machine's Ring Delay setting does not apply when you use an external answering machine.
    2. Recording the outgoing message on your answering machine:

      1. Record 5 seconds of silence before you start speaking.

        *We recommend beginning your outgoing message with 5 seconds of silence because your Brother machine cannot detect fax sending tones over a resonant or loud voice. You can try omitting this pause, but if your Brother machine has trouble receiving, you should re-record your outgoing message with the pause included.

      2. Limit your speaking to 20 seconds.
      3. End your outgoing message by giving your Fax Receive Code for people sending manual faxes.

        For example, "After the beep, please leave a message or send a fax by pressing *51(*91 for New Zealand) and Start."


    3. Setting the Receive Mode on your Brother machine:

      For FAX-1360/FAX-1860C users:

      1. Press Receive Mode.
      2. Continue to press Receive Mode until External TAD appears. Press OK.
        After 2 seconds the screen returns to the date and time display, along with your new Receive Mode setting.

      For other users:

      1. Press Menu or Menu/Set.
      2. Choose Initial Setup => Receive Mode.
      3. Choose the mode.
        • If External TAD is in the options, select External TAD.
        • If not, select Manual.
      4. Press Stop/Exit to exit the menu.

      If you selected Manual in STEP c, please follow the procedure below to turn on the Easy Receive (Fax Detect) feature.

      Turning Easy Receive On: (Fax Detect)

      1. Press Menu or Menu/Set.
      2. Choose Fax => Setup Receive => Easy Receive or Fax Detect => On.
      3. Press Stop/Exit to exit the menu.

      *For information regarding the Receive Mode "Manual" and Easy Receive (Fax Detect) feature, see the section titled "Using Manual Mode".

    Related Models

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    If you need further assistance, please contact Brother customer service:

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