Section: WIN SYSTEM (1W)
Updated: 1996.5.24
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winformat - Format for multi-channel earthquake waveform data  


Win format is a format for multi-channel earthquake waveform data. In addition to usual win format, "MON form" that is a win format of special irreversible compression type is available. Refer to raw_mon(1W) for this form. Now, usual win format (sometimes called "RAW form" to distinguish from the MON form) is described. Win format has specifications such as

(1) Variable length second block with time label in 1 second increment,
(2) Channel block with header information for each one channel,
(3) Dynamically variable sampling rate and sample size

and has the following features.

(1) Split and integration by channel and time are easy,
(2) Different sampling rates and sample sizes can coexist,
(3) The number of channels is actually innumerable,
(4) Capacity compression is effective.


In win format, all integer values with length exceeding 1 byte are big endians (high-order byte precedes, or high-order byte occupies smaller number address). Negative number is expressed by complement of 2. The minimum unit configuring format is the following 1 channel data block for 1 second with 4 bytes channel header (hereafter 'B' refers to a unit "byte").

Channel header
4BVariable length

Channel block (variable length)

The size of one channel block can be known by reading channel header. The channel header has the following form:

Channel numberSampleSampling
Size (B)Rate (Hz)
2B0.5 B1.5 B

Channel header (4 B)

The top 2 bytes among 4 bytes channel header is the inherent number of channel. The number is 0000 - FFFF in 4 digits of hexadecimal number. High-order 4 bits of the last 2 bytes shows sample size of subsequent one second data in byte. The available values are 0 - 4. Especially, 0 represents 0.5 byte (4 bits) length. Low-order 12 bits show sampling rate (Hz), and the available values are 1 - 4095. The data block subsequent to this channel header contains data for 1 second of the channel. Among these, the top sample is always 4 bytes long, and the second and subsequent samples contain differential values from the previous sample ("current sample value" - "previous sample value") all in sample size described in channel header. The number of the differential values is (sampling rate - 1).

4 B(*B)(*B)

Data block (variable length)
(sample size (*B) is specified in channel header)

When sampling rate is 1 Hz, data block contains only starting 4 bytes sample without differential data. Sample size is 0.5 - 4 bytes, namely 4, 8, 16, 24 or 32 bits long, all of which are shown as complement of 2. When sample size is 0.5 byte and sampling rate is even, unused free space is generated in the low-order 4 bits of the last 1 byte of the data block.

Sample size as small as possible only for expressing differential data for 1 second of this channel is taken. For example, when differential data for 1 second is within the range of -8 - 7, sample size is 0.5 byte. In the similar way, 1 byte for -128 - 127, 2 bytes for -32768 - 32767 and so on. The reason why differential is taken is to avoid sample size being large due to direct current offset. Sample size written in channel header for each second changes dynamically. Thus data will be compressed depending on the content. When gain is appropriately set, it is usual that sample size at normal time is 0.5 - 1 byte. Although it is possible that sampling rate in the same channel fluctuates dynamically, this is not so general. In case of data AD-converted from an analog tape record, fluctuation of sampling rate can be described as it is. However, the program for reading win format may assume that sampling rate of the same channel is constant.

"Second block" of win format is the above-mentioned one or more channel blocks arranged behind second header in which time is described.

Second headerFirst channelLast channel
BCD 1Beach (for 1 second)(for 1 second)
6 BVariable lengthVariable length

Second block (Variable length)

This second block is a basic format of win format. Win format can be handled on various media for transmission and save. The format slightly varies depending on media. Hereafter win formats (1) on disk/tape, (2) on UDP packet of IP, (3) on shared memory and (4) on dedicated line are described respectively.  

(1) win format on disk/tape

One file of UNIX disk file is made by adding 4 bytes "block size" before each second block and arranging it for the number of seconds.

BlockSecond blockBlockSecond block
4BVariable length4BVariable length

1 file (Variable length)

Here "block size" represents size of subsequent second block added with 4 (size occupied by "block size") in byte. File size (number of seconds) of win format has no limitation. However, when buffering online continuous data, file is divided in 1 minute increment (wdisk(1W), pmon(1W), events(1W), wtape(1W), etc.).

An example of program for editing a file of win format is:

wadd(1W)-Composition of files
wed(1W)-Edition with channel and time
wck(1W)-Inspection of file

Files can be catenated with cat(1).

Examples of programs for continuously recording on tape media such as EXABYTE and DAT are wtape(1W) for write and rtape(1W) for read. The format handled by these is basically same as that of disk file. That is to say, one tape mark is inserted for each 10 minutes (between X9 minute 59 second and X0 minute 00 second). By the way, since in case of tape data for variable length 1 second is read and written as one record, it is necessary to use a tape system that can handle "variable record length."  

(2) win format on UDP packet of IP

A program utilizing the UDP packet for continuously transmitting win format data on the Internet protocol is available. The format of data handled by these on network is shown below:

Packet  Packet  Identification  Second  Second    Second  Second
Number  Number  Code  Block  Block  ...  Block  Block
  (for resend)   '0xA0'  Size of      Size of  
1B  1B  1B  2B  Variable length    2B  Variable length

1 packet (Variable length)

"Size of second block" includes 2 bytes of itself. The maximum packet size of 1 packet is 1472 bytes (1500 bytes as IP packet size). In order to increase transmission efficiency, packet size is usually generated in this range by packing data so as to make the size as large as possible. Refer to recvt(1W) for protocol. Other than this, the following old type format that accommodates only data for 1 second in 1 packet is available.

(for resend)
1B1BVariable length

1 packet (Variable length)

This format is for keeping compatibility with old programs, and can be distinguished with the afore-mentioned new format by checking the value of the third byte. Recvt(1W) can accept both formats.  

(3) win format on shared memory

The format for buffering continuous data of win format on shared memory of SYSTEM V has a form including "write time":

4B4BVariable length

1 block (Variable length)

and a type not including it:

4BVariable length

1 block (Variable length)

"Block size" includes 4 bytes of itself. In shared memory segment, data blocks like these are arranged. Refer to recvt(1W) and order(1W) respectively for details.  

(4) win format on dedicated line

Kanto-Koshin'etsu Observation Network of Earthquake Research Institute is transmitting waveform data from almost all observation points in packet system since 1995. In this system, data provided with time stamp by telemeter instrument of observation point is win-formatted and accommodated in HDLC frame to be transmitted on the dedicated line. The packet received by the center is transferred to work station in the UDP form through Ethernet. Format in the HDLC frame is as shown below:

FLAG  Observation point  Packet  Packet  Second  Observation point  FCS  FLAG
  ID  Number  Number  Block  Status    
      (for resend)        
1B  1B  1B  1B  Variable length  1B  2B  1B

1 packet (frame) (Variable length)

Second block contains data of 1 through 3 channels. Size of 1 frame does not usually exceed 1024 bytes.  

Handling low speed sampling data

As for data having sampling interval of 1 second or more, 1 block can accommodate only one sample because data for 1 second corresponds to 1 block in usual win format. However, the size occupied by that data is 4 bytes for channel header and 4 bytes for one sample, total 8 bytes. This means capacity efficiency is very low. Thus, in some cases, as for data of 1 second sampling, 60 samples for 1 minute is accommodated in 1 second block (formally) to handle the data as sampling rate 60 Hz data on format. This improves capacity efficiency and makes it convenient to view waveform with win(1W).  

Software parts handling win format

Some program parts that handle waveform data on each medium or between media are shown in the table below. When these are combined with several pieces of software for detecting and recording events etc, total system including data transmission from observation points to the center, data exchange between the centers, data recording and data processing can be configured easily. When assembling in the existing telemeter system, only if difference of specification of each system is absorbed at operation of transformation to telemeter system ->IP, all the common software can be utilized.


Telemeter system ->IPConversionepo2en etc.*PC98
Dedicated line ->IPRelayhdlcPC98
Dedicated line -> Dedicated lineRelayhdlcPC98

Memory -> MemoryTime sequence sort orderWS
Memory -> MemoryChannel selectionraw_rawWS
Memory ->IPTransmissionsend_raw etc.WS
Memory ->DiskSavewdiskWS
Disk ->8mmSavewtapeWS
8mm-> DiskRefreshrtapeWS
Disk ->ScreenMeasurementwinWS

*Select the model according to format and output interface of  telemeter system. epo2en is an example.

Mutual conversion between other format and win format

(1) Generation of win format
There is C-language function called winform(1W) as a subprogram for creating channel block of win format from the data of 1 channel for 1 second in fixed-length.

(2) Conversion from win format file
The methods for cutting out data from win format file in command level are:
   Cutting out a single channel with program dewin(1W), and
   Cutting out portion displayed on screen with program win(1W).

(3) Read and write subroutine for FORTRAN
Examples of subroutine for FORTRAN are shown below:
      open win format file
@@@close win format file
      write win format file (for 1 second) 
      read win format file (for 1 second)
      read time in win format file (for 1 second)
Refer to fortran(1W) for these subroutines.


wdisk(1W), pmon(1W), events(1W), wtape(1W), raw_mon(1W), wadd(1W), wed(1W), wck(1W), rtape(1W), recvt(1W), raw_raw(1W), recvt(1W), order(1W), winform(1W), dewin(1W), win(1W), fortran(1W)



(1) win format on disk/tape
(2) win format on UDP packet of IP
(3) win format on shared memory
(4) win format on dedicated line
Handling low speed sampling data
Software parts handling win format
Mutual conversion between other format and win format

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Time: 00:18:31 GMT, September 20, 2017