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Gustavo Valdiviesso, 07/03/2018 12:35 AM

Quick Info

  • RUN COORDINATOR Gustavo Valdiviesso (630-696-1866)
  • 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.


Run Plan for Jun 29 to Jul 02

  • Take beam data with these configurations: Energy = 64GeV, Intensity = 7E8, MC7 Magnet = 100 amps
  • Take 2h runs, which has to be done by hand. Shifter has to stop the SBND DAQ (ctrl+C) and launch the script again every two hours. First run of the plan is #40, which started Jun 29 18:05:25 CDT
  • When the new run starts, the Online monitor show reliable information for the noise correlation matrix and the wires rms. Save a snapshot of

1) the Correlation Matrix
2) the Collection Plan RMS
3) the Collection Plan Pulse Height

and add them to a New Run e-log entry (see entry 297 as an example).

There are now 4 types of reports:

Start of Shift Checklist
End of Shift Checklist

New Run
End of Run

The shifter must fill in all of them. Instructions are in the form themselves.

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:
    • The Java dependent Cisco AnyConnect client can no longer run from a browser due to the lack of support for NPAPI. This means that the old VPN method ( only works in old browsers. Use this as an alternative method, which is browser-independent:

Uninstall Cisco AnyConnect (skip this if you are sure you don't have it):

sudo /opt/cisco/vpn/bin/

Install openconnect (it is an open source vpn client)

if you are using ubuntu...

sudo apt-get install openconnect 

if not, use the appropriate method for your system. You can verify the installation by asking the version:

openconnect --version

Install a vnc client of your choice. TigerVNC or Remmina work perfectly.

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 - To connect to the Fermilab VPN, open a terminal and execute:
sudo openconnect

and it is going to ask for your Username and Password (your SERVICES password).

If it works, you will be greeted with this message:

| This  is a Federal system (and/or it is directly connected to a Fermilab local network) ...

That means you are in. Do not close this terminal.

  • SSH Tunnel - In another terminal, get a Kerberos ticket
kinit <username>@FNAL.GOV

with your Kerberos ID. Now, open the tunnel with:

ssh -C -L 5900:localhost:5900

and you know it worked if you get another greeting:

Welcome to the LArIAT ROCwest Control Room

Again, leave this terminal open. If this fails, ask one of the following collaborators ( or ) to add you to the ~lariat/.k5login list, which will grant you SSH access.

  • VNC - Finally opening the VNC. You may use a client of you choice. When it asks for a server, use localhost:5900 which is our tunnel. The password is the same as the lariat-doc-db password (NOT SBND's).
  • 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

See the RUN PLAN at the top of the page.

Either in your machine or in the one you are remotely operating via VNC, you have to keep 3 (three) independent terminals running: LArIAT DAQ, SBND DAQ and SBND DQM.

If for any reason you have to access those yourself (sometimes it happens when the previous Kerberos ticket expires), here is how:

  • With the tunnel open, log in to the lariat-gateway with the sbnd user:
kinit <youruser>@FNAL.GOV
ssh -X -Y

once you are in the gateway, access lariat-daq01 if you want to launch the LArIAT DAQ, or lariat-daq04 for the SBND DAQ (you want both, so repeat this procedure twice).

kinit <youruser>@FNAL.GOV
ssh -X -Y

again, substitute daq04 for daq01 if you want to launch the LArIAT DAQ.

In the DAQ01 window, execute the LArIAT script:


In the daq04 machine, excecute the SBND script:


You also need the SBND DQM website (which can only see this via Fermilab VPN or locally through the fgz network):
If you are in a remote shift, you can open another terminal and make use of the tunnel. Launch your favorite browser from the terminal, for instance


and it will be able to access the DQM site.

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 too old, you may need to restart it (instructions above). Instructions on how the DQM works are in its first page.

Some Troubleshooting

If the SBND DAQ won't start, there are two steps to follow, in this order:

Step 1. Try again: sometimes it just need some persistence.

Step 2. Other times, it might need some clean up. Try running this scrip:


and go back to Step 1.

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".

How to configure LArIAT Trigger