Build cable: Brother Missing Link aka Multi-Function Link, PCI-1, PC I/F

I have a Brother IntelliFAX 2400ML (model PPF-2400ML) with a jack on the back labeled PC I/F. It supports an optional kit called the Missing Link, part number PCI-1, which allows you to use this fax/copier for printing and scanning as well. That kit number (PCI-1) also seems to be referred to as the Multi-Function Link with Brother's Multi-Function Center line of products.

I have the updated version of the software (Y2K compliant and supporting Windows 95/98/Me and maybe 2000), and I want to build the cable from on-hand materials or use a rare-but-standard cable. (This old machine works and I'd like to expand its abilities, but it is not worth putting more than a few dollars into.)

I have been able to learn that the OEM cable has a DB25 plug on one end and attaches to the computer's serial port (the kit also includes a DB-25 to DB-9 adapter). On the end that attaches to the Brother's PC I/F jack, it is an 8-pin module, the same as a network RJ-45 plug. (Is there an RJ-8 specified for serial communications?)

There are apparently some standards for connections like this, if Brother decided to use them and not do something proprietary. RS232 candidates: EIA/TIA 574 (RS-232 ) Defines RS232 with DB9 connectors EIA/TIA ??? (RS-232C) Defines RS232 with DB25 connectors EIA/TIA 561 (RS-232D) Defines RS232 with RJ45 connectors ("8 position modular connector")

I tried connecting fax to computer with a couple old AT&T phone equipment adapters/cables that are 8-pin modular on one end and DB25 on the other, but the Missing Link software did not see the fax over those connections. I don't know how those AT&T pieces are wired.

Does anyone know anything more about this cable?

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On 17 Nov 2005 08:57:20 -0800, "jd_hupp" put finger to keyboard and composed:

I'm not familiar with this setup, but I would start by measuring the voltages on each RJ45 pin. This will tell you which pin is an output (+12V or -12V) and which is an input (0V). A continuity test would also identify signal ground.

-- Franc Zabkar

Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

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Franc Zabkar

I have those in stock, $29.95 including postage to any 48 state address. Includes 15 chapter "Multi function link" owners manual. It is not just a cable adapter, it has a module about the size of a small computer mouse inline with the RJ type connector. Visa, Mastercard, Discover and PayPal all accepted.

Lee Richardson, owner Mech-Tech Evansville, Indiana

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-Lee Richardson

Thanks for responding, Franc and Lee. I can see how a voltage test might give me some clues about the pinouts and which standard(s) may be in use. Lee's comment about an inline module is interesting, and partly on account of voltage. One of the old AT&T pieces that I tried to use also had such a module. I believe it has something to do with voltage support for the two sides of the connection. If that turns out to be essential then my do-it-yourself project may become overly complex. But I'm probably not going to buy a $30 add-on for this old unit.

--John Hupp

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John Hupp

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