Thursday, July 26, 2018

KStars v2.9.7 is Released!

Just in time before the next total lunar eclipse of 2018, KStars v2.9.7 is out for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

This is a feature-rich release while still continuing on making KStars more resilient and reliable.

MacOS improvements

Robert Lancaster diligently worked to improve INDI driver support on MacOS while adding a new FFMPEG-based Web Camera driver that can even records videos streamed directly from your phone. Furthermore, drivers from SBIG, MGEN, ATIK, INDuino, SSAG, Morovian, Fishcamp, and Radio Detectors have been migrated successfully to MacOS. Peter Polakovic graciously offered assistance in the SSAG and ATIK migrations.

With INDI Webcam driver on MacOS

Robert Tricking Star Detection Algorithm!
Ekos Scheduler

Eric Dejouhanet & Wolfgang Reissenberger contributed significantly to the Ekos scheduler to improve its behavior under a number of scenarios. As a result, the scheduler is now more user-friendly and quite straight forward to setup and monitor progress. More work is pending for the next release to further enhance the scheduler.

Planning Sadr Mosaic with Scheduler
Polar Alignment Assistant

The PAA tool received few improvements to simplify the process, it's now literally a 1-button click operation.

Ekos Live

Support for EkosLive is added in this release. EkosLive is a real-time web application that communicates with Ekos via websockets to provide a feature-rich yet simple interface to control and monitor all the observatory equipment. Backed by Cloud services for storage, users can store their images on the cloud and access them at any time and from anywhere. Thanks to the rich metadata system that ships with EkosLive, it is very easy to search and categorize your astro images.

EkosLive is currently in Beta.

Custom Drivers

Long requested by the community, KStars now offers an easy method to add INDI custom drivers. This is perhaps more important to users who have multiple devices and want to distinguish them. Suppose you have two SBIG cameras and want to use them simultaneously with Ekos. Currently, there is no way to do this out-of-the-box. You need to manual create an alias by copying over the SBIG XML file under /usr/share/indi, and then rename the label to be able to use a different alias.

With the Custom Drivers dialog, it's now quite straight forward to create any alias for any driver. After a restart, you can see the new alias in the Profile Editor. Moreover, this feature also works with INDI Web Manager, so you can create aliases for remote drivers as well!

Here are more highlights:

+ Support for loading compressed FITS (*.fits.gz) in FITS Viewer.
+ Android fixes + improvements by GSoC 2018 student Csaba.
+ Disabled internet check for online astrometry solver to workaround Qt bug.
+ Fixed PHD2 file not found issue.
+ Added option to restart alignment process in scheduler in case of calibration failure.
+ Support for manual dither plus dithering to a specific X,Y location.
+ Support for Auto Park Timer in Mount Module.
+ Support for Remote Drivers in the Profile Editor.
+ Added video exposure duration control to the Video Stream window.

Ekos Auto Park Timer

No comments: