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Gustavo Valdiviesso, 06/28/2018 04:48 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
    • Install a VNC client of your choice
  • SSH into the control room machine (ROC-West) to check if you have access. You will later view it via a VNC shared desktop of your choice. After getting a valid Kerberos ticket with your own ID, 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.

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.

Log onto the shift computer

For a shift at Fermilab:

  • From a ROC-West machine, such as lariat-cr-02:
    • Log in with username = lariat.
  • From an MCenter machine, such as ftbflx18 or ftbflx15:
    • Log in with username = ftbf_user.
  • Password is YOUR kerberos password, then it will ask for YOUR kerberos principal. (Reverse from usual order)

From a remote shift:

  • VPN
  • SSH Tunnel
    • Get a Fermilab kerberos ticket on your machine with kinit
      kinit myusername@FNAL.GOV
    • Open an ssh tunnel to the shift computer
      ssh -C -L 5900:localhost:5900 
      and leave it open
  • VNC shared desktop
    • Direct your VNC viewer to localhost:5900. Password is the same as the lariat-doc-db password (NOT SBND's). We recommend Remmina (comes with most recent Ubuntu distributions) or TigerVNC's viewer, but others are worth trying in case they work better for you.
    • Please do not interfere with the shifter by VNC! Contact the shifter on Google Hangouts to confirm a convenient time before you test your VNC.
  • Google Hangouts from Chrome browser (phone function does not work in Firefox)
    • Try to make a free phone call to a US number using the hangouts dialer (may require installing Google Talk plugin first time)
    • This is how the Main Control Room will phone you (it will ring when they dial +1 331-442-4353) and it is how you should phone them.

Windows needed on the shifter computer (or by VNC)

See these snapshots of the ROC-West desktop should give you a good idea about what to look for.

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".