Non-ASCII codes in old GE Signa scanner files

I have 20+ year old files from a GE Signa scanner with names like “114908.002.001”.

I am trying to parse the header information, but it contains non-ascii characters like x01, x81, x83, xB2, xB3, xD8, xF9.

Try as I might, I can’t find the information for how to interpret these characters. Any ideas?

Using gendump, these are the offending line

[8304:4] unique text area or orphan description (ID_id_text) <econ y��/6564/3/1>

[1138:336] Series Entity Unique ID (SE_series_uid) <+;������:U�;�+�6��{��>
[1138:368] Landmark Unique ID (SE_landmark_uid) <+;�
[1138:400] Equipment Unique ID (SE_equipmnt_uid) <+;�*�����:U�0>

It sounds to me like your data is in GE’s Proprietary Signa format that pre-dates modern DICOM images. This format is not supported by modern DICOM converters like dcm2niix. However, if you download ancient versions of MRIcron like 11/2010 you will find that it includes the dcm2nii conversion tool that can convert this legacy format. You will not get any BIDS sequence meta-data, and you want to make sure that the spatial transforms are handled correctly. The old Signa format did not include the rich sequence data we take for granted today. Likewise, those were the days before multi-channel arrays, high performance gradients and advanced shimming, so make sure you have reasonable expectations regarding the quality of the data.