If you have not been following along (and since the release of SGPro 2.4 is imminent), I thought you might be interested in a comprehensive look at differences you will find when moving from 2.3 to 2.4…
Non Feature Changes:
- Dropping support for PHD1
- Must be using ASCOM 6.1 or better
New SGPro Notification System
- This is the latest add-on in SGPro… With it you can monitor your sequence’s status, warnings, errors and alerts using Email, Text (SMS) or Good Night System. You can get a remote notification on the status of just about anything you can think of (e.g. centering failures, PHD2 star lost, and many more…). This means that you will be able to monitor the status of your sequence through email or GNS (but most importantly through any type of smartphone). With it you will know if your sequence has stopped prematurely or if something might be wrong (clouds, wind, etc). Full details and instructions can be found in the included help file. The cost for this addon will be $19.
- Initial implementation for weather stations (ASCOM safe / unsafe). Auto park, close observatory and perform other end of sequence options when an unsafe condition is reported.
Auto Focus Changes
- Smart Focus
- Auto continue when you are still outside focus at the end of your run
- Reset the focus run farther out when you start the AF run inside of focus
- Best fit method. Use all of your data! Auto focus will now perform a linear regression of your focus data in order to arrive at a more accurate focus position.
- Whole image HFR star cap. Prevent SGPro from trying to use more stars than you have available in your FOV (sometimes leading to noise dominated HFR values).
- If you have a scope with a central obstruction, you can also turn the “Smart Focus” feature off. Scopes that produce “donut” stars when severely out of focus tend to operate better without this feature.
- The cancel button for auto focus will now cancel all auto focus activity during that session (and not just from the last run)
- Added an option where auto focus dark frames only need to be with +/- 2sec of the exposure length to be applied (the closest match to the actual exposure time will be selected)
- Added direct access to auto focus filter exposure times from the auto focus settings dialog
- Fixed an issue where users using backlash compensation during auto focus would experience intermittent failure
- HFR calculations for very large images should be much faster
- Removed auto focus option to use same stars
Mosaic and Framing Wizard Changes
- Added a new feature to the Mosaic and Framing Wizard that allows you to fetch the mosaic canvas from an existing SGPro FITS file. The mosaic canvas will be centered on your image and a blue rectangle drawn about the area your import occupies (then you can know where to add additional mosaic frames).
- You can now create a sequence from the Mosaic and Framing Wizard that Auto Center, Slew or do both for each target
- The sequence will now attempt to calibrate PHD2 and start guiding for you (if it’s not already running or you don’t have a valid connection to PHD2)
- Adding new entry to the “Event Options” menu that allows the user to set the current (starting event)
- Added ability to provide a “global end time” for all imaging. This will take priority over any target specific end times.
- Added an option to the auto guider tab that, if checked, will force the PHD2 auto guider to recalibrate on target change
- Added option to stop the mount in place (stop tracking) when the sequence terminates (as opposed to park)
- Delayed sequence start options
- Wait until camera cools to start sequence
- Camera will not cool until near image start time
- Keep observatory closed until sequence starts
- Removing option to pause the guider during main image download (this never worked properly anyhow)
- The default ISO for new DSLR sequences is now 800
- Fixed a bug where resuming a sequence could sometimes trigger auto focus when you do not have that trigger selected
- Fixed a bug where aborting the sequence with “rotate through events” selected, would move to the next event upon resuming the sequence
- The auto guider will now always attempt to “settle” prior to taking a light frame (even if the dithering option is not selected)
Plate Solving Changes
- Blind solves will now send scale and error of 100% (you can override error in ANSVR settings). ANSVR, when used as the primary solver, still sends the scale with 5% error. This allows blind solves to be truly blind (or it allows you to customize the blind solve error via ANSVR settings)
- Changing the way we use Elbrus to plate solve (hopefully more reliable)
- Fixed a bug that would crash SGPro if the target settings dialog attempted to plate solve a non-16 bit FITS image.
- Fixed an issue where non-FITS images could not be blind solved in target settings
- Added support for additional Pinpoint catalogs (GSC, USNO and UCAC variants)
Sequence Recovery Changes
- Recovery will no longer attempt to center and restart guiding if you did not originally center on that target to get there
- Pier flip guiding recovery now forces calibration (in case flipping was missed)
- Guiding and settle timeout now set at 15 minutes (from 5).
User Interface / Experience Changes
- Added connect all equipment menu item
- Added keyboard shortcuts to connect and disconnect all equipment (Ctrl+Shift+C and Ctrl+Shift +D)
- Added a notes system to the equipment profile so you can remember why you created it!
- Added all keyboard shortcuts to a help dialog for quick reference (under the help menu)
- Added “Bad Image” marker as prominent icon in the upper left hand corner of an image (when user marks image as bad).
- Sequencing Window and Control Panel buttons (and keyboard shortcuts) now toggle these dialogs (instead of just open them)
- Custom profile location (great for keeping your profiles in a known location… easier for transport between machines)
- Fixed a bug where Canon image previews could sometimes appear in the “portrait” orientation
- Fixed a bug that would allow the camera to be manually disconnected during a sequence
- Fixed a bug where the event in-progress arrow would disappear when clicking on other targets
- Fixed a bug where image history review (back and forward arrows) did not consider image types other than FITS
- Disabled image history navigation during image download
- Added support for various QSI fan modes (including quiet mode)
- Full support for PHD2 using new API (a much more stable method than what was used for PHD1)
- Adding scope focal length field… adding to FITS header
- Fixed broken AstroPlanner imports
- Fixed a bug where an image download error could cause the flats calibration wizard to fail badly
- Fixed a bug where TEC cool-down on camera connect would fail if the cool-down period was 0 minutes
- Better user feedback for mounts that don’t support flipping before the meridian.
- Fixed a bug that would not allow event scripts to be run if the path contained spaces.
- Fixed a bug where aborting a sequence during the guide and settle process would present an error dialog indicating sequence failure
- Fixed a bug that would not allow users to open sequences by double clicking SGF files if the sequence file name contained spaces.
- Conforming to CCD-TEMP and SET-TEMP FITS header formats
- Removed the “ASCOM Chooser” entry from all equipment types
- Updated Canon SDK to the most recent version (2.15)
- The manual rotator direction can now be reversed if your profile has a gear combination that causes the image to be “flipped”
- Better internationalization
- Fixed a bug that when using the SBIG SGPro API guider, would cause PHD2 to crash in regions that use commas as the decimal separator
- Fixed a bug where “settle distance” for PHD2 did not work in regions that use commas as the decimal separator.
- Many, many small bug fixes