SharpCap 4.0 Beta Now Available

Discussions, Bug Reports and Issues related to Beta versions of SharpCap
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admin
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by admin »

Hi Mike,

just run the installer for the new version – that will take care of uninstalling any old versions of 3.3 that are on the computer (but it leaves 3.2 alone). There's no need to save settings – those are all preserved.

If you are running one of the older versions of 3.3 at the moment you should get an auto update notification in the next day or so to update to the latest version.

Cheers, Robin
mikenoname
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by mikenoname »

Thanks, Robin.
Fabioibirru
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by Fabioibirru »

Dear Robin,

I have crash when try to open the "Deep Sky Sequence Planner...".

I always have the crash.


Best Regards
Attachments
NullReferenceException at SharpCap.Sequencer.ViewModels.ChoiceValueViewModel.EnsureValid()_line 28#53741.error.zip
(12.87 KiB) Downloaded 8 times
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by admin »

Hi,

thanks for the report – you can work around that one by having a filter wheel selected in the hardware settings (even if it's just the Ascom simulator filter wheel driver). I will have it fixed in the next version.

Cheers, Robin
Fabioibirru
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by Fabioibirru »

Dear Robin,

thanks, the suggested work around works (obviously) :)

Fabio
mikenoname
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by mikenoname »

Robin,

Just wanted to say that I'm loving the new beta! The ability to finally reset the display histogram via the sequencer now works perfectly and makes my sequences even better because I don't have to reload the profile every time to perform that task.

Thanks as always for your excellent work!

Mike
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by admin »

Hi,

I've just put a new beta build online. As well as the usual bug fixes and an SDK update for QHY cameras, this build has an interesting update to the way that the smart histogram 'Brain' sky background measurement works.

In previous versions of SharpCap, the suggestion was to either point the camera at a relatively dark area of sky or to select using the selection tool the darkest area within view to measure the brightness of that area. With the new update, the best thing to do is to just point the camera at the target you intend to image and run the sky brightness measurement tool. During the measurement, SharpCap will divide the image into about 100 smaller areas and find the darkest of these areas. The brightness of that area will be used as the basis of the sky background measurement. This means that the measurement will automatically be adjusted for the darkest area that you intend to capture.

Another change is that if you are using a colour camera, SharpCap will make the recommendations based on the brightness of the dimmest colour channel (often blue). This may well mean that SharpCap recommends a longer exposure time than it used to (previously it worked on a average brightness of the three colour channels). The new behaviour is in theory an improvement as it will ensure that the exposure time is sufficient to counteract the effects of read noise even in the darkest of the three colour channels.

Finally, I've worked on how SharpCap increases the exposure time during the sky background measurement and fixed a few bugs that could cause the measurement to run away to very long exposures in the previous version. Hopefully this will be an improvement all round.

For those of you tinkering with the sequence editor, you'll see that there is now a step that allows you to use the sky background measurement to automatically set exposure/gain/offset from a sequence.

Cheers, Robin
Fabioibirru
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by Fabioibirru »

Dear Robin,

I've just find a little problem with my EOS 700D
1) using the ASCOM Camera Driver for DSLR, the histogram "logarithmic" flag don't work (It do not change the histogram to log view)

at the same time I found that the same ASCOM Camera Driver for DSLR do not work properly (crash or has a very strange behaviour) when is installed the Software Canon EOS Webcam Utility. Uninstall it and all work properly.



SC 3.3.7253
Best Regards

Fabio
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by admin »

Hi Fabio,

ah, what is happening is that the checkbox change does not take effect until the next image arrives - I will fix that.

Thanks for the info the webcam software - I expect it loads a version of the Canon SDK into SharpCap that is incompatible with the DSLR driver (or maybe both try to initialize the SDK thinking they are the only thing using it)

Robin
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Re: SharpCap 3.3 Beta Now Available

Post by admin »

Hi,

just an update to list some of the good things that are in this week's SharpCap 3.3 beta :)

* Improvements to bug reporting – I've added some code to show a message if the sending of a bug report fails for some reason. I've also adjusted the criteria for sending a bug report to try and block bug reports being created when there is a problem connecting to Ascom hardware (camera, mount, focuser or filter wheel). Almost all failures to connect to Ascom hardware related to either the hardware not being connected to the computer or not turned on, or are problems in the Ascom driver itself - they are hardly ever problems was SharpCap. By preventing the spurious bug reports from being created it makes it easier to find and categorise the bug reports that correspond to real SharpCap problems.

* Plate solving – some bug fixes related to the reported scale and orientation of the image frame when using the Astap plate solver. The test image used when testing plate solver configuration is now a fairly sparse star field near the north celestial pole, which works reliably with both astrometry.net and Astap solvers.

* Polar Alignment - an audio feedback option has been added to the final adjustment stage - if you turn it on, SharpCap will beep each time a frame arrives and gives an update of how much adjustment is still needed. As the polar alignment becomes better, the pitch of the beep will increase.

* QHY Cameras - this week's version includes both an SDK update from QHY and also a bug fix that I hope will resolve the long-standing problems of crashes when using still mode capture on the 294 and other cameras. Thanks to Dr. Qiu at QHY for helping track down the problem.

* Sequencer - a small number of new steps have been added, including notably a step that will start guiding on the connected guiding application. This will work for PHD2 and MGEN3 guiders. Additionally, the capture frames step has been split so that capturing still frames and capturing video are now separate. When capturing still frames, it's now possible to select the capture should be paused if guiding is lost.

* Sequence Planner - updates to the options relating to guiding and dithering to use the new functionality of pausing capture if guiding is lost. The planner is now only available on cameras that can be placed into 'still mode'.

* Focusing - fixes to the two contrast based focus detection tools - these were giving erroneously high scores if part of the image was darker than the selected black level. Improvements to the logic that spots the best focus position when using the auto focus or focus scan tools. The curved line that is used to highlight the best focus position will now only appear if a) the curve is in the right direction - that is there is a pique to the curve for the contrast based tools or a dip for the star width based ones and b) the curve is a good fit for the observed focus scores.

* Various minor bug fixes and tweaks - as usual...

Looking ahead, the following would be useful :

1) Feedback on the sequence planner - what options are needed in the setup/capture/finish areas that are missing. How does it work in practice? Are the 'test' buttons useful?

2) Raw frames with stars in them - I want to automate star detection parameters in focus/polar alignment/live stacking/etc so that there will no longer be a need to adjust 4 or 5 different variables. To make this work well I need to collect *lots* of frames that should work for star detection - things like

* Subs from live stacking
* frames from polar alignment (with typical settings)
* frames from focus measurements


If you happen to have any frames like this (unprocessed, not stacked, in PNG or FITS format), please share a link to them here and I can use them in my testing of this new feature.

thanks

Robin
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