Re: [gembud] How to decode buoy txt file with dcmsfc?

On Wed, 25 Mar 2015, Smith, Neil R wrote:

Have a txt file of buoy data, 2015030900_boy.txt, downloaded from archive 

Would like to decode it to .gem format.

How?  I donât have the man pages.


There aren't any man pages for the gempak decoders. Instead you have to invoke the decoder with the '-help' option, thus:

[229] vortex% dcmsfc -help


     DCMSFC decodes raw buoy, ship, C-MAN, and Coast Guard reports from
     a real-time data feed, or from a file fed to the program through
     standard input, and writes the data to a GEMPAK surface file.  The
     program is controlled by inputs to the command line.

     The inputs are program options and the output file name or template.
     For example, for real-time data feeds:

        dcmsfc [options] output_file

     Currently, the decoder can be run in two different modes.  If the -a
     option is not used, the decoder will create hourly files of all
     marine surface data (ship, C-MAN, fixed and drifting buoys, Coast
     Guard).  If the option "-a 6" is specified, 6-hour files of ship
     data only will be created.  For real-time operation, output files
     have the form YYYYMMDDHH.ship, and are placed in different
     directories depending on whether they are hourly or 6-hour files.

     If running the program interactively with standard input, the -c
     option must be used.  The input file must be also be specified.
     For example:

        dcmsfc -c YYMMDD/HHNN [other_options] output_file < input_file

     A template may be used to specify the output file name.  The file
     name template uses the date and time of the bulletin or report
     to replace the following characters.

        YYYY or YY      Year with or without the century
        MM              Month number
        DD              Day
        HH              Hour
        NN              Minute


     The valid options are:

        -v N            Set the level of verbosity for the logs
        -c curtim       Set the "current" time
        -b nhours       Number of hours to decode prior to "current" time
        -d decoder_log  Set the decoder log file name
        -t time_out     Set the interval for the time out
        -n              Set a flag to NOT save the text data
        -h              Print the help file, then exit the program
        -p prmfil       Set the parameter packing table
        -s stntbl       Set the station table
        -S stntb2       Set the second station table
        -a iadstn       Set the number of additional stations
        -m maxtim       Set the maximum number of times
        -e PARM=value   Set the environment variable PARM to value
-w iwndht Cutoff height for dropsonde "close-to-surface" winds

Version 5.11.1<

Here's my pqact for invoking dmsfc:

# ship, buoy and CMAN
WMO (^S[IMN]V[^GINS])|(^S[IMN]W[^KZ])|(^S(HV|HXX|S[^X]))|(^SX(VD|V.50|US(2[0-3]|08|40|82|86)))|(^Y[HO]XX84)
        PIPE    decoders/dcmsfc -b 9 -a 10000
        -d data/gempak/logs/dcmsfc.log
        -e GEMTBL=/weather/NAWIPS/gempak/tables

So some variation on these options might work for you.  Hope that helps.

Tom McDermott                           305 Lennon Hall
Systems Administrator                   Email: tmcderm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Department of the Earth Sciences        Phone: (585) 395-5718
The College at Brockport                Fax: (585) 395-2416
State University of New York

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