TheSky X Build History

July 24, 2019 – TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 12304

  • Fixed an issue introduced in the prior build that caused @Focus3 and Live Stacking to crash.
  • Added tool tips to new histogram controls.

July 12, 2019 – TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 12289

  • Updated Messier overlays (case sensitive).
  • Updated mount list (iOptron V 2.0 clarification).
  • Latest FOVI databases.
  • Bug fix: When manually entering your location, the maximum value for longitude is limited to 180 degrees and 90 degrees for latitude.
  • Fixed a bug where all FITSViewer windows (Take Photo, DSS, Tools, Open FITS) could hang caused by a local printer driver problem.
  • LTI
    • Always unpark 3rd party mounts on connect.
    • LTI bug fix. At the end of a series, if the checkbox for terminate is on, no longer asks if you are sure you want to terminate during a series (because, the series is done of course).
    • Park at end of series refactored. Now park and disconnect. This works around the fact that there is no unpark command in LTI, and if users park, don’t quit, and then want to continue, they previously would have to restart LTI. Now, they just reconnect and go (since reconnect checks for park and unparks now).
    • Errors are not presented as sheets on macOS. Causes hang if another dialog is on top of LTI dialog.
    • Right click context menu fixes for LTI, particular click and slew, or click and find.
    • Rough Polar Alignment improvement. The previous query for alignment stars was so slow on the Raspberry Pi, as to be virtually unusable. A smaller database of bright stars is now queried for suitability, and the process is much faster and more usable.
    • Wait for park to complete before disconnecting and terminating.
    • Fixed an issue with slewing to coordinates when using a .fits file as a search object.
    • If set to shutdown and park at the end of a series… DON’T if the user aborts manually.
    • Fixed a rare, but possible focus problem in LTI series where subframe would be empty.
    • LiveStack fits files are now FITS conformant.
  • FITSViewer is now compatible with color photos!
  • There is a new auto-contrast method!
  • Corrected the number of pixels in four SBIG detectors. 
  • Clarified the message that appears when the home index offset calibration is successful.
  • Corrected the wording on the ‘Minimum Angle From Slit Edge’ dome option.
  • Acquired photo now have three new keywords from the FITS 4.0 specification.
  • OBSGEO-B (Observation latitude in degrees, North positive), OBSGEO-L (Observation longitude in degrees, East positive, and OBSGEO-H (elevation in meters).  Existing fits keywords for these values (and their formats) untouched for historical compatibility.

April 26, 2019 – TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 12165

  • Distribute the latest QHY X2 Camera Plug In.
  • Paramount, fixed a bug where pressing “Calibrate Joystick” button without a connection would produce a low level serial port error, now the error is “No connection”. 
  • Paramount graphical flip HA at zero now matches Meridian graphic. Flip HA handle now drawn more closely to the Flip HA line.
  • Fixed a bug with the iOptron setting the sidereal tracking rate.
  • Bug fix: Eclipses are no longer missed when the Solar and Lunar Eclipse window first appears.
  • LiveStack Improvements
    • All settings are retained and restored when the LiveStack dialog is dismissed and brought up again, including calibration frame status. Red/Green indicator on calibration tab is an alert as to whether calibration frames have been selected. Current selected fits/in-memory state is now displayed on the calibration tab.
    • Live stacking has a full screen mode now. No GUI or anything, once you get it going, you can switch to a full screen uncluttered view while it stacks. LTI and SkyX Pro both. Mouse controls work, but cursor is hidden. Press ESC to return to normal mode.
    • Bad frame rejection, better rotation aware.
  • LTI
    •  Flat name when generated now put in correct label (was showing up as dark).
    •  No longer crashes if calibration frames are accidentally set to files that are different sizes.
    •  Find and slew now has option to set target as the file prefix automatically.
    •  Fixed memory leak in calibration wizard.
    •  Suggested file name setup for saving master flats and darks.
    •  Fixed crashing bug when @focus3 was selected for autoguider, but no focuser had been selected for the autoguider. Now presents “No Device Selected”.
    • Optimized query for rough polar alignment targets.
    •  Fixed memory leak in flat wizard.
    •  LTI/Workbench now can display better as a window in TheSkyX Pro.
    •  Hide Park commands if connected telescope does not have the park interface.
    • Make meridian flip to only occur ONCE for take series target. 
    • Now brings up a prompt if a take series is running and continues or terminates gracefully.
    • Error messages are prevented from showing up under the LTI window.
  • @Focus3
    • Fixed @Focus3 to not incorrectly think it found focus under very low signal conditions.
    •  Added additional decimal place to focus exposure logs for very short exposures.
    • @focus3 can now do autodarks. Since @focus3 can modify the exposure time unpredictably, this only works with cameras that have a shutter, and “Full Calibration” is not an option unless scale exposure times is used.

December 07, 2018 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 12034

  • Make sure sun is above the horizon before issuing a “mount near sun” warning.  If this a problem, the work around before this build is to disable “mount near sun warning” under Preferences.
  • Performance optimizations and bug fixes for live stacking.
  • Added the Optec Gen3 Rotator X2 Plug In to support Optec’s new model rotator.
  • Allow configuration of the largest TCP request that can be sent to TheSky (which is typically a script over a socket), under Preferences “TCP request maximum size”.
  • Improved hot pixel removal for color live stacking.

November 09, 2018 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11996

  • Fixed a bug where @Focus3 didn’t work in take series, introduced in the prior build.  Improvements on @Focus3.
  • Fixed a bug that Live Stacking caused a crash.  Live Stacking master darks work again.

November 02, 2018 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11981

  • Fixed a bug with very limited exposure.  Introduced in prior build 11576, only with on axis encoder mounts, “Save all parameters to mount” would fail with 21013, ERR_MKS_COMM_BADVALCODE when using stable, popular firmware 5.32.8.
  • Allow setting take series repeat to zero again. Originally allowed in build 8896 (May 21, 2015), inadvertently taken away in build 11584 (June 2018).
  • New Advanced Preferences feature “Apply camera delay to dark and bias frames”; off by default.
  • Bug fix – Right click photo, Center Cursor Position via Relays now works with SBIG external CCD.
  • Fixed a bug where “Imaging system toolbar only shows selected hardware (less clutter)”=true might not have done its job if settings were from a very old build.
  • Fix rare crash when connecting a video camera.
  • Bug fix – Shorten the camera name when using SBIG with AO so the camera tab can be narrower.
  • New Advanced Preferences feature “Enable mount near sun warning.” and “Mount near Sun radius (degrees).”  On by default.
  • Corrected repeated phrase in text used by the Accurate Polar Alignment Wizard.
  • Corrected the buttons offered on the PEC import error message box.
  • Correction: The Add/Edit Comet orbital element input window now refers to Time of Perihelion (T) instead of Element Epoch.
  • Expanded the Reverse X tool tip explanation.
  • ATIK X2 Plug In:  No longer distribute v1.0 of the camera driver. Distribute v2.0 of the camera driver.
  • The maximum size of a detector (in pixels) has been increased to accommodate larger sensors (> 10K).
  • Bug fix: Coordinates entered by specifying “B1950.0” or “J2000.0” for the Equinox on the Navigate window are now precessed correctly. Work-around for older builds is to type the value without a letter prefix.
  • Added Live Stacking feature that is accessed by a new Live Stack button on the Camera window’s Take Photo tab.
  • LTI
    • Fixed @focus3 control panel crash caused by switching to a camera with fewer bin modes than a previously selected camera.
    • Bug fix: @focus3 control center allows manual focus movements for autoguider focuser. Also updated @focus3 state machine to use proper access to focuser pointer in case it is different from main imaging system pointer.
    • Prevent autofocus run from being launched manually while an image is being taken/previewed.
    • Substantial improvements to color auto-stretch & color tweaking controls throughout LTI and live stacking.
    • Take series (LTI only) less CPU intensive.
    • LTI allows turn on red screen (Mac, Win only, not Linux/PI).
    • Many @Focus3 improvements

June 12, 2018 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11587

  • Update scripting object to match documentation.

June 08, 2018 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11576

  • Fixed a bug where the Automated Image Link Settings “Exposure time” and “Binning” were forced to “4.0” and “2×2” on exit where as in prior builds they were correctly preserved.
  • Fixed a bug where the status text for the camera and autoguider wasn’t colored w/r/t connection state like all other hardware windows (i.e. green when connected, and red when not connected).
  • Bug fix: When the Sky Chart is being dragged by clicking and holding the left mouse button, simultaneously clicking the right mouse button no longer shows the context-sensitive pop-up menu.
  • Fixed two crashing bugs in LTI.
  • Many other LTI enhancements.

April 06, 2018 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11485

  • Updated FOVI databases.
  • Improved the common non-stellar object labels.
  • Fixed a bug where some searches for HD (Henry Draper) stars failed because they were not in Hip catalog.
  • Fixed a bug where the software limits were not updated (work around in prior version, click the OTA east west radio button).
  • Fixed a bug where some searches for HD (Henry Draper) stars failed because they were not in Hip catalog.
  • Telescope jogs now maintain custom tracking rates.
  • Small jogs don’t clear the current object name.
  • Fix a bug where the alt az reported by sky6RASComTele.GetAzAlt() was wrong.
  • Fixed a bug where the total RMS error displayed on the Autoguider Graphs window (right most graph only) was computed incorrectly and arbitrarily high (a display only issue).
  • Bug fix: Running a (complex) database query could cause TheSky to crash.
  • Improved and expanded the database of common non-stellar object names.
  • Updated FOVI databases.
  • LTI
    • Update documentation.
    • Scripted @focus3 no longer limits samples to 3, but is same as regular.
    • Scripted @focus3 fixes w/regard to subframes.
    • General fixes w/regard to subframes from @focus3 command center and LTI.
    • Find sharpest region in FloatImage more robust. Autoadjusts correctly now for small or non-pow2 subframes.
    • Fixed crashing bug on shutdown when “video mode” was on.
    • Fixed image display screen job controls using chart screens jog values.

January 29, 2018 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11360

  • Take 2 – Hopefully a fix to the ‘Windows 10 V1709 Update’ that prevented external programs from being able to use TheSky’s scriptable, COM objects.
    • Windows 10 Users…
      • Reboot.
      • Install build 11360 or later.
      • Run TheSkyX as an administrator at least once (right click TheSkyX icon, choose “Run As Administrator”).

January 26, 2018 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11355

  • Hopefully a fix to the ‘Windows 10 V1709 Update’ that prevented external programs from being able to use TheSky’s scriptable, COM objects.
  • Try out the new @Focus3!  See the new button under Camera tab, Focus Tools tab. Quick start documentation here!
  • Dozens of improvements/enhancements to LTI interface.
  • Fixed a bug in scripting where a script in a tight loop doing a Find() and checking an object azimuth/altitude didn’t change even when calling UpdateSolarSystem() in that same loop.
  • Corrected behavior when clicking between two “Find results” objects so that the angular separation is computed between those two objects, always.
  • Corrected spelling of Piazzi’s Flying Star in Star Labels Sky Database.
  • Removed unused “Optimize Telescope Position” option from Dome Preferences.
  • Updated Dome Preferences tool tips.
  • Updated Neptune and Uranus planet textures to correct their colors.
  • Fixed a bug where [sync back into existing model] didn’t work when a paramount was pointing on the east side of the meridian. 
  • Allow a configurable number of decimal places on the camera exposure time under Edit, Preferences, Advanced, Camera.
  • The APA cancel message is now correctly formatted in HTML.
  • All MPC URLs now use the “https” protocol.
  • TheSky now more accurately computes stellar position for archeoastronomy.
  • Fixed a bug where the camera tab came up with the wrong tab by default.

