[Freeswitch-users] Spandsp mulated modems inbound/no /dev/FS* device?

Alex Crow acrow at integrafin.co.uk
Thu May 17 23:38:11 MSD 2012

On 17/05/12 14:51, Anita Hall wrote:
> Hi Alex
> Did you get the answer to your first question ? Did you succeed in 
> using the emulated modem option for taking fax calls to hylafax ?
> I put the following in spandsp.conf.xml and got /dev/FS[0-4] devices 
> as soft links to /dev/pts/[4-8]. My freeswitch is running as root user 
> so I did not face the issue you did.
> <modem-settings>
> <param name="total-modems"    value="5"/>
> </modem-settings>
> What next? Could you point me to some doc in hylafax?
> (And before Steve lashes out at me again, I must clarify, I do not 
> want to just play around, but my boss is clueless and wants me to 
> evaluate hylafax :()
> regards,
> Anita


The answer I got was that inbound is not yet supported by that 
mechanism, so I'd advise trying the Hylafax/T38Modem option if you need 
to use Hylafax. The T38Modem site provides tarballs of the OPAL and 
required dependencies to build it. The one main advantage we see for it 
is that there are quite a few free and commercial clients for Hylafax 
that can behave as a printer in Windows, so the user selects to print 
say a .doc file, chooses the fax printer, enters a number and off it 
goes. We used WHFC with XP, works great. We even have chaps batch faxing 
100+ faxes a day using it from Excel with a macro.

The other route for inbound is well documented, it using the inbuilt 
FreeSWITCH faxing and sending to email. Outbound is equally simple but 
not IMHO as easy for our end users as Hylafax (email-to-fax is simple 
but printing to fax from Windows not so simple). But with some work on 
your side, the spandsp stuff could probably do anything HF can do.

As I said, Hylafax is excellent software and has been deployed on major 
production sites for probably 15 years+ with billions of total faxes 
delivered. We've used it for more than ten years with about 400 faxes 
in/out per day (which is piddling compared with some other sites, 10,000 
per day is not difficult). If you want to avoid using t38modem you'd 
probably have to set up a dedicated HF box with an ISDN/POTS 
multichannel card (and if you want to fax from/to FS use a BRI or T1/E1 
card to send audio to and from it). There are other ways of integrating 
it with backoffice systems including FTP, email, etc.

To try to deploy a business fax system without first evaluating HylaFAX 
is in my opinion insane, so maybe your boss has a point. If, however, 
your boss is the one driving you to ask all these very diverse questions 
on this list (and they are indeed frequent and often completely 
unrelated to each other), perhaps you should ask him/her to focus on 
those that are his top priorities, and pick the first 3 to 5 and focus 
on those first, or in fact just compose a list of required features, 
post them up in a single email rather than 50, and ask "is this possible?".

Just being a bit more targeted with your questions and how they link 
together might elicit more responses. Try to pick one solution at a 
time, test it, ask questions on that and stick with it for a bit and I 
think you'll get more help.



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