Synoptic plots are interactive:
Zoom in by selecting a box around the area you're interested in.
Zoom out by right-clicking on the plot.


1) How to start the Synoptic slow-control monitoring

1) Open a console.
2) Run the script. This will get automatically a kerberos ticket with settings permissions and open the beamline overview.

From ROC West:

cd /home/lariat/acnet

From the MCenter control room:

setup ftbf
cd /home/nfs/ftbf_user/acnet

Back up option: ACNET page D99 launches Synoptic for Lariat.

Detailed instructions (starting with launching ACNET):
If the Synoptic viewer is not opened already or if it has crashed, please follow the steps 1 to 6 here

2) The displays main menu - Beamline overview

This is the main menu. All displays/controls a shifter or expert needs can be accessed through this menu.

  • Click inside any of the frames (mouse-over until you get a small hand for a pointer) for each sub-system part to open the history plots for the corresponding devices.
  • The small gears on the top right corner inside the frames open the control panels when controls are available.
  • Red boxes will appear to indicate a value is out of the allowed range.
  • On top of the cryostat drawing, you might get alarm messages such as LAr dewar level too low, HV interlock or cryostat LAr level too low. Please pay attention to these.
  • Click on the cryostat drawing to open the cryogenic system overview.
  • Click on the TPC drawing to open the TPC overview.
Beam related information
  • MC6CV indicates the opening a vertical collimator in the secondary beamline(see Switchyard Layout ). When the beam profiles do not look “good” (off-centered or too wide), MCR can change this value to improve the beam profile.
  • MCENRG states the energy of the secondary beam at the LArIAT target.
Tertiary magnets
  • MC7AT1 states the temperature of the coil of magnet 1. Alarm above 175º F.
  • MC7AT2 states the temperature of the coil of magnet 2. Alarm above 175º F.
  • MC7AN is the current of the magnets . Remember to report this number when starting a run.
  • MC7ANB is a probe inserted in our magnets to measure the polarity of the field. The actual value stated is not important as only the sign matters. Double check that the polarity is the right one (positive or negative) required for the run and remember to report its value in the elog when starting a run.
Scintillator counters
  • MC7SC1 states the number of counts for the scintillator counter before the LArIAT target. Intensity of the secondary beam. 1E5 or more is pretty good.
  • MC7SC2 states the number of counts for the scintillator counters after the last magnet.
  • MC7SC3 states the number of counts for the scintillator counters after the Wire Chamber 4.

3) For shifters

Unless you need to change the settings on one of the power supplies / tertiary beam magnet, these are the displays you will need to look at.

Beam related information

MCenter Supercycle

To access this display, click on the "Beam info" frame on the beam-line overview.

On this display you can see at which stage of the beam cycle you are. The plots evolve continuously, wait for the spill (circled) to appear before stopping / starting a run (on the screenshot above you can see 2 spills). The full cycle is 1mn.

Beam profiles

Not available through Synoptic
To get these for now you have to use ACNET. See How to display the wire chambers positioned before the LArIAT target .

Beam-line detectors: Upstream and Downstream TOF, Halo and Punch-through, Aerogel Cerenkov

Because most of the PMTs for these systems are powered by the Zener voltage divider (aka COW) in the control room, controls and current monitoring are only available for the halo PMTs. These displays are similar, above is the one for the Aerogel Cerenkov.

Note: If you cannot do settings on a page, it simply means no setting is possible. Pages where settings are possible are listed as "controls" in the main menu. Otherwise they are called "monitor".

TPC Overview

To open this display, click on the TPC drawing in the beamline overview. Click inside the frames to get the history plots or on the gears to access the control panels.

Cryogenic system overview

To open this display, click on the cryostat drawing in the beamline overview. Click inside the frames to get the history plots.

  • An alarm will be triggered when the level inside the cryostat is below 2.5"Ar.
  • The level meter inside the LAr dewar does not cover the full range of the dewar. The maximum reading is 72"Ar which represent ~ 79% full. When there is a refill, the value should read 79% for a while, until the level reached the active range of the instrument.
  • An alarm will be triggered when the LAr dewar level drops below 30%.

Note: Not all of the devices of the cryogenic system are shown, only a selection relevant for the LArIAT shifter.

4) Synoptic power supplies controls

These instructions apply to the power supplies for the wire chambers, the bias voltage, and the cryo PMTs, some of the muon range stack paddles, halo veto.
Before you do anything... some useful information:

  • You cannot change anything unless you have "settings" enabled. Settings are disabled by default.
  • *If a VME PS has to be turned off in an emergency situation (e.g. problem with TPC PMTs) - turn off the regulate function first, then put the decreasing voltage values in the quick ramp window, go to 0 and then turn off!*


Turning ON the wire chambers, the bias voltage, or the cryo PMTs

If current > 15 uA, the power supply will trip. If this happens, repeat these instructions from step 3.

Nominal Voltages:
WC1 -2500
WC2 -2500
WC3 -2550
WC4 -2475

You can't change anything until you do this part:
1) To enable settings, click on the button on the bottom right hand corner.
2) Select for how long you wish to enable the settings (Disable, 10mn, 1h or 8h). Do not forget to disable the settings once you are done!

Turn on the power supply (goes from Red to Green).
3) Click the appropriate ON button near the top of the page. A window will pop-up for confirmation. When the supply is on, the light should be green. There is no voltage yet.

Ramp the voltage approximately right. Do this with Regulate OFF.
4a) Turn off the regulate function if it's on (the circle is dark red it's off, green means on).
4b) Set the nominal voltage in the RAMP frame (left panel) by clicking on the square button next to the power supply you would like to set a voltage to. A window will pop up; enter the value including the "-" sign and validate (hitting the enter key doesn't work). If you enter a positive value and the supply is negative only, or if you enter a value out of range, nothing will happen. You will have to re-enter a value.
WAIT until the readout value has stabilized and is around the nominal value you set.
FYI: Ramp times from 0 to nominal: ~ 2 minutes for the wire chambers, ~2 hours for the cryo PMTs, ~2 minutes for the TPC bias voltage
You can stop the ramp at anytime by clicking on the stop button.

Get the voltage the last little bit correct using Regulate and QUICK SETTINGS
5a) Turn on regulate (light should be green when on).
5b) Set the nominal voltage (again) in the QUICK SETTINGS frame (right panel) by clicking on the squatr button. Wait for ~30 seconds to 1 minute until the voltage stabilizes.
6) Check if the readout value matches what you were expecting within ~ 5V.
7) Turn regulate off.

For the muon range stack / halo veto, skip step 4 since there is no ramp feature for those power supplies.


Turning OFF the wire chambers, the bias voltage, or the cryo PMTs

1) To enable settings, click on the button on the bottom right hand corner.
2) Select for how long you wish to enable the settings (Disable, 10mn, 1h or 8h). Do not forget to disable the settings once you are done!

There are pop-up confirmation windows that will prevent you from changing anything by mistake but it is still better to disable the settings once you have finished.

3) Turn off the regulate function if it's on (the light is dark red when off, green otherwise).

4) Set the nominal voltage in the RAMP frame (left panel) by clicking on the bright button next to the power supply you would like to set a voltage to. For example, if you're ramping down the wire chambers, you would set the desired voltages to 0 and validate the entries (hitting enter does not work).

5) After the voltages have smoothly ramped down to 0V, turn off the power supply by clicking the appropriate OFF button at the top of the page.


  • Closing a window restarts the plots, but the settings are NOT changed. This means that if you close a window (on purpose or by mistake) or if the display crashes (it can happen from time to time) the power supply remains in whichever state it was before the closure. If it was on, it remains on at whatever voltage it was set.
  • To power off a supply, please set the voltage to 0 first and then turn it off. Do not forget to turn it off!
  • Current can be readout in the bottom left hand side of the display. The top plot shows the voltage as a function of time, the bottom plot is the current as a function of time.
  • When regulate is off, there is an offset between the value you set and the actual readout. The lower the voltage you set (with respect to the range of the PS, ie 0-2kV or 0-500V), the larger the offset.
  • In particular, for the induction plane bias, set a value of ~ 36-38 V to get 18V on the output. Do not use regulate for this value, it will not work.
  • The VME power supplies are not stable below a certain a value: for the 0-2kV ones (all PMTs, including cryo ones), do not set voltages below 200V; for the 0-500V (bias PS), do not set values below 36V (which will give you an 18V output).
  • After a power supply is turned off (by the user or a power outage), the voltage setting is reset to 0 and should remain at 0 after turning it back on. If the power supply was mid-ramp, the ramp status will also be cleared.