November 03, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11177

  • Camera add on – For photos acquired by TheSky, the FITS header now contains the focuser temperature along with the focuser temperature source.
  • Numerous enhancements and fixes for LTI, especially w/r/t @Focus3.
  • Bug fix: Allow 90.00 degrees as a valid custom-horizon altitude when reading a saved .HRZ file.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in build 10554 where TheSky didn’t obey beyondThePole() returned by third party GEM mounts.  The result was pointing with TPoint was only good on one side of the meridian. TPoint models for third party GEM mounts created with builds 10554 and less than this build need to be discarded and redone.
  • Press and hold down the CTRL+SHIFT keys when TheSkyX is launched to turn off Hardware Acceleration.
  • Added APA and RPA icons.
  • Updated APA wizard text to clarify that APA -OR- the TPoint Polar Alignment Report be used (not both) and other minor changes.
  • An error message is displayed when importing “bad” pointing data.
  • The URL for downloading comets and minor planets ‘By Name’ now uses https.
  • Added an option for ascom telescopes to allow TheSky to handle slewing to a park position along with maintaining that position.  By default these mounts slew themselves to a park position and maintain that position.
    • Exit TheSky, edit ImagingSystem.ini, find the entry below and set it to zero.
       X2ASCOMTELE
       DriverSlewsToParkPosition=0

September 01, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11086

  • Bug Fix: Cameras without coolers (DSLR’s mostly) don’t get hung up on connect. Temperature controls are hidden.
  • For fusion (dark) theme, fixed css syntax errors that prevented a number of custom tweaks.
  • The time portion of the LOCALTIM FITS header key now displays to the nearest millisecond and not dependent on system locale.
  • The resolution of the DATE-OBS FITS header key is no longer dependent on the star chart frame rate.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior build where connecting to a Paramount would cause the rotator to move to position angle zero.
  • Updated FOVI databases.
  • Fixed a new line issue in Locations.txt.
  • Minor changes related to measuring the motor index angles (default values, text messages).
  • Installer always updates Workbench scripts now.
  • The rectangle that highlights text (in menus, text boxes, etc.) is more subdued, and the text in the rectangle is brighter to improve visibility.

August 04, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 11012

  • When acquiring SBIG photos, the FITS header now contains the SBIG Egain value.
  • Chart status can be docked on bottom and top of the main window.
  • LTI enhancements:
    • Changed inspection cursor readout to be next to cursor. Text moves around if you get too close to and edge.
    • Miscellaneous spelling and spacing issues in GUI
    • Fixed inability to select a target on take series tab.
    • Better /fs (full screen) behavior on macOS
    • Cross hairs can now be displayed on images.
    • Zoombox contains scale legend 1:1, 2:1, etc.
    • Zoombox contains a thumbnail of the entire image to make it clear what it’s purpose is.
    • Fixed error where some wizards would fire twice.
    • New Wizard to set parking position.
    • Option to shutdown and park at the end of take series.
    • Wizard prompts on macOS now use “sheets”. Windows prompts have caption set.
    • Added icons to toolbox.
    • Changed Toolbox and tab styles so it’s easier to see which one is selected.
    • Put set location in both startup wizard and utilities. User warned that location cannot be changed when connected to a mount.
    • Re-arranged utilities and wizards. One time nightly, and one time initialization separated out.
    • Removed Advanced Preferences from utilities. Java Script is next… don’t count on it in the next update.
    • Don’t show FWHM if N/A or over 10 pixels on focus (probably not a star field).
    • Greyed out disabled Toolbox steps.
    • @Focus3 creates subfolders exactly like @focus2 does. Both the focus images and a log file are provided.
    • Toolboxes are frozen during take series.
    • Added Training mode to Utilities, uses DSS data for camera simulator.
    • On take series, if the target is anything other than “Current”, it appends a :t_ to the light frame, prepending the target name to the beginning of the file name.
    • Removed advanced file naming options, and the following schema is now always enforced:
      • – Always autosave
      • – Always use date based subfolders
        • – _:f_:b_:e_:c_
        • BIAS_:b_:e_:c_
        • DARK_:b_:e_:c_
        • FLAT_:f_:b_:e_:c_
      • WARNING: If you run LTI, it will also replace your current settings with these values.
    • LTI Closed Loop Slews (Verify Photographically) now have their own folder for output files.
    • Accuracy of CLS improved (LTI version only – Pro was fine already, just did not provide GUI feedback)
    • All other tabs are disabled during autofocus.
    • Completion of the focuser characterization wizard now takes you to focusing toolbox instead of useless popup message.
    • Source Extractor is used to determine FWHM only on focus confirmation image, or manual focus images. FWHM is not used for @focus3, but users want so see the resulting value (gives you an idea of the seeing conditions).
    • Focuser movements can now be aborted by clicking on the button displaying the focus motion.
    • Focus position display is now a button. Clicking the button turns it into an edit control (when the focus is not moving) where you can manually type in a specific focuser position. Clicking anywhere but “Go” aborts the edit. Clicking “Go” moves the focuser to the location typed in, and returns the GUI to normal.
    • @Focus3 now has a graphical overlay that is updated during the focus run, and will display the final focus curve and best focus position.
      Take Series was not properly using extended camera mode, this was fixed.
    • Focuser backlash is now just always applied, there is no checkbox to confuse people. It does no harm if not needed.
    • Hardware tab has been modified significantly. You can now click the device name to bring up the dialog for device specific settings.
    • Filter names and offsets has been moved to the setup toolbox.
    • Persistent focuser characterization settings have been moved, and will need to be reset with this build. They should not move again after this update.
    • There is a new collimation tool under utilities that runs full screen. This is preliminary release, please try it and let us know what you think or need for collimation needs. The collimation tool does not save any photos/FITS files, except if you launch @focus3 from this tool. There are three different ways to display your images, and you can save and restore focuser positions. If you want to adjust the screen stretch do that in inspection mode before going to crosshairs/circle or the four corners mode.

June 20, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10857

  • Take 2 – Fixed a bug introduced in build 10815 where Accurate Polar Alignment did not work (i.e. ME and MA were not adjusted after pressing APA “Finish”).

June 20, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10853

  • Fixed a bug introduced in build 10815 where Accurate Polar Alignment did not work (i.e. ME and MA were not adjusted after pressing APA “Finish”).
  • For a clearer convention, the Daily Build Installer names the backup folder based on the build number of TheSkyX being backed up, rather than using the “Pre <this build number> Backup” naming convention that was previously used.
  • Fixed a bug in the FITS Viewer window that occasionally prevented the crosshairs from appearing when the ‘Crosshairs’ checkbox is turned on.
  • For cameras the support the LoggerInterface, there is now a “Show Log” button on the camera tab.

June 15, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10837

  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior daily build that prevented downloading comets and asteroids by name.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior daily build that prevented enabling on axis absolute encoders on Paramounts equipped with such (error was 20200).

June 08, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10815

  • Improved support for on axis absolute encoder mounts.
  • Added current Paramount models to the built-in focuser list.
  • Guarantee @Focus2 moves the focuser in one direction and one direction only for final moves, creating a natural anti-backlash measure.
  • Fixed a bug where changing the time skip increment through a script didn’t actually apply on subsequent scripted time skip operations.
  • Fixed a bug beginning after build 9334 where the time skip tool bar “Use computer’s clock” button wouldn’t stay down when pressed.
  • Fixed a bug where methods RADecToXY() and XYToRADec() were not accessible from high level scripting languages.
  • The ccdsoftImage object now offers the X,Y pixel coordinates relative to image where the user last pressed the left mouse button and or where the user last double clicked the left mouse button.
  • Fixed a bug where the FITS header did not have the most up-to-date focus position only after the first filter wheel change and filter, focus offsets were set.  This was a book keeping error as the focuser actually moved.
  • Fixed a bug where an SBIG autoguider, configured to use the “External CCD”, of an SBIG STXL camera, incorrectly recorded the pixel sizes in the FITS header as the size of the imager pixel sizes.
  • Importing minor planets is now more flexible.
  • Minor change to Non-Stellar Object Options windows descriptions, and added tool tips that describe each control.
  • When the script text box has the focus, pressing the F5 will “Run” the script.
  • Tweaks to @Focus2 Settings window.
  • Bug fix: Vixen firmware version may have shown incorrect characters.
  • Bug fix: On Windows, Sky Chart lines now honor the color
  • Preference: Do not automatically turn off constellation lines and other chart elements when turning on the Show Daylight option.
  • TPoint scatter diagram center circle on orthographic graphs now matches dark theme.
  • Bug fix: Connecting to and controlling a Vixen Star Book on the Mac no longer crashes. 
  • Fixed a Windows-specific Night Vision Mode bug that prevented the histogram from displaying correctly.
  • Minor improvements to Night Vision Mode theme.
  • Under Edit, Preferences, there is a new option “Imaging system toolbar only shows selected hardware”.  This causes the imaging system toolbar to only show buttons associated with hardware which has a selection, and buttons associated with hardware that has no selection are not displayed.  This is cleaner and improves navigation while observing, especially late at night. It also can free up some screen real estate when running on smaller monitors.
  • Improved the orientation of a several photos in the Messier and Deep Sky photo overlays.
  • While scrolling a window with the mouse wheel, input controls that happen to come under the mouse cursor no longer “steal” the input focus (and expectantly begin to have their value changed in response to the mouse wheel).
  • The QSI X2 Camera and Filter Wheel Plug In is now distributed on Windows.
  • Change: the “Direct Markers” label is renamed to “Horizon Cardinal Labels (N,E,S,W)”.
  • Bug fix: When turning in Night Vision Mode, the width of columns in tree lists is maintained (Windows only).
  • Improved the description of the recalibration requirements after completing an Accurate Polar Alignment.
  • Updated MKS 5000 USB driver so that the Software Bisque MKS 5000 COM port description always appears on Windows 10’s Hardware Manager.
  • Attempted to improve consistency of the control’s layout between normal and Night Vision Mode themes (Windows only).
  • Expanded list of common names.
  • Canon camera plug in now uses the latest Canon SDK.

February 24, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10554

  • Fixed a bug introduced in build 10351 causing some windows to not have a minimize and or maximize button.
  • Bug fix: NiteCrawler rotator X2 Plug In now saved to correct folder (was Focuser, now Rotator).
  • Updated Asterism names.
  • Asterism names are again searchable.
  • When acquiring photos from SBIG cameras, the INSTRUME keyword is now set to the specific camera model.  Prior to this build, it held the name of the camera selected in TheSky.
  • Photos acquired with TheSky include FITS key for latitude, longitude, and local sidereal time with or without a mount connection (in prior builds these keys were only added when connected to a mount).
  • Fixed a bug when configuring the Paramount WiSky.  Prior to this build, when the “Network type” was changed, the Apply button had to be pressed twice.
  • Fixed a bug in a recent prior build where slewing a fork Paramount with a TPoint model was off.  A work around in that build is to set the fork flip hour angle to -8 (default is 8).
  • Fixed bug where database queries selecting a specific constellation did not work.
  • The satellite tracking window again has tracking offset controls (incorrectly removed since build 10167).

February 9, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10516

  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior build where the park position for a Paramount would change over time.  Please note, this build will ignore any existing park position thus requires setting a desired park position again.

