From Script | Spoken-Tutorial
Jump to: navigation, search

Title of script: Using SBHS virtual laboratory

Author: Rupak Rokade

Keywords: SBHS, Virtual labs, tutorial

Visual Cue
Show Slide Welcome to the spoken tutorial on Using Single Board heater System Virtual labs on Windows OS
Just show slide, no narration Although this tutorial demonstrates using a Windows OS, the process remains same for Linux OS, unless specified.
Show Slide In this spoken tutorial we will learn about:
  1. Software installations required on the remote users computer
  2. Using SBHS website
  3. Performing a Step test experiment remotely
Show Slide


As a pre-requisite, watch the following tutorials
  1. Introduction to SBHS and
  2. Introduction to Xcos.

These are available on the spoken tutorial website.

I am recording this tutorial on a Windows-7 32-bit Operating System
Show Slide


Ensure that Scilab is installed on your computer.

Scilab can be downloaded from

  • OR

Please note that you will need Internet connectivity to install Scilab.

Just show slide, no narration Linux users have to install Scilab via the Synaptic Package Manager.

Or download a portable Linux version of Scilab from links mentioned in the previous slide.

Show slide All SBHS experiment Scilab codes
  • are written using Scilab 5.3.3
  • and is the recommended version.

A higher version of Scilab will work equally well.

However, code modified in a higher version of Scilab cannot be re-used in the lower version.

I have already installed Scilab 5.3.3.

Now, the next step is to download the experiment Scilab code.

Demo as per narration Open a web browser.

In the address bar, type os hyphen

This is the website for opensource hardware.

click on SBHS image Click on the project SBHS.
Click on Downloads On the left hand side, click on Downloads.
Demo as per narration Click on the download link for SBHS Scilab codes for Windows.

It will download the Scilab code.

Go to the Desktop and point to the file. Save it on the Desktop.

Here it is.

Just show slide, no narration Linux users have to download SBHS Scilab code for Linux, carefully choosing between 32 and 64 bit.
The file downloaded will be in zip format.

Extract the content of this zip file on the Desktop.

Right-click on it >> show Extract here. To do so, right-click on it and choose Extract here.

The contents inside this folder, will be discussed at a later part of this tutorial.

Now let us see the SBHS Virtual Labs website.
Click on Virtual Labs On the left hand side, click on the link Virtual Labs.
This is the interface
  • from where one can gain access
  • to do remote experiments on SBHS.
Point to Login/Register A first time user needs to register once, by clicking on the Login/Register option.
Show the registration form After this, a form has to be filled and submitted.

An activation link is emailed to the user after the form is submitted successfully.

The link received in the email, should be used to complete the registration process.

Note that the activation process may not be immediate.

It may take a few minutes.

Enter username

Enter Password

I will now login with my registered account.

I will enter my username and password.

Point to “Book Slot”, “View/Delete Slot” After a successful login, a user has access to Book Slot, View/Delete Slot etc.

A slot is the time duration in which you can perform an experiment.

In our case, a slot lasts for 55 minutes of every hour

Click on Book Slot option After clicking on the Book Slot option, the client will have two choices.
Point to Current Slot and Future Slot One can either book Current Slot or a Future Slot
Point to Book Now and then to Book future slot Book Now option will appear only if the current slot is vacant.

Book future slot option will always be available.

It will allow two non-consecutive slots to be booked, each day.

Click on Book Current Slot I will click on the Book Now option
You will receive an acknowledgement, with your booking details appearing on the top side.

The slot booking part is over.

Let us now run a simple Step Test experiment, downloaded from the website.

Switch to the Desktop >> open the downloaded folder Open the folder you downloaded and saved on the Desktop.
Point to the folders: StepTest and common_files You can see that there is a StepTest folder and a common files folder

Do not move any of the folders from their location.

If the directory structure is changed, the experiment will not execute.

If you want one experiment to be copied elsewhere, make sure you copy the common files folder, too.

However, make sure the common files folder is always outside the experiment folder.

Open the common files folder.

Open the file config

This file is used to do the proxy settings.

Switch to Slides Do not change the contents of config file if
  • You are inside IIT Bombay OR
  • You are outside IIT Bombay and using an open network.

For example, at home or using a mobile internet.

Change the contents of config file if
  • You are outside IIT Bombay and using a proxy network.
  • For example, at an institute, office etc.
Switch to config file Put the value of use proxy as Yes with Y capital.

