TRIUMF MUSR Midas DAQ Help Information for Users

Introduction

A new linux-based  system using Midas has been implemented for MUSR data acquistion,  replacing the present VAX-based system.
Currently, systems for TD-MUSR have been installed in all counting rooms.

NOTE: I-MUSR is not yet available under the new system; users of I-MUSR continue to use the VAX-based system.

All information refers to TD-MUSR only.
 
 

Hardware

The following table summarizes the hardware changes made for the new DAQ system. The VME Clock (TDC) is shown for completeness. Changes are highlighted in red.
 
 
Old DAQ hardware
Remarks
New DAQ hardware
Remarks
VAX
host computer (VME) running MODAS DAQ system
Intel pc
host computer (linux) running Midas DAQ system
CAMAC scalers (e.g. KS3615)
8 Scaler Channels per module
VME SIS3801
16 Scaler channels 
CAMAC IO register
empty
TRIUMF VME IO board
16 Output channels
4 Input channels
MVME2305 power pc
(16Mbytes memory)
cpu running VxWorks acts as the  Histogram Memory 
Booted from the VAX
MVME2306 power pc
(32Mbytes memory)
cpu running VxWorks acts as a Midas frontend and the Histogram Memory.
Booted from the linux pc.
MVME162 
cpu VxWorks handles the SlowControls via CAMP.
Booted from ram, loads configuration from the VAX
MVME162
cpu running VxWorks handles the SlowControls via CAMP.
Booted from ram, loads configuration from the linux pc
VME V680 clock (TDC)
 
VME V680 clock (TDC)
 

More Information:

Software


Note: Since I-MUSR is not yet available under linux, the following refers only to TD-MUSR.

The former DAQ system (MODAS) is completely replaced by Midas  (now the TRIUMF standard DAQ system), plus custom software written
for the MUSR data acquisition system at TRIUMF.

The most important part  (as far as the users are concerned) is the User Interface, known as the MUSR Run Control.  This Tcl interface has been designed so that users familiar with the old VAX interface will find little difficulty in adapting to the new interface, since it has a similar "look and feel"  (but otherwise is far superior). The MUSR Run Control handles all communications between the users and Midas. Since the users normally interact only with the MUSR Run Control, they do not require any familiarity with Midas in order to run their experiments.

Other new software components include the frontend program running in the ppc (the ppc now requires access to the linux pc to boot, instead of the VAX).
This program has the structure of a standard Midas frontend , which handles communication with the Midas DAQ running on the host (linux pc). This communication is over the Ethernet (mostly RPC). The frontend program also controls the clock (TDC) ,  scaler and IO board. It reads data from the clock, stores it as histograms, and periodically reads the scaler and sends out the histogram and scaler data to the host where it is reformatted and stored by the  data archiver (mdarc)  which saves the data in the same MUD format as before.

The RCDB (run control data base) used on the VAX to store  experimental parameters including rig and mode data is replaced by the Midas ODB (online data base).

The slow control system (CAMP)  is unchanged, except that it loads configuration files from the linux pc instead of the VAX.

The software components most relevent to the users are shown below:
 
Description program name host
user interface (MUSR run control) musrrc linux pc
frontend fev680 ppc
data archiver mdarc linux pc
configures & checks input parameters musr_config linux pc
slow controls camp mvme162

Improvements and Limitations

The user will notice a huge improvement in response time when using the new system. Much of this is due to replacing the old, slow VAX by a modern, powerful linux pc.  The histogram memory available is currently 5Mbytes, currently limited by the Midas software. Users will notice a huge improvement in the time needed to save a large data file.

I-MUSR is not currently available, therefore users requiring I-MUSR must continue to use the old VAX system.
 

Determine your beamline

The beamline can be one of m15, m9b, m20, dev
     (Note: beamline "dev "  -- is not a real beamline - used only by software developers )
 

Log In

  Log onto the appropriate linux pc for your beamline:
 
Beamline  or Username
Linux pc
PowerPC 
(VxWorks)
MVME162
(VxWorks)
Location
m15
midm15
m15vw
m15hmvw
M15 counting room
m9b
midm9b
m9bvw
m9bhmvw
M9B counting room
m20
midm20
m20vw
m20hmvw
M20 counting room
dev
dasdevpc
devvw 
devhmvw
DAQ office

In the counting room:


NOTES:

  1. Experiments can of course be controlled and accessed over the network. Although this is very convenient, caution must be exercised to avoid problems. For this reason, it is usual to set up the DAQ system in the counting rooms at the consol.
  2. Each beamline account only exists on the appropriate linux pc - e.g. it is not possible to log onto midm9b as m20.

Kill All DAQ tasks

If restarting the DAQ, or starting from scratch, make sure no data acquisition tasks are running by executing the script kill-all .
 

Type (in an xterm window)

         kill-all

Issuing this command kills all DAQ processes and deletes all windows that were running DAQ processes.

Note: the Seyon Terminal Emulator window  is not included in kill-all.

Check Blue Switch Box

Make sure that the blue switch box (located on top of or adjacent to the linux cpu box) is switched to the ppc and NOT to the camp MVME module,
e.g. for beamline M15, the switch must be in position for m15hmvw NOT m15vw.

The MUSR Run Control will use telnet to access the frontend (ppc) if the switch  is incorrectly positioned.

Start All DAQ tasks


Start the data acquisition tasks by typing (in an xterm window):

        start-all

Issuing this command automatically starts all DAQ processes EXCEPT the frontend (ppc).
 

Start the MUSR Run Control

The MUSR Run Control is started automatically by start-all.

If it is not started, type

td
in an xterm window.
 

Start the Front End

Check the blue switch box is set in the correct position for the ppc!

The frontend (ppc) program is started (or restarted) via a reboot. This may be done as follows:

Select the Run Parameters

The type of run (test/real) may also be changed using the "Change" button.

To Start a Run


Click on the "Run" button, then on "Begin Run" on the MUSR Run Control main page.

Note: you should have previously reviewed the RIG and MODE parameters.

To Stop a Run

Click on the "Run" button, then on "End Run" on the MUSR Run Control main page.
 

Rebooting the linux computer

The linux computers are very reliable, and it is very rare to need to reboot. It is not a VAX, nor  is it running Windows!

 Routine problems with the DAQ cannot be fixed by rebooting the linux pc.
If start-all followed by kill-all does not fix the problem, please consult a DAQ expert rather than rebooting. 

MVME console window is not responding

Recheck the procedure to access the seyon mvme console window.

Only ONE seyon session can be run successfully for each linux pc. Starting a second session unfortunately does not result in error messages, but in strange behaviour.

Each seyon session results in the following lines from ps:

ps -auwx | grep seyon
root     23096  0.3  0.8  4412 2088 pts/4    S    13:03   0:00 seyon-emu -name Seyon -T Seyon Terminal Emulator -n Terminal -e seyon
root     23098  0.0  0.6  3460 1776 pts/13   S    13:03   0:00 seyon -noemulator
root     23100  0.0  0.6  3456 1768 pts/13   S    13:03   0:00 seyon -noemulator
root     23101  0.0  0.6  3456 1768 pts/13   S    13:03   0:00 seyon -noemulator


Since seyon is run as root, only the superuser can kill the session if started by another user. Therefore, during the beam period a seyon session  should only be started as the beamline user at the consol.

Even if another user does have control of the seyon session,  you can  still access the frontend using telnet, e.g. for M15

telnet m15hmvw
Telnet takes control from the seyon MVME console window until either the telnet session is terminated (e.g. by logout) or the frontend is rebooted.  However, the MUSR Run Control may fail trying to automatically reboot the ppc.

Frontend will not reboot

You will likely see a display from the MUSR Run Control as follows:


 
 

Recovery Procedure:



 

invisible target 1

To Access the ppc/MVME162 Console Window

The serial (debug) ports on the MVME2306 (powerpc)  MVME162 (for CAMP) may be displayed on the linux pc.  Both ports are connected via a blue switch box to one of the linux computer"s input ports.
NOTE: Only one of the two VME cpu serial ports can be viewed at a time in the Console Window depending on the switch position - make sure the switch is in the correct position!

A program called "seyon" is used to display the console window. The MUSR Run Control automatically starts the seyon window.

If "seyon" is already running, it appears as an icon at the bottom of the screen:

[Image of seyon icon]

Right-click on this, and select "Seyon Terminal Emulator".

If "seyon" is not running, it can be started:

NOTE: The MUSR Run Control is able to grab the seyon session if it has been started elsewhere than on the console, provided the seyon session was started by someone logged on as the beamline (M15,M9B or M20). If the seyon session cannot be grabbed,  or the blue box switch is switch to the CAMP MVME162,  the MUSR Run Control will use telnet to send commands to the frontend.



 
 
 

invisible target 2

Check Blue Switch Box

Make sure that the blue switch box (located on top of or adjacent to the linux cpu box) is switched to the ppc and NOT to the camp MVME module,
e.g. for beamline M15, the switch must be in position for m15hmvw NOT m15vw.

The MUSR Run Control will use telnet to access the frontend (ppc) if the switch  is incorrectly positioned.

invisible target 3

To Log out

If using the consol, to log out click the right hand mouse button while cursor is not in any window (i.e. click while cursor is on the (usuallyblue) background).  A menu should appear. Select "logout" by moving the mouse.

invisible target 4

To open an x-term window

Click (left mouse button)  the shell symbol

at the bottom of the screen.