February 2, 2017 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10486

  • Gemini mounts can now be slewed to the home position by clicking the Slew To Home Position button on the Miscellaneous tab of the Gemini window. 
  • Improved Paramount park abilities.  Can now consistency park on the meridian due south/due north with counterweight shaft exactly horizontal, or with the counterweights above horizontal or very near the pole, all with either GEM posture, beyond-the-pole or not.  In prior builds, Park had to be away from the meridian, not beyond the meridian in the flip region, and away from the pole. Warning any existing park position is cleared and this build requires setting a new park position.
  • TheSkyX’s queries ascom CanSetRightAscensionRate and CanSetDeclinationRate properties (was querying CanSetTrackRates) to determine if a mount can set tracking rates.
  • Added missing word “to” to the Find Home command.
  • After issuing the Slew To command (:MS#) to the Gemini controller, wait 1.5 seconds for a response.
  • Fixed crashing bug for large DSLR images with odd numbers of columns.
  • Image Link Open Photo will now instantly overlay the photo on the star chart provided the photo has already been Image Linked with this build or later.
  • Image link report now includes “Mirror Image: No” or “Mirror Image: Yes”.
  • Implemented less restrictive iOptron mount version checking so that pre-version 2 firmware versions can be controlled.
  • Show the Sky Chart’s RA/Dec and field width on the DSS window with the window is first displayed.
  • Updated DSS window tool tips.
  • Added 2000.0 to the RA/Dec on the DSS photo’s coordinates.
  • Fixed a bug where Image Link run from a script would sometimes leave the photo overlaid on the star chart. 
  • The maximum size of DSS photos downloaded from the web is 120 arc minutes (was 60 arc minutes).
  • The angular size of the major axis of an Area of Interest My Chart Element is now correct (was 1/2 major axis).
  • Serial ports now properly enumerated on Linux (including Pi).
  • Removed non-HTML compatible characters.
  • Fix for Prolific USB selection not being persistent on Linux/Pi.
  • TheSkyX’s status text can be customized (colors, font, font size, etc.) with an external style sheet.  Three separate style sheets are available: Night Vision, Dark and Light Themes.
  • Changed references to Java Script to JavaScript.
  • Bug fix: The Import button on the Large Asteroid Database is no longer disabled when an optimized version of the imported database is present.  DNP: Bug report: clicking the Import button twice hides the asteroids on the Sky Chart, which the above change attempted, failingly, to correct.
  • Bug fix: Prevent the width of the first column on the Acquire Pointing Samples table from getting too small when turning in Night Vision Mode, then switching between tabs.
  • Fixed a bug where hand editing TPoint model terms on/off and the state of the checkbox was also being applied to the pointing data list.
  • Fixed a bug where attempting to center a star on a FITS photo acquired by a *standalone autoguider* by right clicking and choosing “Center cursor position” would incorrectly give error 565 “Autoguider calibration is required.  The Declination at calibration is unknown, but declination is now known.” even though the autoguider was indeed calibrated.
  • Fixed a bug in TheSky that would sometimes incorrectly reject a pointing sample (on the rare occasion when the sample was exactly on a degree or hour and had zero minutes and zero seconds).
  • Added NightCrawler and OS focuser and rotator X2 Plug Ins.
  • Fixed a bug where Take Series Dithering would not move in declination when the autoguider was been configured to not reverse directions in declination.  IOW, dithering moves happen in all directions regardless of the user’s configured “Relay enabled” settings.
  • The legacy MKS3000 can again be used with TheSkyX. TheSkyX builds 10229 through 10305 could not be used with the legacy MKS3000; the symptoms in builds 10229 to 10305 “Restore Defaults” failed and starting a new TPoint model would corrupt most MKS parameters.  The work around before this build is to use build 9334 or earlier.
  • Turn off accurate shutter timing if specialized hardware is not present.
  • Updated ICRSData text file
  • Fixed bug where Hip extended labels required computing proper motion.

TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10305 (November 17, 2016)

  • Camera temperature included in customized AutoSave filename is now formatted with 2 decimal places (was 4).
  • The Autoguider Graphs window grid now draws the x zero and y zero axes with a black line.
  • Slew prior stores the prior telescope coords in addition to the prior target name – works even in the case slew to M1, tweak city, slew off to focus, now Slew Prior back to M1 – the FK_OBJECTN is “M1” (i.e. correct target name) and all the mount tweaks are included (just what the user expects).  The prior commit, did a click find on prior tele coords, but that didn’t always “find” the correct prior target name, especially if there were small tweaks after slew.
  • Warn if a TPoint recal is attempted w/o having first performed Super Model.
  • Mac only. Zooming with trackpad is improved on both sky chart and fits viewer.
  • Removed unrelated and unnecessary controls from the “Atmosphere Refraction Parameters” window causing confusion.
  • When the Dark Theme is enabled, the radio button, checkbox, and tool button controls’ disabled state is now more discernible.
  • Proper motion vectors are now red, not black.
  • Bug fix: MPC large database asteroids can be successfully imported.
  • Increased the maximum semi-major axis for an asteroid to 5000 AU.
  • Added tooltip text to Imaging System Windows.
  • Corrected spelling errors in Accurate Polar Alignment procedure and elsewhere.
  • Fixed a bug in the Autoguider graphs where the most recent mount correction was not graphed until the next cycle.
  • Only show the Accurate Shutter Time checkbox when appropriate.
  • Fixed a bug on Windows where TheSky’s dark theme was partially “undone”.  Two common causes include making a remote desktop connection onto a computer where TheSky is already running or when a computer awakes from being in sleep mode with TheSky running.
  • Fixed a bug where Automated Pointing Run would encountering an persistent error doing a target and would not allow an abort.
  • Autoguide speed (pix/sec) now shown to 3 decimals (was 2).  Primarily matters when hand editing calibration results.
  • The Flip Mount Now button now appears on the Telescope Tab when connected to a Paramount. 
  • When tracking satellites, now that the satellite name makes it all the way to the FITS FK_OBJECT like “IRIDIUM 8 [+] #24792U”, if someone also as object name as as part of the camera autosave file name, CFitsIO has optional file name parameters to do things indicated by [] in the file name – so we take these out of the autosave filename.

TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10229 (September 23, 2016)

  • Fixed a bug where the white text on the PEC graph of the PEC tab of the Bisque TCS window was difficult to read.  The text is now black.
  • Fixed a bug where camera drivers using AddFITSKeyInterface were not able to add double values (int and string were ok).
  • Fixed: Telescope Move/Jog buttons are now the same size.
  • Fixed: Navigate buttons are sized correctly.
  • Added one more significant figure to RA in Find reports.
  • Fixed a bug when printing a FITS file would crash using Tools, Open Fits and subsequently Photo, Print.
  • Fix: Control text on the Image Calibration Library is no longer clipped on the Mac.
  • Added a “Flip Mount Now” button to the telescope tab.  When pointing in the flip region, pressing this button will cause the mount to slew to the same target but flip the OTA to the other side of the meridian.
  • Fixed a bug when running @Focus2 on the Autoguider the Focus Graphs Window incorrectly displayed the Focus V-Curve data (using a constant focus position).  This was a display bug only, @Focus ran normally.
  • Updated the default URL that is used to retrieve asteroids and comets by name (data source changed).
  • Fixed a bug where the Filter Names Setup window didn’t label the columns correctly.  The work around in prior builds is to know the columns are “Filter Number” “Filter Name” “Focus Offset”.
  • The maximum value of an asteroid’s semi-major axis has been increased to accommodate the newly discovered asteroid 2014 EF72.
  • An error message is displayed when semi-major axis and other orbital parameters are out of range as received from the data source (The Minor Planet Center’s By Name service presently erroneously returns the text: ******** (8 asterisks) for 2014 EF72’s semi-major axis.)
  • Distribute the latest ZWO camera and filter wheel X2 Plug Ins.
  • Fix for when a Retina Mac has a 2nd display, and the earth view windows are dragged from the main retina display to the non-retina display.
  • Fixed a bug where the “Reboot WiSky” button did nothing.
  • When downloading a DSS photo and if the download happens to time out, ERR_DSSRXTIMEOUT is now returned.
  • For Paramounts, implement ‘Sync mount into existing model’ as an single, instant operation.  In the two prior builds, 10031 and 10133, ‘Sync mount into existing model’ was (temporarily) implemented as a TPoint recal which caused some confusion – when using these builds to ‘Sync mount into existing model’, upon Sync, press OK to the ‘Start Calibration Run’, and after the pointing sample is added, the cross hairs will jump to the sync star and the ‘Sync mount into existing model’ operation is complete.

July 29, 2016 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10133

  • Fixed a crash in Moon Viewer and when drawing the earth in the Location window.
  • Fixed a bug where the Autoguider and or Camera window was floating and then the icon size or style under Edit Preferences was edited causing all the controls in the window to go to their minimum size.  The work around in the prior build is to re-dock and undock the window after editing the icon size or style.
  • Corrected misspelled asterism name.
  • Conjunction Finder window is easier to read in the Dark Theme.
  • Latest asterisms (from TMB)
  • Night vision change to red is significantly faster.
  • Fixed a bug where the observing list window incorrectly shrunk the list.
  • Primarily benefitting large format cameras that use a lot of memory, running on Windows 64 bit operating systems, TheSky now has significantly more memory (TheSky on Mac/Linux already had this “extra memory”).
  • Fixed a bug where error windows were sometimes incorrectly hidden under other windows.
  • Fixed a bug where “Restoring Defaults” on an on-axis absolute encoder mount would not subsequently slew correctly.  The work around in prior builds is to disconnect and reconnect the mount after restoring defaults.
  • Fixed a bug where turning on/off a TPoint model term didn’t apply.
  • Fixed a bug where turning on/off a TPoint model term using a multiple selection didn’t work.
  • Fixed a bug where the object id bullseye was plotted at 0,0 when highlighting a TPoint calibration sample and that sample was not on screen.
  • The focuser now has a configurable ‘Focuser update interval’.
  • Fixed a bug when running AtFocus2.dbq took longer than it should.
  • Scripts can now get/set the extended camera mode [use Camera.PropStr(“m_csExCameraMode”)].
  • Added support for the nSTEP focuser.
  • When ‘Prompt to save modified chart settings’ is on (and ‘Automatically save chart settings upon exit’ is off) and orientation is set to ‘Zenith up’, any change in the chart center (i.e. N, S, E, W, drag screen, etc.) dirties the document so that upon exit (w/o explicitly saving first) TheSky will prompt ‘One or more chart settings have been modified.Do you want to save your changes?
  • Fixed a bug when autoguiding with a rotator that was rotated to an arbitrary angle other than +/-180 from calibration, without autoguider recalibrating, the autoguider would continually overshoot very slightly in declination and not converge (worst case at 45 degees from calibration).  The fix in prior builds is to recalibrate the autoguider if rotating the rotator to an angle other than +/- 180.
  • New feature for the Camera Add On… Right click the Autoguider graph, and choose “Real-time settings” to allow changing the following autoguiding settings while autoguiding:
    • Enable or disable corrections for +X,-X,+Y,-Y
    • Change Aggressiveness for +X,-X,+Y,-Y
  • Camera Add On – the ‘Filter Names Setup’ window can now accommodate any number of filters.
  • When TheSkyX is controling a mount through an ascom driver, the park implementation is delegated entirely to driver.
  • Made color of checked “on” push buttons lighter (more obvious that it is pressed).
  • Improved Moon Viewer background in Dark Theme
  • Push button down state more obvious in Dark Theme
  • Added two new scriptable objects, namely TextFile object and RunJavaScriptOutput object.

June 24, 2016 TheSkyX Version 10.5.0 Build 10031

  • There may be bugs with this build so please proceed with caution. You may want to install this build on a test computer and or wait until customers provide significant feedback before installing this build in a critical, production environment.
  • This build is a major technology update to TheSkyX incorporating the latest possible compilers and latest application framework development environment ensuring the future of TheSky and use of state of the art technologies.
  • On Windows TheSky now incorporates a unified, standardized, OpenGL layer instead of relying on OpenGl drivers written by various third parties.
  • The above two bullets alone took the majority of the time since the last prior daily build released approximately six months ago and we’ve worked long and hard since then. Getting out a build before this time simply wasn’t feasible.  Never-the-less, we also made a few fixes and improvements, please read on…
  • Support for high DPI monitors on Windows.
  • Support for Retina displays on Mac.
  • When using TheSky over remote desktop on Windows, opengl can now be used.
  • New “dark” theme is on by default (can turn off under Edit, Preferences, Advanced, Miscellaneous, Dark theme).
  • New professional looking icon throughout the program.
  • Fixed a bug where double clicking on a star listed in the Accurate Polar Alignment, didn’t slew.  The work around in prior builds is to instead right click and choose Slew or Closed Loop Slew or Find.
  • Preferences is now under Edit, Preferences (was Tools, Preferences)
  • The Display menus lists all tabbable windows alphabetically, in two groups, “Sky Chart Windows” and “Imaging System Windows”. 
    • There is also new behavior when choosing a particular window from the Display menu, in which the particular window is instead brought forward upon selection and there is no longer a check box.  Prior to this build, the Display menu for these windows had a check boxes that toggled the window visibility (show or hide) without intuitively bringing it forward making the Display menu an unintuitive means of selecting a particular window.
  • The FITS Viewer window now displays sextractor light source data under the mouse cursor provided the photo has previously had Image Link or a “Find Sources” performed on it. Click the “Cursor Info” tool button on the FITS Viewer window.
  • For easier selection, the tabbified windows on the chart window no longer have shortened names with “…” in their tabs under limited space conditions and instead always show the full window names (with a scroll bar to accommodate when space is limited).
  • Fixed a bug where the FITS viewer window Previous Next buttons were backwards.
  • Improved the grouping of settings under Edit, Preferences.
  • Autoguiding graphs window
    • Double clicking on an autoguider graph point will display the corresponding autoguider photo, great debugging tool.  Requirements –
      • Collect data with TheSky build 9530 or later with ‘Log autoguiding’ turned on and “Auto save” turned on for the autoguider.In short the, logging must be turned on and autoguider photos must be available to TheSky at the time of the double click in either the same folder as the autoguider log (happens by default) or the standard camera AutoSave locations. Double clicking on a graph of a log collected with an earlier build displays an appropriate error message.
    • Autoguiding graphs show RA error and Dec error (provided telescope physical characteristics are entered under Camera setup) for any camera rotation. The autoguider must be calibrated in order for the transformation to RA/Dec to be correct.
    • Autoguiding graphs indicate when the guide star signal is lost or when saturated pixels are found (legend is found on graph window).
    • One can optional graph the corrections sent to the mount to scale along side the guide error (right click graph, choose “Graph Corrections”).
    • Displays RMS error.
    • The default Autoguiding graph history has increased from two minutes to five minutes and made configurable under Edit, Preferences, Camera, Autoguiding graph history.
    • Added options to enable/disable each of the 4 autoguider relay adjustments along with 4 independent aggressiveness for the 4 directions in both setup window and real-time from the Autoguiding graph window by right click.
    • Because prior builds only had one autoguiding aggressiveness that applied equally to all 4 directions, automation clients setting this legacy Aggressiveness will set the new value on all four axis.  Automation clients reading the legacy Aggressiveness will actually be returned the new X Plus value.  This convention should not break existing client logic.  Clients wanting to get/set the new values can do so by using the name based access functions.
  • A new “Imaging System Windows” toolbar was added for quick access to imaging system windows, sorted alphabetically.
  • Fixed a bug where all sky image link crashed on a rare photo.
  • TheSkyX’s now uses mean solar time (UT1) where appropriate. The basis for this time, namely UT1-UTC, that changes by 1-2 milliseconds per day, is handled automatically and its value can be viewed from the Chart Status window. Those who use the same model over very long time periods (months/years) without ever recalibrating should experience more consistent pointing.
  • For advanced users, TPoint offers a “More Graphs” button under the command line tab.  Each graph is documented with in this window.
  • The filter wheel control is now on its own window (tabbed by default, but can be floated). In prior builds, filter wheel control was on the same window as the Camera.  You can almost return to that same configuration by docking both windows at the same level, rather than behind one another.
  • There are now icons on the Imaging System Setup tree.
  • The FITS Viewer window now has an option to “Invert” the photo (stars white vs stars black).  This option is a display only option, is not persistent and doesn’t actually change the data in the photo.
  • Fixed a bug where TheSky’s “Rotate rotator 180 when the OTA side of pier changes” might have commanded the rotator to go outside 0 to 360 degrees.
  • Added a Close button to the Bisque TCS window
  • Fixed a bug when using “Focuser Training” to compute filter offsets in which they incorrectly resulted in zero upon pressing “Use Current Values” on some computers due to locale settings.
  • Also fixed a bug where after pressing “Use Current Values” of “Focuser Training” the offset values were not persistent after exit and restart of TheSky.  The work around in prior builds – after pressing “Use current values” go to “Filter Names Setup” window and press OK to make offsets values to be persistent.
  • Fixed many windows that had one or more edit controls and after editing a value, pressing ENTER to accept the value, would instead incorrectly press the default button producing unexpected behavior.
  • From start, the first time Automated Pointing Run window came up, if you went to the “Acquire Pointing Samples” tab , w/o touching the “Create Pointing Targets” there were no targets.
  • My Chart Elements maintains coordinates when switching between Equatorial (J2000) and Horizon radio buttons.
  • This build prevents Paramount MX customer from incorrectly updating from the original MX firmware to the latest and provides a message indicating the intermeidate firmware versions that first must be installed.
  • Asterisms are no longer always turned on when the Constellation & Asterisms window is opened.
  • Closed loop slew now ensures a light frame is captured.
  • Display an appropriate error message if the camera calibration library is only at say 2×2 only and attempt to full calibrate at 1×1.
  • Fixed a bug where the @Focus log reported -1 for the “Time Taken” field.
  • Fixed a bug in the polar alignment report when in southern hemisphere the Paramount specific sentence raise or lower was backwards. A work around in prior builds, click the “Show alternative polar alignments (advanced)” box and use the raise/lower word there or anywhere else on the report, except the on the Paramount specific sentence.
  • Corrected the case for constellation art source file names so the constellation art appears on case-sensitive operating systems.
  • Take series Repeat field maximum is now 5000 (was 1000).
  • Starlight Xpress plug-in fixes for M25C and M26C cameras..
  • Starlight Xpress Lodestar pixels can now be forced “square.”
  • FLI camera plug-in 2.0 fixes + now supports overscan and non visible pixel acquisition.
  • Expanded the list of Canon camera support, updated Canon SDK, along with bug fixes to Canon plug-in.

Thursday December 10, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 9334

  • Tools, Verify TheSkyX Time now works (data source changed). 
  • Added SX-M26 X2 Plug In
  • Fix a crash caused by leaving Navigator window open on exit.
  • The Accurate Polar Alignment now can optionally offer a list of suitable stars to choose from.
  • The default ‘Bad pointing sample criterion (degrees)’ is now 5 degrees.
  • Camera Add On 
    • Can now control Backyard EOS cameras.
    • A warning is giving if ‘Take Series’ is attempted when autosave is off.
    • Improved autoguiding when the guide star signal is very weak.
  • Polar alignment report now warns to not alter the mount’s polar alignment during a pointing run.
  • Fixed a fringe case where dragging the Paramount’s configurable flip hour angle was limited when dragging across RA 0/24. The workaround in prior builds is to use the Bisque TCS window and type in the value.

Friday October 16, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 9240

  • Added new FLI camera, focuser and filter wheel X2 Plug In files.
  • Fixed a bug where using the ccdsoft5Image.FITSKeyword() method to write a double would incorrectly write the value as string in the FITS header.
  • Autoguding Graphs window
    • The title now shows the name of the autoguiding log.
    • Remembers the folder where the last autoguider log was opened.
    • Fixed a bug in where the 3D rendered guide star shown while autoguiding wasn’t in the middle of the drawing surface if and only if the track box size was less than 32×32.  This was merely a display idiosyncrasy and did not affect autoguiding.
  • FITS viewer window now has Previous/Next buttons that will use the currently opened photo to conveniently move to the previous or next photo in the same folder, sorted by file time, with the same extension. 
  • Added scripting method sky6RASCOMTele::ParkAndDoNotDisconnect (and related unparking methods) to allow Parking w/o automatically disconnecting.  Nothing changed with existing methods.
  • Added rotator methods to ccdSoftCamera.

Friday October 02, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 9202

  • Fixed a bug where the On-Axis tab of the Bisque TCS window was accessible when the on-axis hardware wasn’t present.
  • Fixed a bug where Protrack wasn’t up-to-date after completing an Accurate Polar Alignment.  Prior to this build the work around is to de-activate and re-activate Protrack or disconnect/reconnect the mount or exit/restart TheSky after completing an Accurate Polar Alignment.
  • Fixed a bug where Accurate Polar Alignment didn’t work with AP GEM mounts.
  • Fixed a bug where the x2 Lodestar camera driver would periodically have a corrupt download.  This could be “the fix” or a “significant fix” for those who are having difficulty autoguiding using the Lodestar.  The reported symptoms include “cannot autoguide” or “have trailed stars” or “elongated stars” or “jumps” while autoguiding, yet at the same time the same customer can take a 5 or more minute unguided exposure (PEC and Protrack on) without elongated stars. Those autoguiding with the Lodestar are encouraged to try this update. 
  • Choosing Frame on a constellation now does a better job framing it.
  • Camera Add on –
    • Added the option to select different image calibration options (including full calibration reduction groups) for individual image series.  Among other possibilities, this allows creating master flat images for multiple filters and to have the reduction process proceed automatically during image acquisition without user intervention.  Selecting the ‘Default’ option for this will command TSX to use whatever method is configured on the “Take Photo” tab (identical to the previous behavior).
    • If autoguider calibration fails, the guide star is moved to its original position.
    • Fixed a bug where scripting calls to lNumberFilters() or szFilterName() or setszFilterName() would incorrectly clear focus training settings.
    • Right click photo, “Center via Camera Relays” is no longer subject to the autoguider Aggressiveness setting.
    • Fixed a bug introduced in a prior build where scripted access to the focuser temperature for a TCFS was always zero.
    • Fixed a bug where scripted access to the focuser who’s temperature “Source” was set to “Paramount” was always zero.
    • Fixed incorrect title on TPoint graph – was “Declination vs. zenith distance” is now “Zenith distance vs. zenith distance”
    • A TPoint recalibration now has its own Run Date.
    • The entered temperature in “Atmospheric Re&fraction Parameters” is now persistent.
    • Autoguider Calibration results now fill the window while maintaining the aspect ratio on both the Autoguide Setup window and the Autoguider Calibration Complete window.
    • Fixed a bug when calibrating a displayed photo (by pressing the “Reduce” button on the Image Calibration Library window) the photo didn’t immediately reflect the changes.  The work around before this build is to adjust the histogram of the displayed photo after pressing the “Reduce” button.
  • Improvement – “Open Tracking Log” has an intuitive default when the last opened folder/file no longer exists.
  • Bisque TCS Window – A PEC “Fit” operation on an autoguider log is now prohibited because the PEC fitting routines are looking for mount specific characteristics which don’t apply to an autoguiding log.

Friday July 17, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 9051

  • Dome Add On – Fixed a bug when dome tracking was turned on and the mount tracked across the mount’s flip hour angle (or the flip hour angle was dragged across the mount’s position, i.e. only near the meridian), the dome was incorrectly slewed to reflect the beyond the pole state w/r/t the mount’s flip hour angle.  The work around before this build – before slewing to a target that needs tracked for an extended period, first drag the mount’s flip hour to your advantage, either the maximum or minimum limit, to enable the longest possible track.  This eliminates the issue since mount cannot track across it’s flip hour angle because it physical cannot.
  • Fixed a bug where the camera’s progress bar wouldn’t update during the exposure, the photo would complete as expected the only issue was the progress bar wouldn’t update during the exposure. The workaround before this build was to exit and restart TheSky.

Friday July 10, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 9037

  • Improved logging for the “Log ccdsoftCamera and TheSky…” option with more isolation information.
  • Removed ambiguity when setting soft limits for a Paramount, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Fixed a bug when taking photo’s with CCDSoft’s camera where the FITS ‘FILTER’ keyword was accidentally omitted.
  • Fixed a rare crash when using the Paramount’s Built in focuser.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in build 8743 where some autoguiding controls were incorrectly made visible on the Take Photo , Focus and Take Series tabs.
  • Fixed a crash running w/o OpenGL caused by having the polar scope chart element on.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior build where “Preview Master Frame” under Tools, Calibration Library, would sometimes leave up a status window after the operation was complete.
  • Improved status and allow cancel while reducing a folder of photos.
  • Possibly fixed the issue where the camera’s progress bar stopped updating.
  • On Windows, fixed a tiny memory leak that occurred on some computers.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in build 8805 where polar alignment report ME adjustment (“raise” or “lower”) for southern hemisphere was backwards in the upper section of the report but correct in the lower section of the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the FITS Viewer window cross hair was drawn incorrectly when the photo size changed  (prior to this build, the work around was to simply turn the cross hair off and back on).
  • Allow the Paramount’s built in focuser to be used as the Autoguider’s focuser.
  • Corrected a bug that would cause the current video number being recorded to display incorrectly during round-robin video sequences.
  • Fixed a What’s Up query bug that caused a crash when the number of objects in the What’s Up list was greater than the ‘Maximum Objects In Observing List’ advanced preference value.
  • Fixed an issue on some computers where TheSkyX to crash on exit.
  • Fixed an issue introduced in the prior build where on some computers TheSkyX crashed on start (under opengl only).
  • Made it easier to type in data/time in date/time tool bar
  • Improved logging for the option “Log ccdsoftCamera and sky6RASCOMTele methods” especially for trapping exceptions on exit.

Friday May 22, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 8908

  • Made it easier to input Scale on PEC tab of Bisque TCS window.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior daily build 8636 where the “Confirm Slews” option did not prompt even when the option was on.
  • Fixed a typo on the enumerations for the ShowInventory.js script.
  • Some tool tips have expanded information to minimize common support questions and confusion.
  • Improved satellite computation accuracy.
  • Dome Add On – Fixed a bug where the Dome tab would wrongly expand in width to fit an error messages instead of text wrapping.
  • Added additional in/out distance selections that should allow for more versatile focuser control.  In/out distance options now display the number of steps the focuser will move, in addition to the travel percentage.
  • Automated Image Link Settings now include a configurable, independent filter name (applies to Automated Pointing Run and Closed Loop Slew).
  • To aid in spectroscopy, added controls to the video display that allow the crosshairs to be adjusted (vertical/horizontal position + line spacing). Line spacing can be set to 0 to create a single line.
  • Fix bug where a retry, during Automated Pointing Run, nearly at zenith, might attempt to slew to an invalid location (rare).
  • Bug fix – Image Calibration Library ‘Preview Master Frame’ allows complete control (typically histogram) of the displayed photo.
  • Camera Add On –
    • Now allow setting the Repeat field of a take series to zero, effectively giving an convenient means to turn off a series without fully deleting it.
    • Take Series data can be copied to and pasted from the clipboard (use standard keystroke CTRL+C and CTRL+V).
    • Autoguider graphs will now display guide error in arc-seconds (in addition to guide error in pixels) provided the focal length of the telescope is entered under Camera Setup and the camera under control supports the PixelSizeInterface (most camera’s do).  Remember there is a focal length entry for the Autoguider and the Imager.

Monday April 6, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 8805

  • Slightly improved the polar alignment report.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior build where the Canon wouldn’t take photos.
  • Dome Add On window  – clarified any units can be used, improved dome labels and added tool tips to dome dimensions.Simplified dome geometry entry by placing two settings that are zero for typical GEM and fork mounts under an Advanced setting while noting they are zero typically.
  • Camera Add On – made it easier to enter and edit decimal exposure times (and all other double entries).
  • Likely fixed symptoms described in the daily build 8641, bullet item with “Camera Status Debug”.
  • Likely fixed a rare bug where Automated Pointing run would be waiting at “Taking photo…” with no photo in progress.
  • Fixed typos in comments for some FITS keywords.
  • Fixed a rare bug where sometimes dragging the Paramount’s flip hour angle didn’t work.
  • Fixed a bug that caused TheSkyX to crash if after the focuser was switched from one model to another and then one of the train buttons on the Focuser tab’s Focuser Training controls was clicked.
  • Now prohibit doing more than one Accurate Polar Alignment w/o recalibration.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause TheSkyX to hang during focuser adjustments for temperature compensation with certain focusers.
  • Fixed a bug where minimizing then restoring the FITS Viewer window didn’t restore to the previous position but instead maintained the top left coordinates of the minimized window.

Wednesday February 25, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 8670

  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior daily build (and exists only in the prior daily build) where the model put in place after an Accurate Polar Alignment was invalid.  The symptoms were upon pressing the ‘Finish’ button the RMS jumped up and pointing was subsequently off.
  • Take 2, New feature – Completing an ‘Accurate Polar Alignment’ immediately puts a pointing model in place that assumes the polar adjustment was performed correctly and you are good to go, no need to perform a recalibration.
  • Some improved photos on both Rough and Accurate Polar Alignment windows.
  • Ensure that Ascom mounts always move at least 1/2 sidereal rate when pulseguiding, even if they support slower slew speeds.

Thursday February 12, 2015 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 8641

  • Bug Fix – Sometimes aborting a Paramount slew would generate the error MOTOR_POSERRORLIM 24002 “The mount cannot slew.”
  • New feature – Completing an ‘Accurate Polar Alignment’ immediately puts a pointing model in place that assumes the polar adjustment was performed correctly and you are good to go, no need to perform a recalibration.
  • Bug fix – Closed Loop Slew and the rotator option ‘Rotate 180° when OTA Side of Pier Changes’ would sometimes take photo when before the rotator had finished.
  • Finishing an Accurate Polar Alignment now prohibits (accidentally) adding more pointing samples to the model.
  • Possibly fixed a bug where camera autoconnect tried to connect to sub hardware that has no selection.
  • Corrected the spelling of axis on the autoguide setting window, added Windows accelerators.
  • Improved Rough and Accurate Polar Alignment wizard (text and graphics).
  • Give a clearer error message when Internet type operations fail when the network is unavailable, i.e. cable is unplugged.
  • Help needed to isolate why the camera progress bar stops working for some customers while acquiring an exposure.  If you experience this, double click the progress bar to display the “Camera Status Debug” window, take say a 5 second exposure and when complete, right click, select all, and copy the log post it.  If you mess up, press Clear, repeat the prior instructions. IOW, most interested in the ”Camera Status Debug” log for a single 5 second exposure when the progress bar isn’t working (no more, no less).
  • Third party software, autoguiding a the Paramount with DirectGuide, doing large, synchronous, moves say for autoguide ditering and immediately calling sky6RASCOMTele::isSlewComplete, might sometimes have received a stale value.
  • Don’t allow the Automated Image Link Settings to be “squished”.
  • Bug Fix – An automated pointing run using all sky image link with the blind option would unnecessarily animate the success. Also, an automated pointing run using all sky image link would always unnecessarily reset the star chart to that of the image link.
  • The setup tab of the Automated Pointing Calibration Run window now has the “Use All Sky Image Link” option on it (formerly this option was only on the Image Link setup window).
  • New feature/bug fix – Automated pointing runs may now be aborted by aborting from the camera or telescope windows if their operation is in progress.
  • New, intelligent automated pointing run calibration path.
  • Trapped cases of Search FOVs being set too high that may be caused a crash.
  • Limit “Search area” for the Automated ImageLink Settings window to 8 (was 10).
  • Provide a means for x2 drivers to display a photo in a X2GUIInterface window.
  • TheSky HD for the iPad can natively display photos it  acquires from TheSkyX.
  • Updated Celestron driver to allow Sync for StarSense hand paddles. Must choose the StarSense “mount” under Telescope Setup.
  • Revised text for Advanced All Sky Image Link options.

Monday December 22, 2014 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 8495

  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior build where satellites displayed incorrectly.
  • Updated Canon camera plug in.
  • Update Starlight Xpress plug in.

Friday December 19, 2014 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 8489

  • Removed a line drawn from center of plotted ellipses.
  • A clearer camera auto connect error message – now includes if its the Camera or Autoguider and the actual name of the sub hardware unable to connect.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior build where depending on the upgrade path the camera auto connect error might be incorrectly be displayed when no device was selected.  The work around for that build is to merely reselect the device representing “No Device Selected”.
  • Bug Fix – @Focus log “Time Taken” was sometimes zero.
  • The Bisque TCS “Copy Parameters” report now shows TheSky version, build, current date/ time, and motor and IO firmware versions.
  • When clicking on an ImageLinked photo, the “Linked Photo” is prepended with the FITS keyword “OBJECT” name field.  This preserves the “OBJECT” keyword when manually slewing to an archived photo providing a much better target name for camera operations.
  • Now can ‘Find’ GSC stars with TYC, GSC, TYCHO – this also fixed a rare bug where @Focus2 would sometimes give “Object not Found” error when auto slew to focus start is on.
  • The Accurate Polar Alignment now gracefully prevents incorrectly reusing (iteratively) a given re-calibration data (say after having adjusted polar alignment).

Tuesday November 25, 2014 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 build 8458

  • Fixed a bug that prevented Celestron mounts from being synchronized.

Friday November 21, 2014 TheSkyX Version 10.3.0 Build 8451

  • The daily build installer itself is now digitally signed (not just the binaries contained within it).
  • Added support for the Paramount MTY.
  • Fixed a bug where starting another Accurate or Rough Polar alignment didn’t always start at the beginning.
  • TPoint window remembers that tab that was last used between exit an restart.
  • Location changes are now prohibitied while a mount is connected.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior build where downloading more than one group of satellites would only downloaded the last group.
  • New Feature – Drag and drop support – Drag and drop any FITS photo, star chart or TPoint file (*.fits, *.skyx, *.tptx or a tpoint dat file) on the star chart and have it automatically opened.  Also, if you have the Image link window open, “drop” a fits file directly onto the “Find Astrometric Solution” or the “All Sky Search” button to have Image Link performed upon drop.
  • Improved error message when the Paramount can’t slew.
  • Camera Add on – Camera autoconnect to sub devices now displays a very clear error message if connection to one or more sub devices fails.
  • Corrected default time zone for locations observing Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (AEDT).
  • Changed the position of the ImageLinked photo from end of list of id’d objects to front of list.
  • TPoint Add On – It is now more convenient to change the folder where TPoint settings are opened and saved.  No longer always default to the folder “<My Documents>\Software Bisque\TheSkyX Professional Edition\TPoint” during “File Open” and “File Save As” but rather the folder is remembered.
  • New Feature – “Rough Polar Alignment” procedure for Paramounts allowing an easy (even daytime) jump on a rough polar alignment.
  • New Feature – “Accurate Polar Alignment” procedure precisely offsets a bright start so that when it is recentered using the mount’s polar aligment knobs the mount is polar aligned (iow visual feedback on the polar alignment adjustment using a bright star).
  • Prompt before undoing recal.
  • Added scanLine to the ccdsoftImage object.
  • Fixed a bug where TheSkyX’s camera wouldn’t record the Orchestrate comment of the TakeImage command.
  • Fix bug where AllSky wouldn’t work dependent upon install route.
  • TPoint recalibration RMS is now more appropriately computed.
  • Images taken with Ascom cameras (along with cameras linked via MaxIm DL) will now record the camera’s pixel size in microns in the FITS header when that data is available.
  • Distribute QHYCCD and Optec Pyxis LE Rotator X2 Plug Ins.
  • Closed loop slew no longer requires autosave to be on.
  • Automated Pointing Runs/Closed Loop Slews runs have their own, independent binning setting.
  • Camera Add On – when using two, independent SBIG camera’s, one as the imager, one as the autoguider, autoguiding is no longer (conservatively) paused when collecting a dark frame on the Imager.
  • Camera simulator, simulating DSS, won’t give stars for dark, bias and flat frames.
  • The camera’s exposure delay now applies to flat fields (in addition to light frames).
  • Corrected an issue that would cause images simulated using DSS to appear incorrectly if binning was enabled.
  • TheSkyX should now be a little bit more forgiving if an Ascom driver unexpectedly returns 2 byte results instead of 4 byte results (or vise-versa).
  • TheSky Controlled Telescope Driver has been updated to allow third-party applications to autoguide Paramounts using DirectGuide.  Run ‘TheSky Telescope Driver Setup.exe’ in TheSkyX’s folder to install this driver.
  • Corrected an error that was causing focusers to be unable to use mounts as temperature sources for temperature compensation.
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause a crash when selecting a temperature compensation temperature source for the first time.
  • New Feature – The photo Histogram window is completely new and now uses all cores, great for making realtime background/range change even on large format cameras.  Also uses CCDSoft’s exact code for doing SBIG auto background and range (very common and better default/first impression appearance).
  • Fixed a bug where the “Telescope Position.txt” log file didn’t aways hold the most up-to-date telescope position.
  • Paramount sync history is now updated with every sync (the work around was to change any parameter or re-read all parameters or connect/disconnect).
  • Fixed a bug with camera simulator doing web DSS simulation would sometimes give ERR_POINTER.
  • Fixed a bug where focuser temperature was always zero.
  • Fixed a bug where focuser temperature was kept between connect/disconnect and different hardware.
  • Camera Add on For the AO track box size, added “Extra Large” and “Extra Extra Large” options.
  • New Feature – Camera Add on Correlation Autoguiding – In addition to being able to autoguide on stars, TheSkyX has the ability to guide on extended targets such as sunspots, solar prominences, lunar craters, etc. For features that change over time, the guide target may be set to automatically update itself every few minutes.Note that the larger the target (in terms of pixels), the more processor intensive the search for that target will be.  A size of 50×50 should give good results on most systems. This is a fantastic new feature for solar imaging where there isn’t anything BUT the sun to guide on.

