What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

All the latest news about new features and improvements to SharpCap
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What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#1

Post by admin »

Hi folks and welcome to that bit of the year where our nights gradually start getting longer (for Northern Hemisphere observers anyway!)

GOTO Image

The main change in this week's SharpCap update is adding the 'Goto Image' tool into the UI (last week it was available for sequencer use only). You will find it in the Tools menu, and you need to have a camera open *and* a GOTO mount connected *and* a working plate solving tool configured in order for it to become available.

Once selected, you need to choose the image file that contains the area of the sky you want to revisit by pressing the '...' button to browse for the file.
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG (69.93 KiB) Viewed 3728 times
SharpCap will attempt to plate solve the image file that you choose, so it must have visible stars in it. If the selected image is a FITS file and contains co-ordinates in the FITS headers than SharpCap will use those co-ordinates as a hint for the plate solving engine (and limit the engine to finding a position within 15 degrees of the header information). If the file is not FITS format, or does not contain co-ordinates in the headers, SharpCap will perform a whole sky plate solve (which will take longer).

As long as the plate solving operation is successful, SharpCap will command your mount to GOTO the co-ordinates of the image center (unless they are below the horizon, in which case you will get an error).

You can optionally instruct SharpCap to use an ASCOM rotator to match the orientation of the loaded image and also to perform a final plate solve/sync to ensure accurate positioning. Both of these actions will involve plate solving a frame captured from your camera, so if you intend to use them, make sure an appropriate exposure/gain are set to give a good number of visible stars before using the tool.

Once the procedure is started, progress is shown in the list of stages below - if there is a problem then you will see some information displayed in the 'Message' column and more can be found by expanding the 'Detailed Progress Log' section at the very bottom.

There are still a few things that I would like to tidy up about this - for instance saving the choice of file and other settings from one use to the next and also making sure that the browse for file chooser window ends up back in the right folder, but the current version should be usable.

Feedback welcome.

Other Stuff

Aside from the normal bug fixes, there are a few other improvements this week:

* Updated SDK from SVBony with bug fixes and support for new models
* Based on forum feedback the ability to shift the 'ghosted image alignment' overlay by 80% left/right/up/down to help with mosaic set up
* Performance improvements to live stacking, particularly when saving raw frames or when 'faint star optimization' for star detection is on.
* An option to start ZWO cameras in minimum 'turbo USB' setting to help on systems where camera stability is an issue

cheers,

Robin
Buckrogers
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#2

Post by Buckrogers »

Oh I very much like this. Thank you so much.
MarMax
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#3

Post by MarMax »

And you did not even mention the new setting to "reduce brightness of the notification bar". I just checked it and I love it!! :D
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#4

Post by RMSQueenMary »

I like that idea. What would be cool is if we can use the Deep Sky Survey or PanSTARRS for GOTO image. :idea: :lol:
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#5

Post by admin »

Hi,

ooops, yes, I forgot to put the dimming of the notification bar into the list :)

cheers,

Robin
Rab722
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#6

Post by Rab722 »

Robin when I tried the new goto feature I could not get past the first plate solve. I tried both ASTAP and All Sky. They both failed.

I then opened the same fits file in ASTAP directly and it solved in a few seconds.

Rick
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#7

Post by admin »

Hi Rick,

could you share either the log, or even better, the file that fails to solve. I expect it may be something in the FITS headers that I haven't accounted for perhaps.

cheers,

Robin
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#8

Post by Menno555 »

Hi Robin

Tested the newest version and the dimmer message header really is better :)
Also the Ghost Image Overlap is working great. Compliments!! :D

But I also got a error with the GoTo Image feature with the Plate Solve Target Image. Here the message:

Code: Select all

01:58:34 Starting  : 
01:58:34 Starting  : Goto the sky co-ordinates of F:\Captures\SharpCap\2022-06-29\NGC 7142_IR_UV Cut\01_32_19\NGC 7142_00005 01_44_21.fits
01:58:34 Info      : 'Image loaded, starting plate solve centered on RA=21:44:20,Dec=+65:52:41, radius of 15 degrees.' while running step Goto the sky co-ordinates of F:\Captures\SharpCap\2022-06-29\NGC 7142_IR_UV Cut\01_32_19\NGC 7142_00005 01_44_21.fits
01:58:34 Error     : 'Plate solving failed : SharpCap asked All Sky Plate Solver to plate solve F:\Captures\SharpCap\2022-06-29\NGC 7142_IR_UV Cut\01_32_19\NGC 7142_00005 01_44_21.fits within 15 degrees of RA=21:44:20,Dec=+65:52:41, but the plate solving failed.' while running step Goto the sky co-ordinates of F:\Captures\SharpCap\2022-06-29\NGC 7142_IR_UV Cut\01_32_19\NGC 7142_00005 01_44_21.fits
If I do a normal plate solve of that sub, it solves fine.
I uploaded that FITS file for you to check at WeTransfer: https://we.tl/t-bbo2FJyBpj

Menno
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#9

Post by Rab722 »

Robin, I tried multiple files and all failed with a message similar to the previous post. The fits files were generated on the previous night with the most recent version of Sharpcap.

