Celebrate Valentines' Day with some KStars Love! Happy to announce the release of KStars 3.4.0 on February 14th, 2020 on Linux, MacOS, and Windows.
What's new with this release?
The Linear Focus Algorithm.
Hy Murveit continued to work on linear focusing algorithm. This is an alternative auto-focus algorithm available in the Process section of the Focus tab.
It takes regularly sampled HFR values, i.e. (mostly) moving the position inward by a fixed amount--step size in the 1st pass of the algorithm, and 1/2 step size in the 2nd pass. The polynomial algorithm varies the change in position. Linear rarely changes direction, and mostly moves inward. In its first pass it takes a number of samples inward to establish a V-curve and an approximate minimum-HFR position, then makes a 2nd inward pass looking for that minimum. It only samples the HFR after an inward move. When it needs to move outward, e.g. in between the the 1st and 2nd passes, it moves outward much further than needed, and then moves back in before capturing an image.
The system should be at rough focus before the algorithm starts. The most important parameter is the step size, which needs to be found experimentally. See the screenshot as to how it was chosen (step size = 25) for a Moonlight v2 focuser. Recommend that full-field and the SEP detection algorithm be used with it.
Faster Astrometry.net Solver
Robert Lancaster added an option to use Sextrator as the primary method to identify stars within an image. This has two benefits:
1. It removes the python dependency, which was a painful issue for MacOS users.
2. It vastly improves the solver speed, according to some early reports from our beta testers.
You can turn on the Sextrator option in Astrometry.net settings.
You can see the astrometry.net solver in now noticeably faster and more reliable than before!
Improvements & Bug Fixes
- Fixed a few memory allocation issues to reduce the process memory usage.
- Fixed DSLR ImageToFITS loading when auto convert is used.
- Fixed focus direction for relative DC focusers.
- Improved reliability of setting snoop property for the active profile.
- Fixed File name sanitization issues.
- Communication with remote INDI Web Manager is now mostly asynchronous.
- Align property labels in the INDI dialog vertically on top.