Friday July 11, 2014 Build 8114


Monday July, 07, 2014 Build 8073

  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior daily build that gave error “A necessary driver was not found. Error 217” when attempting to connect or choose SBIG AO camera.

Friday July 04, 2014 Build 8068

  • Corrected a bug that caused dragging FOVs with a non-zero position angle to  incorrectly command rotators.
  • Dome Add On – New “Slit status” – “Unknown”, “Last Open command successful”,  “Last Close command successful”
  • Corrected a bug that would cause FOVs to appear incorrectly rotated on the star chart in Orthographic projection (especially near the poles).
  • Fix a bug where a fresh install may not find the all sky database.
  • Fixed a bug where creating a New Profile for an imaging system wouldn’t cause the user interface to reflect all the changes in hardware selections and their corresponding properties (except on exit and restart as a work around).  Only New Profile was incorrect, Open Profile and Save Profile As worked as expected.
  • Improved the confirmation dialog when commanding a rotator via the FOV on the star chart.  It should now be much harder to accidentally modify the FOV.
  • Corrected a bug where CCW-oriented rotators would incorrectly load their configuration preferences on TSX startup
  • Added the ClosedLoopSlew scripting object (Camera Add On required) so that external programs can perform a closed loop slew.

Tuesday June 03, 2014 Build 7973

  • New feature – Added Imaging System Profiles to allow maintaining more than one set of hardware configurations.
  • Camera Add On 
    • Don’t allow trailing spaces on autosave folder name.
    • New option “Remove whitespace from AutoSave filenames” under Camera AutoSave Setup, Advanced.
    • Fixed a bug introduced in prior build 7789 where the filter wheel was incorrectly commanded to move with every exposure rather than only when the filter did indeed change.
    • Scripting – Added centerAO() method to TheSkyX.ccdsoftCamera object. Note: clients using the CCDSoft2XApapter object can call this method by setting the property ‘Camera.PropLng(“centerAO()”) = 1’ as a workaround to avoid changing that interface (especially for those using early binding).
  • Corrected a bug that would crash Temma mounts when pulseguiding, or moving via the virtual hand-paddle.
  • Added toggle for extend labeling comets with magnitude.
  • All Sky Image link now always restores source extraction parameters.
  • Fixed a bug introduced into a prior daily build that caused All Sky Image to crash on some photos.
  • FITS file extensions are now consistent throughout when opening FITS files.

Wednesday April 30, 2014 Build 7927

  • Fixed typo on new configure WiSky window.

Tuesday April 29, 2014 Build 7919

  • TPoint Add On
    • Added alternate polar alignment adjustment options.
    • Added a graph of the path taken during the pointing run.
  • Camera Add On
    • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause single exposures to fail to move the filter wheel.
    • Added the scripting object SelectedHardware.
  • Improved overall performance and speed of All Sky Image Link.
  • Bisque TCS Window now has a means to configure the MKS-5000 WiSky.

Friday March 21, 2014 Build 7773

  • Fixed a bug where object names were truncated when searching MPCORB.DAT.
  • Fixed a bug where it wasn’t possible to abort an all sky image link from the automated pointing run window (aborting from the image link window was the work around).
  • Fixed a possible crash when attempting to PulseGuide with some native mount drivers.
  • Improved support for all Ascom devices.
  • This update allows TheSkyX to more gracefully handle drivers that don’t quite conform to Ascom.
  • Distribute native apogee filter wheel support (Apogee OEM driver required).
  • Corrected a bug that would cause temperature compensation to sometimes occur even if disabled in the GUI.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior daily build that broke a Photo’s right click “To Image Link” “Center Cursor…” and “Set Chart Time to Photo Time” calls to incorrectly report “file/folder does not exist”.

Tuesday February 18, 2014 Build 7715

  • Camera Add On
    • Bug Fix – Introduced in the prior build 7708, calling szBinModeFromIndex(0) threw an exception Parameter not optional.
    • Some rotators move clockwise as their angle values increase, some move counterclockwise.  Previously, the direction of rotation was stored as a property of each FOV defined in the system.  Now that property has been moved into the configuration of the rotator itself.  This should make rotators easier to configure and use, and also makes it possible to fully utilize the properties of the rotator throughout the rest of TheSkyX.
    • TheSkyX now is able to autoguide after rotating a connected rotator.  The rotator must be connected during autoguider calibration and subsequent autoguidng.  Prior builds required re-calibrating the autouguider after the rotate.
    • The user can manually control declination when autoguiding when not connected to a mount.
    • Getting/setting m_ptGuideStarHiRes,m_TrackBoxHiRes, m_TrackBoxHiResAO, and all autoguide calibration parameters by scripting Camera.PropLng is no longer case sensitive.
    • Relay-guiding with MaxIm’s camera now rounds UP to the nearest second
    • Corrected the durations when relay-guiding with Ascom cameras should now be correct (previous relay activations were much shorter than they should have been).
  • Automated pointing run sextractor defaults are now 5,10 (were 10,10) detection threshold, and minium number of pixels above threshold, respectively.
  • Bug Fix – On Windows, sometimes File Open File/File Save windows did not refresh properly.  The workaround in the past was to lower the target frame rate, which is no longer necessary.
  • Fixed a bug where Image Link was incorrectly ignoring the rotator’s angle when it was automatically adjusting FOV angles to match its solved angle.
  • Corrected spelling error in FITS header comment.
  • Fixed a bug where the date time format was incorrectly being set to the Image Link path by going to Tools, Open Fits. 
  • Completion of a Paramount Find home takes ProTrack in stride (a benign issue).
  • Fix potential crash when a FOVI with an OAG element is turned on and the field of view is small.
  • Fixed a display error when showing the location reported by the NexStar hand paddle.
  • Fixed a possible crash caused by attempting to correlation-guide without a target.
  • Fix a bug introduced in prior build’s new feature – Image Link’s automated pointing run editing always works now.
  • Focuser temperature compensation can now make use of temperature values read from either the device itself, the partnered device, or a Paramount mount.
  • Corrected a bug that was causing Ascom mounts to move incorrectly in response to TheSkyX’s virtual hand paddle.
  • Exposure times in Take Series now allow 3 decimals of precision.
  • Tool, Telescope Setup, fixed accelerator buddies for two controls were not “set” (so an ampersand appeared on the control’s text).
  • Added option for TheSkyX’s tcpserver to automatically close the socket connection upon responding.

Friday, December 20, 2013 Build 7477

  • Camera Add On now supports the AO on the SBIG STT/STX/STXL.
  • All windows with splitter child windows will now be more obvious..
  • Avoid potential @Focus2 crash.
  • Added “Closed Loop Slew” button to star chart’s right click menu, Observing List window, Telescope window and Telescope Toolbar nearly every place a Slew button is available.
  • Added commonly used buttons to telescope toolbar.
  • TheSkyX focuser drivers that support logging will now allow their logs to be displayed in the GUI.
  • Ascom focusers, domes, rotators now implement logging.
  • Manually moving the focuser now automatically toggles temperature compensation off (without clearing the KVP).
  • Added a button “Automated ImageLink Settings” on the ImageLink Setup tab that controls settings using during automated image links (like when doing a TPoint automated pointing run or a Closed Loop Slew). Prior to this, these settings where only available through the optional TPoint Add On.
  • Bug fix – changes to DSS setup parameters apply w/o having to close and re-open DSS window.
  • Camera Add on – Image and Video “Take Series” has a new the option to execute the “Repeat” per series or across series.
  • The frame-grabbing video camera no longer requires that the video preview window be present in order to function.
  • Orion filter wheel driver is now distributed.

Friday, November 8, 2013 Build 7398

  • Fix for incorrect display of virtual mounts in southern hemisphere.
  • Possible fix for scripted slew receiving error 213 command in progress.
  • Possible fix for scripted slews that are ignored.
  • Increase in maximum dome width for graphical display.

Thursday, November 7 2013 Build 7392

  • Acquiring a FITS from the camera, then pressing ESC on the FITS Viewer window (to hide it), and acquiring another photo now shows the FITS Viewer window.  (The window previously remained hidden.)
  • Southern latitudes less than 1 are now accepted correctly in the Location window.
  • Increased the maximum allowable dome slit dimensions for graphical display.
  • Ascom Mounts that implement Park, without Unpark should now work correctly
  • Fixed a bug introduced in the prior build where Tools, Open FITS would change the date/time format.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Build 7365

  • Ascom drivers should now more cleanly detach from their target device when they care commanded to disconnect
  • If an Ascom mount is already parked when a connection to it is made, this should now correctly be reported
  • Check for updates now also checks if a newer daily build is available.
  • Camera Add On
    • Dithering released.
    • Fixed a bug that was causing directory calibration to improperly truncate filenames that contained multiple separator characters.
  • Added missing Canon_notes.ui to the daily build installer.
  • Users may now manually move the mount via PulseGuide “relays” on the camera/autoguider tabs.  This corrects a bug where pressing these buttons with PulseGuide enabled would cause TSX to hang.
  • Domes may now be configured to track the telescope.
  • Non-EQ mounts that can slew in Ra/Dec but not Alt/Az will now be asked for their Ra/Dec position.
  • Increase timeout for moving SBIG filter wheels.

Wednesday, October 10, 2013 Build 7314

  • Camera Add On
    • Software-based temperature focus compensation while exposing is now available for any focuser capable of reporting its temperature to TSX (NOT including Optec’s line of TCF focusers, which perform similar functionality in hardware).
    • Users of a wide range of mounts will now have the option to autoguide directly via their mount, without needing to make use of camera relays or a separate autoguiding cable.  Supported mounts are: Gemini, AP, Celestron, iOptron, LX200, Temma, (Ascom Windows-only).
  • COM automation calls to TheSkyX are not affected if TheSkyX is minimized and “Sleep on minimize” is true.
  • “Sleep On minimize” is now off by default.
  • Fixed some format errors in log messages for Alt/Az telescopes and telescopes that report negative position angles.
  • New Closed Loop Slew button on the Find tab that uses ImageLink to refine the slew for accuracy.
  • The ERR_COMMANDINPROGRESS is thrown if a slew is issued while a slew is already in progress and logged in ISLog1.txt.
  • Updated FLI camera driver to resolve a crash.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 Build 7225

  • Camera Add On 
    • Fixed a bug where the camera setpoint wasn’t always persistent.
    • Fixed a bug where custom camera AutoSave file names could cause the raw photo to not be saved (when Reduction was set to Full Calibration).
    • Scripting – Fixed a bug where it wasn’t possible to access calibration results for an SBIG external CCD.
    • Made splitter window sizes persistent for the Camera, Autoguider, Video, and Video (Guider) windows.
    • Moving the focuser while the camera is in focus mode, now causes the camera’s photo to be aborted and restarted after the focus move is complete.
    • Fixed a bug where the Photo cross hair would not shut off.

Monday, September 09, 2013  Build 7208

  • A “Find” for GSC b:n returns the Tycho data as first priority (they have the same b:n designation).
  • Alt+mouse click now puts the Mouse click position in the first position.
  • When doing a “Find” on a coordinate, fixed an error in decoding declinations that came out negative when they should not have.
  • “Verify Time” may be slightly more consistent.
  • TPoint Add On – new option “Graph unused samples.”
  • Fixed a fringe case with limited pointing data, pointing to low altitudes.
  • Camera add on – when Autoguiding graphs do a right click, “Open Autoguiding log”, the x-axis is now labeled showing seconds.
  • Camera add on – Autoguiding graphs now have a splitter.
  • When the Black box recorder is on, it no longer treats memory allocation failure as a submittable event and instead the program behaves just as it would when the BBR is off (i.e. a “Memory Error” message is displayed).
  • Lowered memory requirements while saving a FITS.
  • Rotate tool text is now visible in photos with dense star fields.