Rick

Here is a header a reported by ASTAP

SIMPLE = T / C# FITS: 06/27/2022 04:04:57
BITPIX = 16
NAXIS = 2 / Dimensionality
NAXIS1 = 6248
NAXIS2 = 4176
DATE-END= '2022-06-27T08:04:57.5310174' / System Clock:Est. Frame End
DATE-AVG= '2022-06-27T08:03:27.5310174' / System Clock:Est. Frame Mid Point
OBSLAT = 45.1327777777778 /
OBSLONG = -85.6013888888889 /
FOCALLEN= 550 /
RA = 275.1375 /
DEC = -12.4702777777778 /
OBJCTDEC= '-12 28 12.000' /
DATE-OBS= '2022-06-27T08:01:57.5310174' / System Clock:Est. Frame Start
EQUINOX = 2022.48633879781 /
GAIN = 100 /
OBJECT = 'ngc6604 sw100' /
BLKLEVEL= 30 /
OBJCTALT= 24.20971 /
OBJCTRA = '18 20 32.000' /
SWCREATE= 'SharpCap v4.0.9063.0, 64 bit' /
XBAYROFF= 0 /
YBAYROFF= 0 /
EXTEND = T / Extensions are permitted
BZERO = 32768 /
BSCALE = 1 /
ROWORDER= 'TOP-DOWN' /
EXPTIME = 180 / seconds
XPIXSZ = 3.76 / microns, includes binning if any
YPIXSZ = 3.76 / microns, includes binning if any
XBINNING= 1 /
YBINNING= 1 /
CCD-TEMP= -4.8 / C
COLORTYP= 'RGGB ' / Try GBRG if image upside down or R/B swapped.
BAYERPAT= 'RGGB ' / Try GBRG if image upside down or R/B swapped.
BAYOFFX = 0 /
BAYOFFY = 0 /
OBJCTAZ = 218.0644 /
FRAMETYP= 'Light ' /
INSTRUME= 'ZWO ASI2600MC Pro' /
END

Here is the ASTAP SOLVE

SIMPLE = T / C# FITS: 06/27/2022 04:04:57
BITPIX = 16
NAXIS = 2 / Dimensionality
NAXIS1 = 6248
NAXIS2 = 4176
DATE-END= '2022-06-27T08:04:57.5310174' / System Clock:Est. Frame End
DATE-AVG= '2022-06-27T08:03:27.5310174' / System Clock:Est. Frame Mid Point
OBSLAT = 45.1327777777778 /
OBSLONG = -85.6013888888889 /
FOCALLEN= 550 /
RA = 275.1375 /
DEC = -12.4702777777778 /
OBJCTDEC= '-12 28 12.000' /
DATE-OBS= '2022-06-27T08:01:57.5310174' / System Clock:Est. Frame Start
EQUINOX = 2022.48633879781 /
GAIN = 100 /
OBJECT = 'ngc6604 sw100' /
BLKLEVEL= 30 /
OBJCTALT= 24.20971 /
OBJCTRA = '18 20 32.000' /
SWCREATE= 'SharpCap v4.0.9063.0, 64 bit' /
XBAYROFF= 0 /
YBAYROFF= 0 /
EXTEND = T / Extensions are permitted
BZERO = 32768 /
BSCALE = 1 /
ROWORDER= 'TOP-DOWN' /
EXPTIME = 180 / seconds
XPIXSZ = 3.76 / microns, includes binning if any
YPIXSZ = 3.76 / microns, includes binning if any
XBINNING= 1 /
YBINNING= 1 /
CCD-TEMP= -4.8 / C
COLORTYP= 'RGGB ' / Try GBRG if image upside down or R/B swapped.
BAYERPAT= 'RGGB ' / Try GBRG if image upside down or R/B swapped.
BAYOFFX = 0 /
BAYOFFY = 0 /
OBJCTAZ = 218.0644 /
FRAMETYP= 'Light ' /
INSTRUME= 'ZWO ASI2600MC Pro' /
CTYPE1 = 'RA---TAN' / first parameter RA , projection TANgential
CTYPE2 = 'DEC--TAN' / second parameter DEC, projection TANgential
CUNIT1 = 'deg ' / Unit of coordinates
CRPIX1 = 3.124500000000E+003 / X of reference pixel
CRPIX2 = 2.088500000000E+003 / Y of reference pixel
CRVAL1 = 2.747391296081E+002 / RA of reference pixel (deg)
CRVAL2 = -1.246748391592E+001 / DEC of reference pixel (deg)
CDELT1 = 3.890969981286E-004 / X pixel size (deg)
CDELT2 = 3.887340663844E-004 / Y pixel size (deg)
CROTA1 = -9.294509943324E+001 / Image twist of X axis (deg)
CROTA2 = -9.290297726446E+001 / Image twist of Y axis (deg)
CD1_1 = -1.970575386442E-005 / CD matrix to convert (x,y) to (Ra, Dec)
CD1_2 = -3.882206359117E-004 / CD matrix to convert (x,y) to (Ra, Dec)
CD2_1 = 3.885976804065E-004 / CD matrix to convert (x,y) to (Ra, Dec)
CD2_2 = -1.997278698924E-005 / CD matrix to convert (x,y) to (Ra, Dec)
PLTSOLVD= T / ASTAP internal solver
COMMENT 7 Solved in 0.5 sec. Offset was 23.3'. Mount offset RA=23.3', DEC=-0.2'
END
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Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 27th June 2022

#10

Post by admin »

Hi,

OK, I think I've got it - I tried passing the FITS file straight through to the plate solving to avoid making a copy or converting, but the AstroTortilla code doesn't like that and fails straight away. It looks like the Astap code is happy with the FITS file, but Astap itself spots the FITS headers and completes straight away without actually plate solving.

I'm going to change the code to convert the image to PNG format in a temp file - that will fix both issues I think.

cheers,

Robin
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