Wiki » History » Version 33

« Previous - Version 33/81 (diff) - Next » - Current version
Gustavo Valdiviesso, 06/28/2018 03:27 PM

Quick Info

  • Google Hangouts ID: (password is the same as the sbn-doc-db)
  • Hangouts Group
  • VST shift: +1 331 442 4353 (Hangouts Voice Service)
  • ROC West x5413
  • MCenter Control Room (MC-CR) x3726 or x8871
  • Internationally: prefix +1 630 840 to any extensions (marked with x)
  • Experts list

Welcome to the SBND VST Wiki

This is the wiki for the SBND's Vertical Slice Test (VST). This is an integration of the cold and warm electronics with DAQ and online monitoring using LArIAT's cryostat and TPC.


Taking VST Shifts

In summary, a VST shift is just like a LArIAT shift, with a few extras. If you didn't do this yet, make sure you are in the SBND.Shift group at Google Hangouts.


Gaining Access

  • First, set up your Fermilab computing account and Kerberos. This can be done by following instructions here.
    • Check that you can issue a Kerberos ticket with
       kinit <yourKerberosPrincipal>@FNAL.GOV
      and confirm that you have gotten a kerberos ticket by checking the output of the command klist.
  • If you are at Fermilab:
    • Check that you are connected via ethernet, or to the Fermilab fgz Wi-Fi network and not the guest Wi-Fi network. This is required to access the lariat shift machines. The latter may lead to "Connection reset by peer" errors, refusing you access. Register your device to the fgz network here.
    • If you find you cannot SSH into, make sure your SSH config file allows X11 forwarding and all GSSAPI options. Further details can be found here.
  • If you are outside of the lab:
    • Download and run the Fermilab Virtual Private Network (available here )
    • Log onto the VPN with your Services Account credentials
  • SSH into the control room machine with the VNC shared desktop ( with your credentials (this is the one of the machines you will be using for shift work if at MCenter). Run the command:
    If this fails, ask one of the following collaborators (, or ) to add you to the ~lariat/.k5login list, which will grant you SSH access.

Important if you are at Fermilab

Getting a Fermi ID badge

Make sure you have a Fermi ID badge. If not, you can sign up for one at the Users Office located at the Mezzanine at Wilson Hall. More info.


Get trained! You can find the status of your training at this link.

  • All new Fermilab users need to take the New Employee/User ESH&Q Orientation training course.
  • The minimal training to work a local shift for LArIAT is the FTBF Hazard Awareness Training. All training courses can be found here.
    • If you do not see FTBF Hazard Awareness Training on your list at all, email to request to have this added so you can take shifts.
  • If you plan on staying for a long period of time, it would be useful for you to train in 'Fermilab Controlled Access' and both the 'Radiological Worker' training courses.

Next steps

Signing up for shifts

  • First, register for an account on the elog.
    • When your account is approved, you can look at the shifting schedule and look for a filled space, to do a shadow shift.
    • When you've found a slot you're comfortable working in, email the Run Coordinator at: to request to do a shadow shift, which must be completed before your first shift.
    • After completing a shadow shift, you'll be able to sign up for any available shift slot.

On-site: Getting there

  • LArIAT holds two control centers for shifting: ROC West (located on the west side of the Wilson Hall) and MCenter (at FTBF). ROC-w is the preferred location, and MCenter is now the backup location.
  • There are a few methods for how to get to each site, if you don't have a car.
    • Fermilab runs a shuttle (taxi) service between 07:30-16:30, which can be called at any internal phone at: 4225 (HACK).
    • The Housing Office will rent you a bike, providing that the weather conditions allow for it.

That's it! You're ready to start shifting for LArIAT!

When you are about to start

Contact the current shifter in the hangouts group to tell him/her that you are getting ready. This will give the current shifter time to fill in his End Of Run report. Ask about the current plan and status (the shifter might ask you to read some e-log entries).

Don't log into the hangouts yourself just yet. Wait until the current shifter tells you that he/she is ready to give you the controls.

Setup your shift station

Either from a remote connection or from ROC-West, follow these instructions:

Verify that Synoptic and Acnet are running

You should get familiar with them. Always keep them open and in clear view. If connecting remotely, you should see them in the VNC shared desktop.

Connect as the SBND shifter in the hangouts

When the previous shifter had time to call the MCR and declare the end of his/her shift, you may log into the shifter's Hangouts account with:

using the current SBND DocDB password. The SBND Shift chat is used by the collaborators to communicate with the shifters and between themselves about the VST operations.

Log into the SBND Electronic Logbook

with your Services user. Make an VST Start of Shift Cheklist entry and follow the checklist, which includes calling the Main Control Room (see next step).

Calling the Main Control Room (MCR)

Remember to call MCR (x3721) at the beginning and ending of each shift. If you are remote, you can use the hangouts to do so, but you may have to install a plugin first.

Main Control Room (internationally) +1.630.840.3721

Tell the MCR that you are the next LARIAT SHIFTER and if you are local or remote. If you are remote, inform the MCR of your contact number, which is the hangouts voice service:

+1 331 442 4354

You have to call the MCR at the begging and ending of each shift!

During your shift

You have to keep 3 (three) independent terminals running: LArIAT DAQ, SBND DAQ and SBND DQM.

You also need the SBND DQM website (which can only see this via Fermilab VPN or locally through the fgz network):

Keep checking the Synoptics alarms and the DQM website. The DQM has several plots that should be updating every few minutes. If you see any of the time stamps getting to old, you may need to restart it (instructions above). Instructions on how the DQM works are in its first page.

Report any oddities in the e-log with a default form, under the Vertical Slice Test category.

Advanced Stuff

How to run the DAQ for the BNL-Nevis integration test

1. Make sure the Nevis crate and NIM bin are powered. Experts: (on-site) Davio Cianci, (off-site) José I. Crespo (Skype:
2. ssh into the DAQ machine
Log into the SBND gateway (or you can create an FNAL VPN connection and skip sbnd-daq00, not needed on FNAL site)

ssh -Y

Log into the LArIAT gateway

ssh -Y

Log into the DAQ server using the common sbnd account (reserved for DAQ)

ssh -Y sbnd@lariat-daq04

3. Go to the jcrespo/ directory

cd jcrespo

Run the DAQ-decoder-plotter script


and follow the instructions printed on screen. This script runs the DAQ in calibration mode (CALIB pulses are sent to the Magic Blue Box every 1 s) -- once you have collected the desired number of events, it requires you to stop the DAQ using CTRL + C twice --, then runs the binary decoder, and finally runs a ROOT analysis to plot the waveforms.

The data is saved in the directory /home/nfs/sbnd/jcrespo/runs
The script makes a new directory for each run named RunYearMonthDayHourMinutesSecond (e.g. Run20180620113511).
The raw binary data is the file named output_NevisTPCCALIB_generator.dat. For a hexdump, you can use

hexdump -v -e '8/2 "%04X ""\n"' output_NevisTPCCALIB_generator.dat | less

(it will display the data in 8 columns with 2 bytes each). The ADC data is encoded in the lower 12 bits (3 last hex characters) of the words beginning with "0".