5) For experts: Controlling the power supplies with ACNET

Please use this method ONLY if the Synoptic displays are not working even after restarting the Synoptic Viewer (and contact F. Blaszczyk to report the issue). Once ACNET settings permissions are enabled, it is very easy to make mistakes: there is no confirmation window so you could cause a power supply to turn off or trip if you are not familiar with ACNET.

Using ACNET to power up the power supplies


If Synoptic crashes or hangs up, do not panic! Only the application is affected, not the devices themselves. You only need to close the application and restart it. The non-historical plots will be reset.

The most common reasons why the Synoptic viewer does not start, crashes or gives you random errors are:

  • You are not opening Synoptic correctly, i.e. you forgot to get a Kerberos ticket or you didn't open Synoptic with the script (or through the ACNET console) when working on a control room desktop computer. Please read the instructions carefully.
  • You get a kerberos ticket error message. The ticket has probably expired. Just go to a terminal and type kticket. This will recreate a ticket. Click on "Proceed" on the error message.
  • From your personal computer: you don't have the right Java environment. Make sure you have the Sun / Oracle Java Runtime Environment installed and up-to-date. OpenJRE / IcedTea does not seem to work well with Synoptic (unless you're lucky).
  • From your personal computer: your Java security parameters are not configured correctly. Because of some recent changes on the Java platform, you might have to do some tweaks to the Java security parameters. If you get an error that says that the application cannot be launched because it is from an unknown source / signature, please do the following:

1) Open the Java control panel. How to access it varies according to the OS (Google is your friend). You might have to launch it with admin privileges.

2) Select the security tab.

3) Drop the security to medium level.
*Note: This might not be possible in recent java versions. If you only have the high and very high options, choose high.

4) Add the following links to the exceptions list:

5) Validate. You might have to restart the computer for these changes to take effect. Note: Make sure you type "http" and not "https". The latter will not work.

The most common reasons why you cannot do settings are:

  • You forgot to enable the settings or you went past the time the settings were enabled.
  • There are no possible settings on the display (monitor only plots).
  • You are not including the "-" sign in front of the value you are trying to set. All the negative VME power supplies require you to include the sign, while the Glassman does not.
  • You are trying to set a value larger than the allowed limit. For security reasons or physical reasons (maximum PS voltage), some settings have been restricted to a particular range.
  • Your Kerberos account has not been granted setting permissions. There is only a few people who have settings permissions on their individual accounts. If you really need to do settings, all desktop computers in the control room can do settings, provided you started Synoptic correctly.
  • You are off-site. Even if you follow the procedure, and even if you're connected using the Fermilab VPN, you will not be able to enable settings.
  • We (as in LArIAT users) do not have settings permissions for that particular device. This shouldn't happen since all the devices used on Synoptic are LArIAT devices so we should have permissions for all of them. If it does happen, the device might be a recent one so we haven't been granted permissions yet. Please let Flor Blaszczyk and Charlie Briegel know. If you are doing settings on ACNET, make sure it is one of our devices and refrain from trying to change other devices (unless you are 100% sure you should).

Clearing the red Beam Check Button in the Alarms window
First click on the button a new window (BeamWatch.xml) should pop up. Follow the advice: " go to acnet window 129 --> restart persistent--> select LArIAT_beamcheck.acl --> select restart
if it ask kill the process and restart press ok and if acnet asks for username and password leave both blank. If the button on the alarms page is still red kill the alarms window and restart it from the synoptic overview page.

Common web-viewer issues:

  • "I know the device is on, why does it show as if it were off?" Because of Fermilab firewalls or your respective institution firewalls, it might take couple minutes for the displays to show up. If you see little "stars" instead of values with a unit in the readout sections of the displays and that nothing shows on the time plots, it means you're not getting any information from the devices. Only way to go around or speed things up: use the Fermilab VPN.


LArIAT contact: Flor de Maria Blaszczyk (Boston University),
Office phone #: 617-358-0989
Cell-phone # (also on the Control Room white board): 225-280-0536

Need a new display? Don't understand something? Please let me know! All suggestions and comments are welcome.

Synoptic support:

ACNET controls and VME power supplies emergencies: Charlie Briegel,

Synoptic only emergencies: If no matter what you do, you cannot restart the OM, please contact Linden Carmichael () x5036 or 630-728-7059 (cell) or Denise Finstrom x4688