Tuesday August 20, 2013 Build 7146

  • Camera Add On – Corrected a bug that caused !SHUTTER! dark frames to fail to rotate the filter wheel
  • Improved All Sky Image Link status.
  • Fixed a crash caused by pressing “Preview Combined Frame” button on a empty folder under the Image Calibration Library window.
  • Software Bisque Camera Simulator now simulates temperature.
  • Large FOVI’s are now displayed at wide fields of view.
  • Bug fix: Filter/Focuser offsets are now correctly displayed.
  • Rise/set report no longer shows incorrect begin/end twilight values when event does not occur on present date.
  • Clarified park error message.
  • Daily build installer distributes all Canon OEM DLLs.
  • Added a new FOVI element (OAG) that has it’s own rotation input.
  • Send native park command when AP mount is parked from TheSkyX.
  • All Sky Image Link spelling correction.
  • TheSkyX’s autoguiding improved when a steep background gradient is present.
  • Added a button to the Camera Dialog’s filter wheel control; “Move Now”.  This button was already available from the Video dialog, so now the two are identical.  This button allows filter wheel rotation without needing to take a picture The user will be presented with a warning if they attempt to rotate the filter wheel during an exposure (camera or video).
  • Fixed a potential crash in All Sky Image Link.
  • Two new All Sky Image Link options – Use All Sky Image Link for automated pointing runs (off by default), and Use All Sky Image Link for scripted Image Link (off by default).

Tuesday July 23, 2013 Build 7110

  • AO slew rate limit is now correctly applied.
  • SkyQLink no longer listed since no driver is presently available.
  • Bisque TCS window now saves PEC scale.
  • Bisque TCS window fixed a crash doing “Save all parameters” w/o a connection.
  • Bisque TCS window remember path to tracking log files.
  • Bug Fix – For southern hemisphere, TPoint polar alignment message for MA is now correct (was backward).
  • Bug Fix -Make automated pointing run parameters persistent w/o having to actually run the automated pointing run.
  • All Sky Image Link Database now has a new file format and requires a new database.
  • Fixed bug where database searches for spectral types using “equal to” did not work.
  • Changed the toolbar button’s background color to light gray so that the “on” state is more apparent on the Mac.
  • Camera Add On – Filters may be assigned focuser offsets.
  • Fixed a bug where Automated Pointing run options were incorrectly restored to zero upon restart which occurred when “Sort for dome” was turned on.
  • Fixed some of the sluggishness to “Create Pointing Targets” tab of the Automated Pointing Run window.
  • Fixed a crash on some systems when labeling constellations.
  • Fixed a crash when starting an Automated Pointing Run (introduced in the prior daily build).
  • Camera Add On – Ensure Apogee camera’s are listed, regardless of update route.
  • Camera Add On includes the native driver for the Starlight Xpress monochrome Lodestar autoguider.

Wednesday June 12, 2013 Build 7032

  • Significant performance improvement to All Sky Image Link.
  • Fix for not being able to unpark ACL mount.
  • Updated FLI Camera driver.
  • Camera Add On – fix for intermittent crash during imaging/autofocus.

Monday June 10, 2013 Build 7018

  • New “Black Box Recorder” feature, which is “Off” by default. Any one experiencing a crash and willing to help fix the problem can change this setting to “Save to disk” (restart TheSkyX to have the option take effect). After a crash, zip up and email the data found in the folder “<My Documents>Software Bisque\TheSkyX Professional Edition\Black Box Recorder Data”.
  • Minor tweaks to Image Link window.
  • Added tool tips to every Bisque TCS control, changed text to Remove All for Sync history removal and made other minor layout modifications.
  • Minor tweaks to Automated Pointing Calibration Run window

Wednesday June 5, 2013 Build 7005

  • Camera Add On – Autoguider log now includes TheSkyX build number, start time (local and UT), mount selection and camera binning.

Wednesday May 29, 2013 Build 6985

  • Fixed a bug where switching from one camera to another could result in some of the old camera’s settings being applied to the new camera, even when the new camera didn’t support those settings.
  • Small performance enhancement to AllSky ImageLink.
  • Fixed an Opengl bug where the Moon would go black.
  • Fixed a bug where Paramount PEC didn’t work for southern hemisphere with non symmetric PEC curves.
  • Ascom mounts now support open-loop, “press to slew” movements, for capable mounts.
  • TheSkyX Video Integration has been enabled for Windows users of TSX Professional with the Camera Addo On.  Here’s a short list of features (which will be documented later in more detail in the user’s manual).
    • TheSkyX can preview video in real time.  The preview display is embedded in the “video” tab.  It is possible to “tear off” this tab if a larger preview display area is required.
    • Because the video camera settings that work well for your luminance filter may not work well your red filter, it is possible to save a video camera “profile” that contains a full set of video camera settings.  Switching between sets of video camera settings on a filter changes then becomes quick and easy.
    • TheSkyX can be programmed to collect a sequence of video clips, where each clip has its own duration, video camera profile, and filter settings.  This allows a user to capture a full LRGB+ set of video sequences (with different video camera settings for each filter) as a one-button operation.
    • TheSky’s Camera and or Autoguider may be selected to use the Video Camera as their data source.  This allows TheSkyX to capture single frame, FITS-format snapshots from the video feed for use with TSX’s imaging tool suite: TPoint Automated Pointing Runs, Image Link, @Focus2, Autoguiding, etc.

Wednesday May 15, 2013 Build 6949

  • Photo window cross hair now shows photo’s center.
  • Corrected “Factory setting” for the Slew Limits on the Paramount ME II
  • Corrected text for entering the dome serial number command. (regression typo on shared pop-up menu).
  • Added tool tip and a status box message for the “gear” button that appears on windows for imaging system-related devices.
  • Updated FOVI databases.
  • Bug fix: Telescope limit lines are now loaded successfully (previously, the “last position” in the line, corresponding to north, was always zero degrees altitude).
  • Camera Add On reduced CPU usage during long exposures.
  • Fixed bug where not all file opens in All-Sky ImageLink set the version so floats were not being read in correctly.
  • Refactored Ascom mount support (replaces the x2AscomTelescope.dll driver).  This should solve the issues connecting to Ascom mounts that have been reported since a recent daily build, and bring the Ascom mount into line with the other Ascom drivers in terms of design.

Tuesday May 07, 2013 Build 6931

  • Camera Add On
    • Added an option (Tools, Preferences) to log external calls to ccdsoftCamera and sky6RASCOMTele methods.
    • External scripting fix – under rare circumstances, TakeImage synchronously wouldn’t return.
    • RBI Support in TSX for cameras that support RBI flooding.  Multiple readout-mode support in TSX for cameras that support multiple readout modes. Initially this covers cameras being controlled by ASCOM or through MaxIm DL, but the list should expand quickly.
    • Take Series will now be automatically saved whenever they’re modified.  Previously, series were only saved when a series was executed.
    • Right click Photo, “Center Cursor Position Via Relays” (autoguider calibration required).
    • Test star pattern shows up when 3D star is initially shown (regression fix). Smooth shading option restored, scaled test data pattern (not the star) to show up correctly.
  • The DBI distributes native, x2 RoboFocus drivers.
  • The Daily Build installer now distributes the MKS 5000 Driver installer (located in TheSkyX Pro’s root folder.)
  • Removed duplicate accelerator keys on camera window.
  • Added HCG Sky Database
  • Added RCW Sky Database
  • Fixed a crash on Mac, when exiting after showing either the Focus Graphs or Autoguiding graphs window. 
  • Prevent a rare crash during automated focus when 0-slope focusing curves (no data) resulted.

Monday April 15, 2013 Build 6901

  • Cameras without shutters will no longer prompt the user to “cover their telescope” for a dark frame if their filter wheel contains an opaque filter (named “!Shutter!”) that can be used instead.
  • Camera Add On Bug Fix – Fixed a bug where the Fan check box for SBIG camera’s would not turn off the fan.
  • Possible fix for slow response to File Open windows when Bisque TCS window is open.

Tuesday April 9, 2013 Build 6890

  • Updated Atik camera specs (from Atik)
  • Camera Add On – Bug fix – bias frames now have zero as the exposure time in the FITS header.
  • Added a search combo box to the Moon Viewer with a pseudo auto completer.
  • The rotator simulator will now show its current position while a rotation is in progress.  The version ID has been updated to 1.1
  • Fixed a crash caused by the virtual telescope on Windows.
  • The CCDSoft2xAdaptor, when encountering exceptions, propagates the original error code.

Wednesday April 3, 2013 Build 6866

  • Camera Add On – A Successful @Focus2 run now takes a final, in focus photo and the camera status displays “@Focus successful” during this period so that it is clearer when @Focus is successful.
  • Fixed non 1:1 mapping of SIMBAD Bayer designations into ISO8859-7 unicode codec which caused Greek character graphics to be incorrect from Sigma to end of the Greek alphabet.
  • TPoint Add On – TPoint Add On Supermodel is now 5% faster.
  • The Telescope FOVI may now be rotated.
  • The histogram window will automatically zoom in to better display the data being presented.
  • Histogram graphs should now correctly update when an existing window loads a new image file while ‘custom’ settings are in use.
  • x2 drivers will now be more forgiving when an Ascom driver returns an unexpected integer data type (ie, a short instead of a long) (introduced in a prior daily build).
  • Added moon features to the Moonviewer tree list.
  • Corrected an issue where drivers could crash if they failed to return a valid string property.
  • Bug Fix – Programatically using the scripting Sync() method didn’t properly accomodate refraction.
  • Distribute HCG SDBs…

Tuesday March 26, Build 6839

  • Bug fix – Some settings under Telescope Setup were not intialized correctly (introduced in the prior build).
  • Bug fix – Fixed crash selecting the Telescope’s FOVI (introduced in the prior build).
  • Bug fix – FOVI Window, fixed crash turning off/on FOVI when more than 1 FOVI was selected.

Monday March 25, Build 6835

  • The imaging system configuration window will now correctly react when a one of the autoguider’s, sub-devices, status changes.
  • Improved device/version information display for Ascom devices.
  • The SBIG PEDESTAL FITS keyword is now correctly recorded as a negative value.
  • Camera Add On – The Camera/Autoguider photo windows now remember their position and size after exit and restart of TheSkyX.

Friday March 22, Build 6822

  • Camera Add On – Fixed a bug introduced in the prior build where connecting to the Camera would crash with specific focusers selected.
    • scripting focuser temperature is now returned propertly from capable focuser hardware.

Thursday March 21, Build 6812

  • Corrected a bug introduced in the prior daily build where controlling the autoguider’s focuser incorrectly controlled the imager’s focuser.
  • TheSkyX now supports multiple simultaneous connections to “hub” style focuser hardware devices.
  • Tweaked the path of comet ISON so that it does not skip past sun.
  • The x2AscomTelescope driver is now distrbuted (again, with apologies).
  • Camera Add On – the Focus tab now has its own, independent exposure time.

Tuesday March 19, Build 6800

  • Regression bug fix: ASCOM filter wheels will now correctly report when they are moving.
  • Better tab names for the Autoguider’s rotator and focuser.

Monday March 18, 2013 Build 6792

  • Focuser controls have been moved from the mount tab and given a tab of their own.
  • The x2AscomTelescope driver is now distrbuted.
  • TheSkyX now supports control of two independent rotators and focusers.  For users who don’t have use of this feature, the new tabs are hidden by default.  Users with fully-outfitted guidescopes may enable this from the preferences window.

Friday March 15, 2013 Build 6788

  • Accomodate slower responding Ascom domes/focusers.
  • Fixed incorrect comment on FITS PEDESTAL keyword.
  • Bug Fix – “Prompt to save modified chart settings” didn’t always work on Win 7 32, now it does.
  • Updated Canon drivers.

Thursday March 14, 2013 Build 6780

  • Added a focuser timeout to accommodate slow-moving focusers.
  • Camera Add On now records the focuser position in the FITS header.
  • Camera Add On Scripted bug fix – method PropLng() didn’t work for m_TrackBoxHiRes, m_TrackBoxHiResAO, m_ptGuideStarHiRes.

Thursday March 07, 2013 Build 6734


Tuesday March 06, 2013 Build 6722

  • Camera Add On – When Reduction is set to “Full Calibration” and AutoSave is on, both the uncalibrated image and calibrated image are saved.
  • Camera Add On – Images captured while the imaging system target has no target will insert “NoTarget” in the file name when the custom field format explicitly calls for the target to be inserted.  The target will continue to be omitted when the default file name format is in use.

Monday March 04, 2013 Build 6713

  • Updated Bright Asteroid URL for 2013.
  • Updated TPoint Add On User Guide (must download manually).
  • Distribute native, x2Apogee camera drivers.
  • Camera Add On now supports the PEDESTAL keyword as per SBIGFITSEXTENSION.
  • Camera Add On Scripting – Fixed a bug where ccdsoftImage.DataArray returned saturated pixels as -1 not 65535.

