How do fax machines work?



How do fax machines work?

In: Technology

A camera takes a picture of the document to be faxed. It then translates the image (mainly where to put ink) into a sort of language only fax machines understand. It then calls the other fax machine and tells it where all the ink will get put and you have a copy that prints at the other end.

Imagine taking a black and white picture. Divide the paper up in to lots of small squares. Then, through the image line by line and write down a 1 if a square is mostly black or a 0 if it is mostly white. Now you have a long list of 1s and 0s.

Now you call up your friend. He has a sheet of paper with a similar grid on it. You go through the list of 1s and 0s, and he colours in a square if you say 1 or leaves it blank if you say 0. At the end, he has a picture similar to yours.

This is basically what fax machines do. One machine scans a piece of paper, works out where the light and dark bits are, phones up another machine, and that one prints out a copy of the image.

It’s like an all-in-one scanner-email-printer machine.

On the sender side, it scans a piece of paper, then sends the data (as if you send it by email). On the receiver side, it receives the data (like an email), and prints it.