What's new in SharpCap this week... 18th July 2022

All the latest news about new features and improvements to SharpCap
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What's new in SharpCap this week... 18th July 2022

#1

Post by admin »

Hi folks,

just a bit hot here, but that hasn't stopped this week's version of SharpCap from being released :)

GOTO Co-ordinates Tool

The new feature this week is a tool that allows you to enter a set of co-ordinates (RA/Dec) and have SharpCap command your GOTO mount to move to those co-ordinates. This has for a long time been a bit of a gap - you have been able do it from the sequencer and deep sky sequence planner, but not directly from the toolbar or menus.

Well, that's fixed now - you can find the GOTO co-ordinates tool in the Tools menu - it will only be enabled if you have a GOTO mount selected and also flagged as connected.
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You have two options...

1) Enter the co-ordinates in pretty much any RA/Dec format (RA first). Here I searched the web and found the first set of co-ordinates for the Orion Nebula that came up and pasted them into SharpCap, and as you can see they were interpreted correctly. They don't need to be in DD MM SS form, you could use

Code: Select all

5.58 -5.38
and end up pretty much at the same place (to within a few arc minutes).

2) Choose a target from the target catalog used for the Deep Sky Sequence Planner - this is a fairly basic catalog that currently contains just the Messier and Caldwell objects, but the nice thing is that it orders the objects by current altitude automatically, so the ones highest in the sky appear first, followed by those closer to the horizon and then the ones below the horizon will be right at the bottom of the list.
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Not only do you get to see the altitude of the targets so you can pick one that is well placed, you also see the rough direction (NE,S,SW, etc) and a warning against those objects that are currently approaching the meridian (maybe not a good time to start imaging them!).

Finally, to save from scrolling through the list looking for a target that you have already chosen, use the search button and type a few characters of the target's name or ID and you will find it easily.

Once you have chosen the target co-ordinates, press the 'Start' button - SharpCap will handle the rest, including unparking the mount and setting it to sidereal tracking (if necessary), slewing to the co-ordinates and setting a target name if the target was chosen from the catalog. Sorted :)

Bug fixes

Thanks once again to those who send bug reports online or who report them on the forums. We have a number of fixes this week, the most notable is that the update of the mount co-ordinates was freezing when you took certain actions in SharpCap (showing the histogram was one of them!). This is now fixed.

Some of the other bugs were quite interesting as they involved a relatively complex series of steps to make them happen. For instance one crash involved:

* Open a camera, put it in still mode
* Open a tool that requires the camera to be in live mode - for instance 'Seeing Monitor'
* Close the first camera, open another camera that does not support still mode (for instance DirectShow or Folder Monitor)
* Switch to a different tool like histogram - SharpCap would try to re-enable still mode on a camera that doesn't support it, leading to a crash.

Fortunately uploaded bug reports often contain all the information to understand and fix this sort of issue, so please keep them coming!

(I should note that about 70% of uploaded bug reports are not things that can be fixed - most of the reports relate to things like ASCOM hardware or cameras that have become disconnected at odd moments either due to some sort of hardware glitch or a cable being disturbed or similar).

cheers,

Robin
RMSQueenMary
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:58 am

Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 18th July 2022

#2

Post by RMSQueenMary »

That would be useful if I do not want to rely on Internet connection and using Cartes du Ciel. For some reason, Cartes du Ciel does not allow to enter exact coordinates for objects. 8-)
SteveInNZ
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:56 pm

Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 18th July 2022

#3

Post by SteveInNZ »

In CdC, the "Position" icon to the right of the "Advanced Search" magnifying glass, lets you specify a location by RA/Dec or Alt/Az. Then hit slew.

Steve.
RMSQueenMary
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:58 am

Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 18th July 2022

#4

Post by RMSQueenMary »

SteveInNZ wrote: Thu Jul 21, 2022 1:35 am In CdC, the "Position" icon to the right of the "Advanced Search" magnifying glass, lets you specify a location by RA/Dec or Alt/Az. Then hit slew.

Steve.
That is what I have done and does not allow to use decimals, which is more precise.

For example:
08h 31m 41.70s 52° 45 16.8
SteveInNZ
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:56 pm

Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 18th July 2022

#5

Post by SteveInNZ »

Do you really need to point to 0.3 arcsec ?
To put that into context, Saturn's moon Titan is 0.8 arcsec in diameter.

Steve.
RMSQueenMary
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:58 am

Re: What's new in SharpCap this week... 18th July 2022

#6

Post by RMSQueenMary »

SteveInNZ wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 5:57 am Do you really need to point to 0.3 arcsec ?
To put that into context, Saturn's moon Titan is 0.8 arcsec in diameter.

Steve.
Why not. More precision is better. 8-)
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