Friday February 22, 2012 Build 6678

  • Bug fix – Optec TCF focuser over WiFi should now work.
  • New feature for Paramount – optionally prohibit tracking below the horizon.  Mitigates the two most common issue (among others) of slewing to an object in the west and leaving for several hours and 1) return to find the optic pointing below the horizon or 2) to find the OTA against the pier. Go to Bisque TCS Window->Advanced->Initialization->Prohibit tracking below horizon = 1.
  • Clean up mount simulator, simulating DirectGuide, and Camera simulator simulated DSS photos.
  • Telescope setup window, Choose Hardware window now sorts possible hardware selections alphabetically.
  • In the Telescope setup window, double clicking the edit control that displays the currently selected device name, allows yet another intuitive way to choose the device.

Thursday February 21, 2013 Build 6666

  • Fixed bug where pressing 0 in date-time toolbar in h, m, s did nothing.
  • Configuring adhoc wifi now displays resulting SSID.

Wednesday February 20, 2013 Build 6660

  • Camera Add On simulating DSS images supports both subframes and binning. 
  • The Software Bisque mount simulator now supports DirectGuide simulation.
  • Added HardwareModelOverrideInterface to the x2 standard.
  • Updated Canon DSLR driver.
  • The Bisque TCS Window fitted PEC graph displays “Peak-to-Peak” result.

Friday February 15, 2013 Build 6638

  • @Focus2 no longer gives incorrect “Device not connected” error introduced in prior build.
  • @Focus2 no longer *requires* a dark frame and instead uses current camera’s “Reduction” setting (None, Autodark, Full Calibration).
  • Removed duplicate labels for common stars.
  • Updated Canon DSLR drivers.

Thrusday February 14, 2013 Build 6621

  • Scripting – allow calling @Focus2 same way CCDSoft allowed.
  • Camera Add On – Camera connection automatically connects filter wheel, focuser and rotator when appropriate.
  • Editing My Chart Elements – RA decimals one more than Dec.
  • Camera Add On – Camera Relay group box title now reflects the Autoguide Via setting.

Wednesday February 13, 2013 Build 6616

  • My Chart Elements window “Add and Edit” maintains two decimal places now.
  • Bug fix – Find window, “Copy Equtorial” to clipboard had dec formatted as ra.
  • Camera Autosave prevents filename characters CFitsio doesn’t allow.

Tuesday February 12, 2013 Build 6610

  • Camera Autosave replaces each invalid character in a filename with an underscore character: “_”.
  • Camera Autosave setup, allows customized format for the autosave, date-based folder; hover over the label for possible formats.
  • Camera Autosave now allows customized format of the date (‘:a’) field; hover over the label for possible formats.
  • Camera Autosave the ‘:i’ image type for a flat field no longer has a space.
  • Fixed a bug when pressing “Autosave…” from the Camera or Autoguider tab would sometime require pressing Ok/Canel twice.
  • Camera Autoguide sub tab has a new setting “Guide star lost when signal below” percentage. If the guide star signal drops below this percentage, no autoguiding corrections are made and the guide star is considered lost; autoguiding is not aborted.

Monday February 11, 2013 Build 6604

  • Camera Add On –
    • pressing the @Focus button connects the focuser on demand.
    • temperature setpoint may have lagged in FITS header if setpoint changed during during lengthy camera operations like Take Series, Autoguide.

Friday February 8, 2013 Build 6582

  • Camera Add On Scripting fix – CCDSoft2XAdaptor.ccdsoft5Camera RegulateTemperature and SBIGFanOn now apply immediately (prior build work around was disconnect/reconnect).
  • Camera Add On – Bug fix FITS “DATE-OBS” is the instant in time when the shutter is open and not at the start of the exposure delay.

Thursday February 7, 2013 Build 6577

  • Fixed a Temma synchronization bug.
  • Camera Add On gracefully handles abrupt disconnects/exits.
  • During install, ensure CCDSoft2XAdaptor is installed.

Wednesday February 6, 2013 Build 6569

  • Scripting – Fixed a crash caused by calling sky6RASCOMTele.FindHome() from tcpscriptclient.exe and exiting the client before the find home completed.
  • Round FOVI elements that have offsets can now be rotated.
  • Updated description for locations in Russia/Russian Federation (RF).
  • Camera Add On – For cameras that don’t have shutters, a filter with the name “!Shutter!” is selected for dark frames.
  • Removed duplicate label for Markab.
  • Telescope Synchronization window corrections – 15 points are required for a recal (not 50) CH is not fixed during a “just sync” recalibration.
  • Scripting modifications:
    • TheSkyX.ccdSoftCamera – added filterWheelConnect(), filterWheelDisconnect() and filterWheelIsConnected() methods().
    • CCDSoft2XAdaptor.ccdSoft5Image.DataArray now returns a 2-D array instead of a 1-D array, just like CCDSoft.
    • CCDSoft2XAdaptor.ccdSoft5Image.Width and Height properties no longer return “member not found”.
    • CCDSoft2XAdaptor.ccdSoft5Camera methods that do filter wheel operations do nothing if there is no filter wheel connection, just like CCDSoft.
    • CCDSoft2XAdaptor.ccdSoft5Camera.lNumberFilters returns zero when not connected, just like CCDSoft.
    • ImageLink::execute() and ccdsoftImage.InsertWCS() both populate the FITS header with WCS.

Friday January 25, 2013 Build 6536

  • Added star labels SDB to remove duplicate Betelguese label.
  • Added Canon DSLR drivers (at Richard’s request).
  • Made “Add On” serial number entries case insensitive.
  • Scriptnig – possibly fix a bug when skyWeb.SlewToObject() was called immediately after sky6RASCOMTele.FindHome()
  • The automated pointing run “Sort for dome” is now persistent.
  • TPoint Add On now works with paths that have an apostrophe character (” ‘ “) and no longer displays the error message “object too low” when attempting to add calibration points and an apostrophe character is present in the account name.
  • The first time it is run, TheSkyX now shows a wizard the for SN and SLA agreement. 
  • Added a filter wheel status that shows whatever filter is presently selected.

Friday January 18, 2013 Build 6519

  • TheSkyX’s camera control is now scriptable.
  • The Daily Build Installer now checks for minimum and maximum builds before installing.
  • Added APASS and 2MASS magnitudes to the Object Information report.
  • Added documentation for new Automated Pointing Calibration features to the TPoint Add On User Guide.
  • Added Celestron cameras to FOV detector list.
  • Bug Fix – Documents with the Polar Scope chart element type turned on will no longer center on north on startup.
  • The Automated Pointing Run grid is now more versitile. Users can add targets, remove targets and save/restore customizations. New commands to add a group of targets near the current telescope position to help boot strap modeled pointing for first time and portable alignments and a to add group of targets optimal for recalibration.
  • Eliminate the error ERR_INDEX_OUT_OF_RANGE that some scripting clients would receive when calling TheSkyXAdaptor objects that resulted in TheSkyX launching (i.e. TheSkyX was not running already).
  • Fixed an error introduced in the prior daily build where the Polar Align Message wasn’t correct (Paramount MEs only).
  • Added Astro-Tech telescopes to FOV database.
  • Removed duplicate Betelguese label.
  • Bug Fix – For the camera add on, the “Image Calibration Library” button, “Clear Auto Dark” button, and Track Box Size current selection and available selections weren’t always initialized correctly after exit and restart (they were OK in the steady state).
  • Bug Fix – Some modal windows would have to be clicked on to receive the input focus.
  • Fixed 10-10-10 toolbar bug
  • Bug fix: Entering 0 for the number of mosaic grid rows or columns no longer causes TheSkyX to crash.
    Shortened file names on distributed tours and manuals.

Tuesday December 11, 2012 Build 6408

  • Mirror image shows an icon in upper left corner of the star chart.
  • Possible fix for clients receiving the error “Error in loading DLL” when attempting scripting operations (on 32 bit operating systems only).

Friday December 07, 2012 Build 6393

  • Distribute Orion star shoot driver.
  • Bug Fix: Constellation lines were “automatically” turned on when certain sdb’s where present and turned on.
  • Enhancement – The TPoint polar alignment report now shows adjustment information for the Paramount currently in use, only.
  • Bug fix – @Focus2 would not restore telescope cross hair option if error happened early when running @Focus2.dbq (i.e. the daylight option makes AtFocus2.dbq result in no object found).
  • Bug fix: Getting the longitude from an LX200 compatible mount no longer results in a command failed error message.
  • Bug fix: for treating the autoguider ccd on an SBIG dual CCD as though it did not a shutter (introduced in the prior build).

Monday December 3, 2012 Build 6357

  • Bug fix – Camera addon cameras were incorrectly prompting the user to “Cover the telescope” when taking dark frames (introduced in the prior build).
  • Bug fix – Fixed a bug where the magnitude for minor planets was wrong.
  • TPoint calibration runs have the “Telescope name” default to the name of the currently selected mount (use to be the short name from the mount driver).
  • Bug fix – On the Enter Coordinates tab of the Navigation window, the “Center Chart on RA/Dec” button didn’t take into account nutation (error of a few arcseconds).

Friday November 30, 2012 Build 6350

  • The virtual mount displays correctly for southern hemisphere users.
  • Fixed case sensitive URL to Celestron downloads site.
  • A bug that only affected custom mounts, using Bisque TCS, configured as a fork, where slews missed with a fixed offset on one side of the meridian.  The bug never applied to Paramounts.
  • Improved autoguiding when using large diameter guide stars.

Wedensday November 21, 2012 Build 6323

  • Fixed a bug where selecting “SBIG FW-8 STL” wouldn’t move the filter.
  • Distribute filterwheel.txt.
  • Distribute AtFocus2.DBQ fix to “File not found” error running @Focus2 with AutoSlew/AutoExposure turned on.
  • Fixed a regression bug slewing NexStar mounts to negative declinations did not work.

Monday November 19, 2012 Build 6309

  • @Focus2 incorrectly logged subframe option twice.
  • Bug Fix – ImageLink now saves WCS when operating on multiple files.
  • Fixed a bug where aborting UCAC compilation put TheSky in sleep mode.
  • Autoguiding clarification – show the units on the Calibrate Autoguider window for Relays vs DirectGuide.
  • Bug Fix – The “AutoSave focus images” checkbox didn’t apply.
  • Bug Fix – Running @focus2 would always incorrectly change the “Crosshair Option” to “No”.
  • ASCOM Focuser changes:
    • Fixed a display error for the current position of relative focusers.
    • Implicit connections (ie, move without first connecting) no longer causes strange focuser movement
    • Commands to move a focuser by 0 steps no longer fail (but do nothing)
    • Fixed move command for focuser drivers that block on MoveTo rather than returning immediately (RoboFocus should work now)
  • Image link window now has min/max buttons (because the window is big on a small screens and its nice to be able to minimize/restore and displays an image so maximize is nice too a) – choosing Image Link menu or accelerator when minimized does restore window.
  • The FOV angle being displayed should now always be shown in ‘counterclockwise’ orientation (bug introduced in prior build).
  • Improved histogram performance.  Images with low signal should be displayed correctly (appeared inverted).
  • Added a new “Set Chart Time To Photo Time” context menu option to FITSViewer. This sets TSX’s time to the time at which the FITS image was taken.
  • The FITS viewer now supports a CCDSoft-style crosshair reticule.
  • MoveTo now implemented for focusers (just like CCDSoft).

Friday November 2, 2012 Build 6269

  • Improvement – Paramount sidereal tracking is turned off when a software limit is encountered.
  • Bug Fix – The autoguiding/focus 3D star plot is black on non OpenGL 2+ videos (it use to crash). 

Tuesday October 30, 2012 Build 6262

  • Fixed a bug where Exercise Mount didn’t always work.
  • Rotators now have a tabbed dialog in the same style as the other major hardware devices.
  • Fixed a bug where sidereal tracking would go on shortly after turning it off (again).
  • Bug fix – Dome add on – the dome aligns to telescope even when OTA lower then counterweights.
  • Bug Fix – Attempting to autoguide with SBIG remote guide head would always, incorrectly result in the error 565 “Autoguider calibration is required. …” even after a successful calibration.
  • Bug Fix – @Focus2 would consistently diverge.