AstroDMx Capture – Version 2.0 Changelog
The following information shows a historic log of what has changed in each major version of AstroDMx Capture.
The latest version of AstroDMx can is available on the downloads page.
- New: Astrometric (plate solving) function to solve an image field without making any mount corrections. This function will solve the current field and report the centre RA/DEC values
- New: Transit times are now calculated for circumpolar objects
- Changes: Improvements to the assisted meridian flip functionality
- Updated: ZWO SDK
- Updated: QHY SDK
- Updated: Altair SDK
- Updated: OmegonPro SDK
- Updated: RisingCam SDK
- Updated: Touptek SDK
- Updated: StarshootG SDK
- Updated: PlayerOne
- Bug fixes and other improvements
- Bug fixes relating to the INDI configurator
- Added: Full support for OGMA cameras (https://getogma.com).
- Added: Exposure values in microseconds can now be typed. To set an exposure of 500 microseconds, the user should type 500us.
- Changes: The INDI camera interface has been rewritten from scratch. The implementation should now be more reliable and supports more functionality. The most obvious difference is that INDI cameras are now connected using the same method that has always been used for native cameras. See the release notes for more information.
- Changes: INDI cameras now support ROI and Binning.
- Update: The compilers used to produce the Linux build have been updated to GCC version 13.2.
- Updated: PlayerOne SDK.
- Updated: QHY SDK.
- Bug fixes and other improvements.
- This version is for macOS. It fixes a startup problem on Mojave (10.14.6) and possible other older version of macOS.
- Added: Astrometry.net platesolver
- Added: ASTAP automatic field of view
- Added: Independent instances of AstroDMx. Two separate instances of AstroDMx Capture can now be run and each is fully independent. That is to say, each instance can have its own settings and configuration
- Added: RA/DEC hints for Astrometry
- Added: Assisted meridian flip functionality. When AstroDMx detects that a meridian flip is due, the user is alerted and can then perform a meridian flip. Once the flip is complete, Astrometry is automatically run to make sure that the mount is still pointing at the correct coordinates
- Added: Telescope selector dialog. After successfully connecting to a camera, a window appears which asks the user which telescope is being used. This information is appended to the capture log and is used for astrometric calculations. This window can be dismissed and hidden if not required
- Added: Information pertaining to the current position of the Sun and Moon are now written to the status window at the bottom of the application. This information shows the current level of darkness. For example, daylight, civil twilight, nautical twilight, astronomical twilight and nighttime (darkness). The user’s geographical coordinates need to be entered for this functionality
- Added: Filter wheel name is appended to the file name. An INDI filter wheel needs to be connected for this functionality
- Added: The object’s RA/DEC coordinates are added to the FITS metadata. AstroDMx must be connected to a mount for this functionality to work
- Improvements: Significant improvements to the astrometric functionality. For example, the plate solver will now continuously run until a user defined accuracy has been met or the maximum number of solves has been reached. For more information please see the release notes
- Improvements: Improvements have been made to INDI focuser devices
- Improvements: Improvements have been made to all FITS metadata. Telescope aperture and focal length are now written together with other important information. FITS metadata can either be populated automatically (assuming that the values are available) or entered manually by the user
- Changes: Significant changes have been made to the way that mouse dragging functions. For more information, please see the release notes
- Updated: SVBONY SDK
- Updated: PlayerOne SDK
- Updated: QHY SDK
- Updated: Atik SDK
- Bug fixes and other improvements
- Fixed a bug which caused macOS builds to crash when changing the camera resolution.
- Added: Negative preview screen transform.
- Added: New exposure controls for capturing flat fields. The exposure values in the flat field UI are now entered using a text based notation in a similar way that exposures are entered in the main exposure control area. For example, typing 30ms sets a 30 millisecond exposure, typing 40s sets a 40 second exposure and typing 1ms30 sets an exposure of 1 minute and 30 seconds. This allows arbitrary exposure lengths to be set whereas previously, the maximum exposure was 1 second.
- Improved: The time-lapse mode has been significantly improved. Previously, the time-lapse mode allowed one exposure to be saved for a given time interval. The new functionality allows for an arbitrary number of frames to be saved for a given time interval. The timer can be either stopped or left running while data are being saved. Leaving the timer running means that data can be aligned to precise time points. The software calculates the estimated amount of time required to save the data and if that time is greater than the interval timer, then a warning is given to the user.
- Improved: Significant improvements have been made to how AstroDMx handles time zones and daylight saving. Time zones and daylight saving are now calculated automatically. This new functionality applies to setting the time on mount hand controllers and for the object database, for example, rise, set and transit times specific to a given geographical location.
- Improved: The geographical location UI now has North, South, East and West parameters. This frees the user from having to enter negative latitude (for south of the equator) or negative longitude values (for west of the prime meridian).
- The Raspberry Pi builds of AstroDMx Capture have been rebranded to ARM to reflect the fact that a significant number of users are now using generic ARM CPUs. ARM32 is used for armhf 32 bit builds and AMR64 is used for aarch64 builds.
- Fixed: Significant bugs associated with time zones other than UTC and other daylight saving bugs (see point 4 above).
- Fixed: Ubuntu 22.x libstdc++ bugs for AMR64 builds of AstroDMx Capture.
- Updated: ‘fxload’ for QHY cameras on Linux x86-64 and ARM
- Updated: QHY SDK on all platforms other than macOS. For macOS please see known issues.
- Updated: PlayerOne SDK on all platforms.
- Updated: Atik SDK on all platforms.
- Other bug fixes and improvements
- Added support for the new SVBONY SV605MC monochrome, cooled, CMOS camera.
- The main UI is split into four sections. The left hand side shows the INDI controls, the middle is for the preview screen, the right is for the main camera controls and the bottom shows log information.
- Each of the control areas can be minimised or maximised easily by the large vertical or horizontal buttons. Each of the control groups can be either maximised or minimised.
- Each of the control areas can be arbitrarily resized by grabbing the “handles”.
- INDI devices added are, Mounts, Cameras, Focusers and Filter wheels. Each device can use either the same INDI server or a different server simply by specifying the IP address at connection. INDI servers can be run locally (if using Linux or macOS) or on a remote computer.
- There is an INDI Control Panel which shows a UI to control every property supported by the specific INDI driver. Most of the important features are implemented in separate and more convenient UIs throughout the application so this functionality is purely intended as a fallback if a specific control has not been implemented elsewhere within AstroDMx Capture.
- Functionality to manually or automatically set the mount’s date and time. This takes the users local time into account as well as correctly handling daylight saving.
- Functionality to set the mount’s geographic location. This UI has the ability to specify multiple geographic locations and update the mount with the intended location profile.
- Functionality to maintain a telescope equipment database. This is primarily intended as a helper for calculating the field of view during astrometric plate solving. This information is output to the capture log.
- Functionality to show which object is currently being observed and its associated transit/set times. If the object has not yet transited the meridian then the transit time is displayed, if post-meridian, then the object’s set time is displayed.
- Mount GOTO can be performed by manually specifying the RA/DEC values in J2000 or from a built-in object database (more on this below) or from a supplied image (if using astrometry).
- Mount GOTOs have sun protection which warns the user if the slew will take the telescope within 20 degrees of the sun. This functionality is intended as a warning and so the user should not disregard the usual cautions required when imaging with the sun above the horizon.
- Functionality to perform a meridian flip after an object has transited the meridian.
- Functionality to control the mount’s tracking rates.
- Functionality to show whether the scope is east or west of the meridian.
- Functionality to park the mount.
- Functionality to sync the mount after either manually positioning or via astrometry.
- INDI cameras have been mostly implemented but with the exception of DSLR and UVC cameras. The most important camera controls, such as exposure and cooling control, show on the right hand side of the application whereas other controls specific to the camera being used will show on the left hand side. Raw streams are currently implemented, camera streaming is not implemented. If the user requires faster frames rates then it is advisable to use the native implementation if one exists for the camera being used.
- The INDI focuser implementation has a UI which shows the maximum focuser step, current position and the temperature.
- The focuser functionality has the ability to store focus positions allowing the user to easily return to a previous focus point.
- There is functionality to allow the user to specify focuser limits. That is, the minimum position and the maximum. This adds protection to stop the focuser moving outside of defined boundaries.
- Focuser backlash is handled.
- INDI filter wheels are implemented and allow the free text naming of filter positions.
- Astrometric plate solving has been implemented. Currently, this uses ASTAP but other solvers are in development. Parameters such as the dimensions of the current stream (width and height) and pixel sizes are automatically populated based on the camera being used. The field of view can be entered manually or populated from a user supplied equipment database..
- Plate solving can be done directly from the camera or from a supplied image. After successfully solving an image, the mount can be sent to the new, corrected coordinates.
- The plate solver can accept target coordinates from the current position of the mount, from the internal object database, from a user supplied RA/DEC in J2000 or from a previously saved image.
- AstroDMx Capture ships with an extensive object database. This database includes Messier objects, NGC, SH and others. It also includes an extensive database of HD and HiP stars.
- The object database can be searched on catalogue name, the object’s common name or via wildcards. For example, M* will show all the Messier objects. Note that searching a large catalogue with wildcards such as the NGC catalogue can take a few seconds to complete.
- The object database can be configured to show only objects that are currently visible at the observer’s location or show all objects. Additional information about the object is shown, such as, rise, set, transit times and the constellation where the object is located.
- The object database also includes solar system objects. Lunar information is still under development.
- There are two new 16-bit transforms intended to help display dim deep sky objects on the preview screen. The first one is an automatic histogram equalisation and the other is a ASinH stretch function. The ASinH stretch function has two controls, 1) a stretch function and 2) black point control. These controls should be used together to optimise the preview screen display. Both of these controls have a fine control option.
- Implementation of an experimental dark mode on the Windows build. This is enabled automatically if the user’s Windows is set to dark mode or it can be enabled manually.
- Image flipping functionality has been moved from the top of the UI and placed under the “Controls: Camera” group.
- Snapshot control has been moved from the top of the UI and placed under the “Controls: Camera” group.
- The long exposure progress indicator has been moved from the “Controls: Exposure” group and placed at the top of the main UI.
- Improvements to the capture log file. If supplied, the capture log file will include the telescope (and its properties) that was used during the capture session, the object name and its RA/DEC as well as the user’s geographic location. If geographical location information is provided then the log file will show information about the state of the lunation during the imaging session.
- Trigger mode has been implemented for all SVBONY cameras other than the SV105 and SV205.
- Auto white balance is now on by default for SVBONY cameras.
- Improvements to the macOS dark mode.
- Improvements to spacing on many controls.
- Lots of code refactoring to facilitate the implementation of the new functionality.
- wxWidgets version updated.
- Libtiff version updated.
- CFitsIO version updated.
- Libboost updated.
- QHY SDK updated.
- ZWO SDK updated.
- Atik SDK updated.
- PlayerOne SDK updated.
- SVBONY SDK updated.
- DSLR bug fixes. Specifically, DSLR timeouts during long capture sessions.
- The use of the mouse wheel no longer accidentally changes controls.
- In previous versions, if the user was to type a gain value rather than using the slider, then the user would have to wait for two exposures to complete to see the change. This has been fixed in this version.
- macOS startup sizing problems have been fixed.
- Other bug fixes and improvements.
Older versions of the Changelog can be found here.