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sorry, i figured out the problem
our FTP to send our mainframe file to Oracle as a .DAT file was set up with the default of ASCII
when my "357F" field was put on the .DAT file, it went on as "1E22" which is the EBCDIC version of the characters . and "
p.s. when i add BINARY as a control in my FTP cards, the .DAT file is CORRECT for this field, but unfortunately ALL the other fields become incorrect!
thanks for everyone's input! seems i correct in how i defined the data off my mainframe flat file and not off the .DAT file out of my FTP