What's new in SharpCap this week... 2nd May 2022

All the latest news about new features and improvements to SharpCap
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What's new in SharpCap this week... 2nd May 2022


Post by admin »

Hi folks,

first, you might notice that I have created a new 'What's New' area of the forums for these regular update posts (and also for other posts about new features in SharpCap). Replies to these posts with feedback, suggestions, etc are very welcome, but you will not be able to start a new topic in the 'What's New' area (at least you shouldn't be able to if I got the permissions right!)

There are a number of smaller changes this week in the latest SharpCap 4.0 update:
  • Improvments to satellite trail removal to allow a thinner line to be overwritten when the 'trail width' setting is low. This helps keep disturbance to the image to a minimum if you have narrow satellite trails. You can still use the trail width setting to increase the width to paint out a wider region if required.
  • Added the ability to enter 'Focus Offset' values for the Manual Filter Wheel option, for QHY on-camera filter wheels and also for ZWO wheels that are accessed via the EFW (rather than ASCOM) driver. This brings these into line with the capabilities for ASCOM filter wheels.
  • Improvements to capture of dark and flat frames, including the ability to keep the individual dark/flat/bias/darkflat frames and to cancel the capture process. The filename for the saved master dark/flat frame now includes the word 'Master', as this helps certain processing applications interpret the frame correctly. You can also now initiate the dark/flat capture process from the sequencer, although the options are limited when taking this approach.
  • Some new sequener blocks to allow the current orientation of the image to be stored (using plate solving to work out which way is North), then to allow an ASCOM Rotator to be used later in the sequence to put the image back to the stored orientation.
  • Fix issues with ASCOM setup windows appearing with very small text if using the new UI on a high DPI display. Note that the fix only works on Windows 10 or 11, not on Win7 or Win8
  • The option to 'Capture Still Frames' in the sequencer and sequence planner will now instruct PHD2 to begin guiding (if guiding is marked as required for the capture in the sequencer/planner). This will walk PHD2 through the full process of connecting hardware, looping, selecting a star, calibrating and guiding (or as many of those steps as are necessary).
  • The folder monitor camera will no longer show dropped frames if processing options mean that the calcuation takes longer than loading the next frame - in this case the frame rate will now be lowered to allow the processing of one frame to complete before loading the next.
  • Various bug fixes, including a problem with seeing triggered captures not running, a problem setting the gain on Atik cameras in high speed mode and an incorrect warning when loading a capture profile that has a different resolution if a dark or flat frame are currently active.
Hope that's enough to keep you going!


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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 2nd May 2022


Post by efriday »

I have ordered a 5-position mini filter wheel (EFW) from ZWO, which I plan to use with my ZWO ASI224 camera, now connected to a BeeLink computer on the telesope. Sharpcap sees ASI224 camera, focuser, ASPS, etc., now with no problems.
I have downloaded the EFW drivers from ZWO, and they are now listed in Sharpcap under the Filter Wheel Hardware tab.
However, my camera is not a "Pro" version and has no serial port to receive a filter wheel connector.
Do you think I can just plug the filter wheel connector into a spare serial port on the BeeLink computer. and expect Sharpcap to recognize it as a Filter Wheel?
**************** UPDATE *******************
Filter wheel arrived, and unique connectors were not required. A USB Printer type connector connected to the filter wheel, and a normal Type B USB connector connected to the Beelink computer.
Sharpcap immediately recognized the filter wheel's presence, and allowed focus adjustments for each filter - as you designed. Excellent software.........
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