Change the other details as per the proxy network which you are on.

Save and close this file.

Open StepTest folder Open the StepTest folder.
Open run.vbs Locate and double click on the file run
Point to the various parameters It will open the python based SBHS client application.

Note that the first time execution of this file will take a minute to open the SBHS client.

It will show various parameters of the experiment like

  • SBHS Connection,
  • Client Version,
  • User login and
  • Experiment status

Green dots mean that the sbhs client can connect to the server.

It also shows that the client version I am using is the latest.

User login and Experiment status is red because I have still not logged in and the experiment is not running.

Point to Login >>

type username

type password

click on login

It will also give you an option to login.

Type your username and password.

This username and password is the same you used to book a slot.

Click on login.

Ensure that you login on the booked date and time, with correct login details.

Expect the message Ready to execute Scilab code.

Switch to StepTest folder Switch to the StepTest folder which has the experiment files.
Double-click on “stepc.sce Double-click on the stepc file.
Just show slide, no narration Double clicking may not work for Linux users.

If so, open the file manually inside the Scilab editor using the File menu.

This should open Scilab automatically.

It should also open the file in Scilab editor.

Demo If it doesn't, click on the File menu.

Click on Open a file.

Choose the file stepc and click on Open.

Just show slide, no narration Please check the current working directory using the command pwd.

The working directory should be StepTest.

If not, it has to be changed using the Change Current Directory option available in File menu.

Switch to Scilab console >> Type getd ../common_files Switch to the Scilab console.

Type the command getd space dot dot slash common files and press Enter.

Switch to Scilab editor >> Click on Execute >> click on File with echo Switch to the Scilab editor.

On the menu bar, click on Execute option and then click on File with echo.

If the network is working properly, it will open an Xcos diagram.

If it doesn't, it will show error on the Scilab console.

step test Xocs diagram opens up >> Point to Heat and Fan Using the step test Xocs diagram, we can set the experiment parameters such as Heat and Fan.

Double-click on each block to change its parameters.

Demo I will set the heat to vary from 30% to 45% after 300 seconds.

I will put the initial value as 30, final value equal to 45 and step time equal to 300.

Similarly, I will set the fan to be constant at 50% which is the default value.

Save and execute Now let us save and execute the Xcos diagram.

To execute, click on the Start button on the menu bar.

If there is no error, it will open a plot window.
Point to the 3 graphs It will consist of three graphs, Heat, Fan and Temperature from top to bottom.
Switch to SBHS client Switch to the SBHS client.
Point as per narration It shows the values of current iteration, heat, fan, temperature and time left for experimentation.
Point to the log file name It shows the log file name it has created for this experiment.
Switch to the web browser

click on show video

Switch to the browser.

Click on Show video option.

It will give a live video feed of the SBHS you are currently accessing.

Pause the recording This is a real experiment and will take some time to complete.

I will pause this recording for some time and then resume again.

Resume the recording >> Point to the graph shown After sufficient time of experiment, the graph obtained is as shown.
Click on Stop button on xcos window I will stop the simulation by clicking on the Stop button available on the Xcos window.
Close SBHS client Close the SBHS client window after the experiment is over.
switch to the experiment folder >> open logs folder >> point to your username folder Now, switch to the experiment folder and open the logs folder.

It will have a folder named after your username.

Open username folder >> locate log file

Open this folder and locate your log file.

Read the log file name as year month date hours minutes seconds dot txt

Use this log file for further analysis.

Show slide Let us summarise.

In this tutorial we learnt-

  • What are the software installations required to do a remote experiment on SBHS
  • How to use the SBHS virtual labs website
  • How to use the python based SBHS client application
  • How to execute the Scilab code of an experiment
Show slide Watch the video available at the following link.

It summarises the Spoken Tutorial project.

If you do not have good bandwidth, you can download and watch it.

Show slide The Spoken Tutorial Project Team
  • Conducts workshops using spoken tutorials.
  • Gives certificates to those who pass an online test

For more details, please write to contact at

Show slide Spoken Tutorial Project is a part of the Talk to a Teacher project.

It is supported by the National Mission on Education through ICT, MHRD, Government of India

More information on this Mission is available at:

Thanks for joining, This is Rupak Rokade from IIT Bombay signing off.

Thank You

Contributors and Content Editors

Nancyvarkey, Rupakrokade