Tuesday, October 31, 2017

KStars 2.8.7 Released!

Another minor KStars release is now available for Linux, MacOS,  & Windows. KStars 2.8.7 brings several bug fixes and new improvements!

So what's new in this release?

  • Sounds! While KDE users on Linux enjoyed sound notifications since they were introduced in KStars, users on non-KDE desktop and on other OSes couldn't get the sounds. This is now fixed by using Phonon & libVLC. There is a known issue with the sounds being abruptly cut-off under MacOS, we are investigating this bug.
  • Fixed annoying issue with slightly incompatible frame sizes for DSLR captures. The frame size is now always subframed to the maximum resolution entered by the user when using a DSLR for the first time in Ekos.
  • GPS fixes: When a new GPS location is received, KStars will now explicitly changes the current location to GPS Location. The time is also updated accordingly with the GPS UTC & Offset values.
  • Fixed orientation of solved Align frames. Now all solved images shall rotate correctly in the KStars Sky Map to reflect the orientation of the captured image.

  • Various fixes for Rotator Control.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

KStars 2.8.5 is released!

So here comes another minor release for KStars v2.8.5 just less than two weeks after 2.8.4 was released. KStars v2.8.5 is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. In addition to the usual bug-fixing and enhancements, here are a couple of useful features for our users:

1. Log Manager

Users complained over the year that it was hard to get logs for Ekos & INDI to diagnose issues. Due to the complexity of Ekos & INDI, logs are absolutely necessary in order to diagnose any issues. With 2.8.5, it's now super easy to enable logs and they're all in one place. From the Ekos Summary screen, click logs to open the Log Manager and then select which specific Ekos module and/or INDI driver you want to diagnose. Start Ekos as you normally do and then all the logs are stored locally, even if you are using remote INDI drivers!

2. Filter Manager

While users were able to select filter focus offsets in previous version of KStars, it was only applicable in the capture module. Not only that, you were limited to locking a specific filter when running the focus module, but what if you need to lock the filter depending on what current filter is in use? What if you don't need to run autofocus on filter change for all filters, but specific ones? The Filter Manager is here to resolves these issues.

My primary motivation behind this is due to my recent imaging session with IC5070. I wanted to use Luminance filter as the locked filter for both Lum and Hydrogen-Alpha, and when using OIII/SII, I wanted Ekos to keep the current filter and focus with it. With the old system, you were limited to one locked filter for everything, but now it is much more versatile and configurable. Please test away and report any bugs to KDE Bugtracking system.