Using Synoptic for monitoring » History » Version 2

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Flor de maria Blaszczyk, 03/10/2015 04:22 PM

1) How to start the Synoptic slow-control monitoring

If the Synoptic viewer is not present or if it has crashed, please follow the steps 1 to 6 in the section “ From the FTBF MCenter Control Room computers (ftbflx10 and ftbflx11)”: instructions.

2) The displays main menu


This is the main menu, all displays/controls a shifter or expert needs can be accessed through this menu. Click on the menu to open the display / control panel you would like to look at. See For shifters section for a full description of each display.

Note: All the displays have a button that allows you to go back to the main menu, generally at the bottom right corner of the display.

3) For shifters

Unless you need to change some settings, these are the displays you will need to look at.

Beam related information

MCenter Supercycle

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. The full cycle is 1mn.

MCenter info


Beam related information:
  • indicates the opening of the collimator XXXADD LOCATIONXXX. When the beam profiles do not look “good” (off-centered or too wide), MCR can change this value to improve the beam profile.
  • MC7AN is the current of the magnets . Remember to report this number when starting a run.
  • MCENRG states the energy of the secondary beam at the LArIAT target.
  • 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.

Beam profiles

Not available yet

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 and MC7SC3 state the number of counts for the scintillator counters after the last magnet and after the Wire Chamber 4, respectively.
MC7SC5 states the number of counts for the coincidence of SC1, 2, 3.

4) For experts: Synoptic power supplies controls

Settings are disabled by default. This means you can zoom in / out on the plots or click on the links but cannot change any setting.

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 supplies 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!


1) To enable settings, click on the button on the bottom right hand corner and select for how long you wish to enable the settings.

2) To turn on / off an power supply, click on the on / off button. A window will pop-up for confirmation. When the supply is on, the light should be green.

3) Turn on the regulate function (the light will turn green). This is to have an output voltage that matches the set voltage, otherwise there is a small offset.

4) Click on the button in the green frame "Set voltage" (in volts) 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. If you enter a positive value and the supply is negative only, nothing will happen. You will have to re-enter a value.

5) The selected supply readout voltage should indicate the new output voltage. Please wait until the reading stabilizes before changing to another value. This might take a few seconds.

6) Some controls (Glassman PS and Cryo-PMTs) might include additionnal features such as slow ramp options.

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.

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.

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 this changes to take effect.

Note: Make sure you type "http" and not "https". The latter will not work.


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: