Release Notes

This section contains information about changes to Cyanogen Imaging ® MaxIm DL.

 

Version 6.17

Product Levels:  New MaxIm LT product level has been added.  MaxIm LT is used with SBIG Aluma cameras, and also supports STI, STF, STT, STXL, and STX models.

DL Imaging:  New "DL Imaging" driver for new camera models made by Diffraction Limited.  This includes all SBIG Aluma models.

SBIG Universal:  Removed Auto-Expose After Filter Change feature, which is obsolete.  Removed obsolete "Cal Pause" feature from SBIG AO driver.

Canon:  Added support for Canon 6D Mark II and 200D/Rebel SL2.

Nikon: Added support for D5, D500, D850, D5600, and D7500 models.

Focusers:  Improvement to support for Optec focusers.  Focus commands can now be sent while temperature compensation is in effect.

Miscellaneous:  New program icon.  Improved logging.  Updated Installer to InstallShield 2018.  Fixed a problem with Photons Wizard. Fixed SequenceRunning automation property.  Fixed problems with Photometry CSV export.  Various other minor fixes.

 

Version 6.16

Screen Stretch:  Floating stretch mode has been improved.

 

Version 6.15

Autoguiding:  All new multistar guiding implementation, with improved performance and reliability. Track box size can now be adjusted for multistar guiding.  

Filters:  For Digital Development and Unsharp Mask filters, made Gaussian Blur pixel radius a floating point input instead of integer, to allow finer control.

SBIG:  Added support for new SBIG Gen 3 drivers, required for the SBIG Aluma camera line. Also updated SBIG Universal and AO drivers - various internal improvements and fixes.

ASCOM Cameras:  Fixed a problem with ReadoutMode on old ASCOM V1 camera drivers.

Nikon D750: Fixed problem with Image Quality selections.

Product Level:  MaxIm LT has been added.  Provides full featured camera control and basic image processing for currently-manufactured SBIG cameras.

 

Version 6.14

Autoguiding:  The autoguiding algorithms have been completely restructured to improve reliability and maintainability, and to support future enhancements.  Guide star detection and evaluation has been improved.  Status logging and error reporting has been greatly enhanced both within the Guide Tab and via the Log feature. Guide star SNR is now displayed. In order to make it easier to evaluate changing sky conditions during guiding, Screen Stretch on the guide star window is now forced to Floating once guiding is underway. Calibration now attempts to return the telescope to its original starting location if it is interrupted.

SBIG AO:  To better support threading, there is now an SBIG w/AO filter wheel selection; users operating AO must now select that option. Improved auto-dark functionality. Improved star recognition during calibration.  Improved progress bar display.  Improved tracking speed.  Improved shutter management. Added some protection against user configuring with wrong guide camera internal/external setting. User can now enable/disable auto-dark functions. Improved shutter control logic.

SBIG Universal: Fixed a problem with STT filter wheels that could cause the next exposure to start before the wheel stopped rotating. Fixed a problem that could leave the STT guide camera shutter in the wrong state.  Fixed a problem that could cause unnecessary delays after very short exposures.

ASCOM Camera Interface:  Added ReadoutModes support.

Canon:  Added support for 5DS, 5DSR, 5D Mark IV, 750D, 760D, 1DXM2, 80D, 1300D, and 800D.

Nikon:  Corrected D750 image size.

Convert Color:  Added support for Truesense Sparse Color cameras and new DSLR models.

Observatory:  Fixed problem with calibration for "Point Telescope Here" function, when calibrating via telescope slews instead of PinPoint. Fixed twilight time display.

Screen Stretch:  New Floating stretch mode.  This is similar to Manual, in that the delta between Minimum and Maximum is kept constant, but if the background level changes the Minimum is adjusted to track it.  This new mode is for Autoguiding, as it allows the user to more easily monitor changing sky transparency.

PinPoint: Updated installer to latest release. Fixed a slight offset in center coordinates during telescope sync.

COM Automation:  Fixed a problem with guider subframe dimensions. Improved CCDCamera.MaxPixel reporting. Minor fixes relating to status of multi-star and differential guide modes.

General:  Fixed problem with AIRMASS not appearing in the FITS header.

 

Version 6.13

Telescope Control: Added Zoom To button to Telescope tab. Fixed bug in Bookmarks Manager.  

Camera Control: Fixed cooler setpoint display when only one camera connected. Prevented clearing image statistics during download.  Enhanced ASCOM camera error messages. Fixed problem with auto script feature.  Improved exposure duration resolution to better handle sub-millisecond exposures.

SBIG:  Added RBI Preflash support for STT series cameras (requires both SBIG Universal Driver and firmware update).  Improved threading support for SBIG cameras.  Fixed a camera status problem related to camera swapping.  Made internal and external shutter operations independent.  

Nikon:  Minor improvements related to detecting camera state.

Canon:  Several minor internal improvements.

Starlight Xpress: Including new camera driver supplied by manufacturer.  Filter wheel driver updated to allow 11 slots.

PinPoint:  Added support for local All Sky server.  Added automatic PinPoint LE license downgrade for expired licenses.  Fixed an install issue that could impact the ACP registry.

General:  Audible alarms now run on a separate thread. Minor fix to Photometry tool. Color Convert now displays preview correctly when the CB button is pressed.  Improved temporary file handling in Maximum Entropy function.

 

Version 6.12

Camera Control:  Improved ASCOM camera status reporting. Fixed glitch with retaining cooler setpoint after auto shutdown.  Increased sync timeout.  Improved error reporting.  Improved auto-dark buffer usage logging. Improved threading stability.

SBIG: Added settings for controlling RBI preflash parameters in both the SBIG Universal and SBIG w/AO plug-ins (supporting models only; may require camera firmware update). Reorganized SBIG Universal Advanced Settings dialog and AO Setup tab. Fixed problem with bias frame exposure time on interline sensor cameras.

DSLR: Improved Nikon status display.  Fixed pixel sizes for D5100 and D7000. Added workaround for failing mirror lockup detection for several Canon models.  Various minor improvements and bug fixes.

PinPoint: Distribution updated to V6.1b.

 

Version 6.11

Documentation:  Updated System Requirements to explicitly list Windows 10 as supported.  No program changes were required for Windows 10.

DSLR:  Nikon D810A is now fully supported. Improved disconnect/shutdown operation for all Nikon cameras. Nikon drivers now provide an option to select what version of camera driver DLL to use.

Observatory:  Auto Shutdown enhancements including detecting completion of camera warm-up, and ensuring all camera operations are aborted and automatically warming up the cameras as part of the Disconnect All command. Redesigned the user interface for sidereal tracking controls, and prevented possible false triggering due to external ASCOM commands. Improved error handling.

Scripting:  Fixed problem with GetGuiderImage returning wrong image. Fixed a problem using CoolerOn and SetTemperature commands back-to-back.

General:  Various improvements to night vision mode. Increased number of digits in image sequence numbers. Fixed a problem with setting minimum exposure duration on basic camera plug-ins. Fixed a problem with Atik cameras not showing temperature. Fixed a problem with threaded RGB image download. Fixed a threading issue with ASCOM interfaces. Fixed a problem with photometry CSV file import.

 

Version 6.10

Observatory:  Auto-shutdown can now turn off CCD coolers. Fixed a problem with scope auto-center calibration.

Camera Control: Added tracking error graph binning support. Fixed camera 2 statistics display. Fixed a problem with CCD temperature reporting.

SBIG:  Fixed AO premature exposure termination, spectroscopy binning in SBIG Universal, and clock synchronization in TDI mode. SBIG Universal now initializes shutter on startup.  

 

Version 6.09

Observatory: Major revision to the underlying algorithms for pier flip and slew limits. Slew refinement controls have been refined.  No longer attempts post-slew exposure if no camera connected. Astrometry data is now available in the Observatory window as soon as an image has been solved with PinPoint Astrometry. Meridan line visibility has been improved. Improved auto shutdown algorithms. Fixed an intermittent crash in the tracking error graph. Improved autofocus error handling.

DSLR: Added support for Canon 7D Mark II.  Added support for Nikon D810, D810A, D610, D750, D4S, Df, D5300, D5500, and D7200. Fixed a problem on all DSLR drivers with potential crash on binning or readout mode changes. Added color balance settings for Nikon D810A.

Camera Control: Fixed some issues with camera operation in multithreaded mode. Fixed problem with disabling guide star fade audible alarm. Guide tab Options menu now has a Record Tracking Images option, which will save all autoguider images. Fixed a problem on camera disconnect that may occasionally cause a crash. Fixed a problem with ASCOM driver error messages. Improved guide star fade detection.

Image Display: Quick Color now ignores images that don't indicate a valid Bayer pattern in the FITS header (i.e. defaults off instead of on if no information).

Davis Weather Station:  Added TCP/IP support (WeatherLink IP option required).

SBIG:  Updated plug-in to support new TDI mode on STX cameras, and the dual-channel readout option for new interline STF models. Fixed a problem running two SBIG cameras in threaded mode.

Starlight Xpress:  updated plug-in supplied by Starlight Xpress.

 

Version 6.08

Camera Control: Improved threaded download speed. Removed unexpected auto-execute scripts for autoguider images.

Roper (Princeton Instruments) - changed shutter handling per recommendation from PI. Improved error messages.

Canon:  Added mirror lockup support for Canon 70D. Worked around bug internal to 70D whereby live view Zoom 5X mode doesn't work when "face detection" mode is running (now forces "face detection" off).

SBIG AO-X:  Fixed a bug whereby "Guide Star Fade" was reported incorrectly when the star was in fact being tracked.

Photometry: Fixed some issues with memory management, and with un-tagging objects affecting CSV output.

PinPoint: Fixed bug affecting  re-solve of previously solved images.

Scripting:  Enhanced operation of CCDCamera.Filter property so it will return the current index while an autosave sequence is running. Added multistar guiding control. Added access to narrowband blending tool.  Added access to shutdown command.

Calibration: Relaxed the interpretation of FITS IMAGETYP  field so that calibration files acquired in other programs can be used more reliably.

 

Version 6.07

Olympus DSLR:  Olympus has discontinued computer control API support for their cameras, and their drivers do not work on operating systems newer than XP.  Therefore we have removed the Olympus plug-in from distribution and moved it to the Obsolete Driver Pack.

ASCOM Interfaces:  Fixed problem with guider output commands preventing dual-axis moves. Added support for V1 switch drivers that are not compliant with the revised V2 specification. Fixed a problem with auto-shutdown altitude-based triggers.

Observatory:  Improved error messages. Several improvements to asynchronous equipment interface infrastructure. Fixed problem with autofocus failing to restart after an error.

Automation:  Fixed a problem whereby Document.PinPointSolve would only operate on new camera images. Improved error messages when saving files via Automation.

Camera Control:   Added dither support to Multi-Star Autoguiding, and fixed some glitches. Fixed a problem related to the program log triggered by "Refine via Sync".

PinPoint Astrometry:  Prevent guider images from grabbing dialog focus during autoguiding, which effectively prevented solving during autoguiding.

Photometry: Added support for CSV export of JD timestamp, measurement error, DATE_OBS, air mass, and image filename.  Precision field for exporting data to CSV file now persists.

SBIG:  Fixed a crash in related to the DSS spectrograph control feature. Enhanced control fan support for STT, STX, and STXL camera models. Improved AO error handling. (Note: we recommend updating to the latest SBIG driver via SBIGDriverChecker as there have been bug fixes in the driver.)

 

Version 6.06

SBIG AO:  Fixed minor problem with guider relay state detection. Added explicit guider flush prior to dark frame acquisition. (Note:  we recommend updating to the latest SBIG driver via SBIGDriverChecker as there have been bug fixes in the driver.)

ASCOM Cameras: Added protection against the situation where a camera driver reports image ready before the image buffer is actually available (some drivers do this for unknown reasons).

Photometry:  Protected against possible memory error situation. Added support for exporting the JD Heliocentric FITS header data via the Photometry CSV export tool.

Auto Shutdown:  Fixed problem with function not waiting for dome to park. Added protection against impossible auto shutdown commands (e.g. performing a function on nonexistent hardware.)

Rotators:  Fixed a problem with syncing rotator to a solved image.

General:  Fixed problem with PDF file command. Update sexagesimal conversion to support European style numbers. Fixed a crash that could occur if the current log file changed while the log was being viewed. Added more logging for pier flip error conditions.

 

Version 6.05

Maintenance release. Fixes a scripting issue.

 

Version 6.04

SBIG AO:  Improved fan control, and made several other minor internal improvements.

Camera Control:  Save All Exposures option now works in Continuous mode. Fixed problem with Continuous exposure mode in combination with Download on Stop option. Fixed a problem with exposures terminating prematurely while guiding and using threading. Minor fix to OBJECT FITS key code. Improved handling of Offset Tracking files.

Autofocus:  Fixed problem with backlash compensation.

Guiding:  Fixed a problem with tracking error reporting when using multi-star guiding.

Scripting: Fixed a problem that caused the ImageReady property to occasionally fail.

Photometry:  Several bugs fixed.

Observatory:  Fixed problem in threading code that could cause a lockup.

 

Version 6.03

Minor maintenance release. Fixed problem with Information Window that could occur after PinPoint Solve. Updated PinPoint distribute to correct installation issues affecting some computers. Improve logic for Sidereal Tracking check box to avoid incorrect state due to interface timeout. Fixed problem with error checking in focuser interface.

 

Version 6.02

Minor maintenance release. Fixed problem with elevation for license registration. Added some additional error checking/protection code for equipment control. Excluded some V5-specific folder path information from being transferred to V6 if the settings files are manually copied over.

 

Version 6.01

Initial release of Version 6 major upgrade - see What's New in Version 6? for major feature additions.

Canon:  Updated 6D support, added "beta test" support for 100D, 700D, and 1200D.

Nikon:  Added support for USB-only long exposures, for those camera models that support it. Added support for FX versus DX cropping. Update to D600.

Obsolete Driver Pack:  Obsolete camera driver support for all parallel port and ISA bus cameras is now discontinued.

 

Version 5.24

Convert Color: Added a button to transfer color balance settings from the Color Balance to the Convert Color command.

Observatory: Added "Simulated Park" for telescopes that can't park or have undesired behavior when parked. Improved handling of tracking state when connecting to a telescope.

Canon:  Added support for Canon 6D. Updated SDK version auto-select (for supporting older models). Fixed mirror lock problem for 60D. Improved temperature data extraction. Fixed glitches in Live View on certain models.

SBIG AO plug-in:  Fixed slightly premature camera readout. Fixed crash upon detection of a camera with a long name.

Roper PVCam: Now supports EMCCD cameras. Fixed problem with subframes.  Added support for shutter open/close delay.

ASCOM cameras: Added ReadoutMode support.

Andor:  Updated option selectors.

Nikon: Added support for D600, D5200, and D7100.  Improved error logging.

Supernova Search Tool:  Updated for Windows 8 compatibility.

Miscellaneous:  FFT Analysis function is now multithreaded. Updated color palette for 3D graphs. Fixed problem with TDI reading the telescope declination. Wavelet filters are now scriptable. Improved adaptive pier flip.

 

Version 5.23

Guiding: New Adaptive pier flip autoguiding option.

PinPoint Astrometry:  Solve output now displays an extra digit accuracy.

Canon: Added a new feature to automatically select newer or older Canon drivers, since Canon's newer DLLs do not support older camera models. Fixed an issue with Canon 1D Mark III.

Fixes: Fixed a crash that occurs when a deleted file is selected from the MRU list.  Fixed a crash in Process menu Stack when using the new automatic color convert settings.  Fixed a problem with Batch processing. Fixed problem with Photometry graphs not displaying properly when manual axis settings were selected. Uninstalling an image processing plug-in will now request UAC elevation if required.

 

Version 5.22

Canon: Added support for 60Da, 5D Mark III, 650D/Rebel T4/Kiss X6i, and 1D X.

Nikon: Added support for D4 and D800/D800E.

Celestron: Added support for new model.

Color: Added new option for automatic selection of correct color conversion settings. Currently this only works with a few camera models; more will be added over time.

Fixes: Fixed several scripting problems including an issue working with ACP, component registration sometimes failing to elevate privileges, and a problem with CCDCamera.ReadoutMode. Fixed a crash in Edit / Annotate. Fixed a problem with Settings / Connect All.

 

Version 5.21

Maintenance release. Fixes include multi-document file open under Windows 7/Vista, certain Starlight Xpress cameras, and gradient removal.

 

Version 5.20

General: Edit fields for RA and Dec position entry now support automatic parsing and pasting of angular positions, using the right-click menu. Minor improvements to line profile graphs. Improved command logging. Fixed a problem with image swapping (used for increasing available memory). Moved to 2010 version of Microsoft run-time libraries.

Batch Process: Batch Process command can now sequence the FITS Header Editor. This means that FITS keyword edits can now be applied to multiple images. Also fixed minor bug with command sorting.

Tracking Error Graph: Added scatter plot, which gives a more intuitive way of seeing whether RA and Dec corrections are balanced. Can now optionally display errors in arc-seconds.

Calibration: Now fully supports DSLR cameras that report the CMOS sensor temperature. Bayer-encoded flat fields now have several options for rescale, including a new ability to rescale each Bayer plane separately while maintaining overall color balance. Fixed problem with bringing Autoguider image to foreground if a bad pixel map was applied. Apply to All no longer affects Bad Pixel Maps, which should always be unique per group.

Sequencing: Autosave function can now handle "spectroscopic" binning modes, where X and Y are different.

SX Universal: Added support for CoStar autoguider, SXVR-H674(C) and SXVR-H694(C). Modified plug-in to work with new version of SXV-H18 firmware.

AO: Added a new plug-in capability to add AO controllers to MaxIm DL. Currently supports Orion SteadyStar (requires plug-in from Orion).

Apogee: The manufacturer is assuming responsibility for maintenance and distribution of the Apogee plug-in. We are currently keeping the previous release available in the package to avoid causing upgrade problems for existing users.

ASCOM Camera: Improved shutdown code to ensure proper functioning when disconnecting and reconnecting the camera.

Canon 50D: Added retry code to the 50D shutter control, to fix problem whereby Canon drivers occasionally fail to trigger the shutter.

Stacking: Fixed FITS header bug that appeared when "Keep Individual Color Planes" was selected.

Observatory: Improved Catalog ID selection so that all named stars are visible all the time, even if a search parameter has been previously entered. Telescope tracking is now automatically stopped if the telescope tries to track into the altitude limits. Status tab now shows sun and moon rise, transit, and set times, moon phase and percent illumination, and times for astronomical, nautical, and civil twilight. Star chart right-click menus have been improved.

Scripting: Remove Background Color is now scriptable.

 

Version 5.18

Fixed a problem with sigma clip and SD Mask functions in the calibration tools. Improved File Open error messages. Improved handling of raw binned Bayer matrix color images. Minor improvement to Celestron driver.

 

Version 5.17

Scripting:  Added new Document and Application events.

Image Processing:  Added new camera models to Convert Color command. Improved File Open default file format behavior under Windows 7, and improved error messages. Set Calibration has been tweaked to reduce memory usage when generating a large number of master frames.

Camera Control: Autosave will now automatically set the OBJECT keyword in the FITS header to the specified file name, if the Observatory Control window is not reporting a selected object.  The File menu Settings command can also be used to override the OBJECT keyword. Since some new CCD sensors can produce color images when binned, a feature was added to allow the camera drivers to perform automatic color conversion of binned images.

Orion Parsec 10100C:  Minor driver update.

 

Version 5.16

Image Analysis:  Added new FFT analysis command. Fixed Photometry AAVSO report glitch.

Image Processing: Speed improvement to Gaussian Blur (Kernel Filters). Set Calibration now allows images lacking IMAGETYP to be manually added to a group. Fixed minor problem in Remove Pedestal command background extraction. Improved error messages for the Stack command.

Camera Control: Added "Delay Between Light Frames Only" option to Autosave. Fixed glitch related to filter focus offsets. Fixed problem closing the Tracking Error Graph on systems running "Windows 7 Basic" theme.

Observatory Control: Status tab is now formatted using HTML to improve readability, and the HTML can be modified by the user to customize the layout.

Canon DSLR: Added support for new models, including 600D (Rebel T3i), 1100D (Rebel T3), 1Ds Mark III, and 1D Mark IV. Exposures can now be interrupted during the mirror lock-up delay.

Nikon DSLR: Added support for new models, including D3S, D40X, D5100, and D7000.

Celestron Nightscape: Added support for Celestron Nightscape.

Orion Parsec: Added support for Parsec 10100C.

SBIG: Added adjustable speed setting for STX cameras. Removed "fast mode" readout option as obsolete. Fixed incompatibility between AO plug-in and STi.

 

Version 5.15

Olympus DSLR: Updated driver. Unofficial support has been added for E-3, E-5, E-30, E-420, E-450, E-520, and E-620.

SX:  Changed sequencing to ensure proper shutter operation on SXVR-H18.

Camera Control: Fixed problem with Simple Auto Dark function for cameras that do not have shutters. Updated MaxImIO.sys installer utility.

 

Version 5.14

Minor maintenance release.  

SBIG:  Fixed a problem with the SBIG AO, which prematurely ended main camera exposures.  Also corrected cooler power reporting for cameras using external guide heads.  

QSI / Calibration:  A minor change was made to the calibration groups heuristics, to facilitate QSI using the SPEED function and ISOSPEED FITS keyword with their drivers.  ISOSPEED was originally reserved for use by DSLR drivers, and using it would cause calibration to assume the camera was a DSLR.

PinPoint:  Updated to version 5.1.4. .  

 

Version 5.13

Camera Control: Improved guide star fade detection and reporting. Now records guider temperature for dual-chip cameras in the FITS header, to aid in calibration of the guide frames. Fixed a problem with calculating image statistics in rotated images. Fixed Track Log support in Basic version. Added option to File menu Settings to turn on CCD coolers when auto-connecting.

DSLR: Added support for Canon 60D. Sensor temperature, if available for the current camera model, is now extracted from image metadata and displayed and recorded in the FITS header. Restructured the Canon EOS 2 driver to provide greater flexibility in supporting new models, and when possible to auto-detect more features directly from the camera such as the available ISO list. Save to CF mode is now compatible with Continuous exposure mode.

SBIG: Updated plug-in to support new ST-I camera.

Starlight Xpress: Added support for M26C.

Adaptive Optics (AO): Guide tab Control Via is now used to control how the bump commands are sent to the mount. Previously only the built-in camera relays were available. Affects both SBIG and Starlight Xpress AO units.

Apogee: Added support for AWF50-10S filter wheel.

FlipFlat: Fixed a problem with filter wheel 1 / filter wheel 2 confusion. Also updated to support latest driver.

Focuser: Fixed an incompatibility between filter wheel offsets and backlash compensation.

Photometry: Increased number of objects that can be tagged.

Animate: Now updates the Line Profile, Information, FITS Header, and Zoom windows while blinking. An option has been added to enable/disable this updating to provide better performance on large images.

Calibration: Replace w/Masters will no longer balk if previously generated master groups are present in the folder. Fixed a problem with calibrating subframes that ended at the bottom right corner.

PinPoint: Now distributing updated PinPoint 5.1 DLL.

Automation: Added new automation properties and methods Application.CreateCalibrationGroups, CCDCamera.GuiderAutoPierFlip, and Document.FilePath. Please note that some older calibration properties and methods have been deprecated but are currently still supported.

Various minor fixes.

 

Version 5.12

Stack: Fixed problem with group auto-generation.

Video DS: Fixed glitch in long-exposure webcam port selection.

 

Version 5.11

Canon: Updated to latest Canon SDK. Improved mirror lock-up detection. Fixed long exposure mode for 7D. Added another "alias" for 550D auto-identification. Fixed software level identification glitch.

Starlight Xpress: increased vertical register flush at end of exposure, to ensure that large sensors are fully flushed. Disable temperature monitoring shortly before start of readout, to prevent readout artifacts on some camera models.

Stack: Improved auto star matching for images with large saturated stars. Now ignores extra white space on filter names, and also forces semicolon instead of comma as separator for multiple filter names.

Calibration: Fixed subframes not calibrating when originate at 0,0 coordinate. Corrected problem with auto-calibration failing during Autosave sequences with automatic one-shot color conversion.

QSI: plug-in driver is no longer being distributed with MaxIm DL, to ensure proper synchronization with the vendor's driver.

Minor updates to ASCOM camera plug-in, Dual Wheels driver, and Autosave functions.

 

Version 5.10

Andor: Added option to leave shutter open continuously for autoguiding. Fixed subframe definition problem.

Canon:  Major revamp to Canon EOS II driver including automatic selection of the camera model. Please note that with this change users will need to reset the settings for the driver. Live View now supports pan and zoom, and remembers window size. Added "beta test" support for Canon 7D and Rebel T2i (550D). Updated color balance parameters for some models.

FITS: Added several FITS header keys. PIERSIDE records side-of-pier information when connected to a German Equatorial mount. READOUTM records the readout mode used for the camera. JD_GEO records the geocentric Julian Day of the start of exposure. JD_HELIO records the Heliocentric Julian Date at the exposure midpoint.

Miscellaneous updates and fixes: Telescope interface now checks whether telescope driver wants JNow or J2000.0 coordinates, and converts as necessary. Improved gradient removal handling of color images. Added lock-out for camera controls when camera link fails. Minor fix to AAVSO photometry data format. Repaired resource leak in Screen Stretch dialog box. Set Calibration now reliably remembers Boxcar Filter setting. Fixed problem with Audible Alarms settings occasionally being lost. Fixed crash in Annotate. Fixed GPUSB causing a long delay when guiding starts. Fixed confusion on cooler setpoints when cameras swapped. Fixed problem with Control Via drop list in Basic version. Fixed glitch in camera status display when stopping a sequence while the guider is settling.

 

Version 5.09

Observatory Control: Allow "Sync to solved position" from Catalog tab. Focuser tab now shows position and temperature while compensation active, if available from the driver.

Image Display: Added an adjustable center gap to the Crosshair display. Screen Stretch now includes new option to ignore hot pixels when auto-calculating Min/Max values.

Calibration: Added the ability to apply different bad pixel maps for each calibration group.

Remove Bad Pixels: Now automatically adjusts for subframes.

Stack: Can now export image alignment parameters. Fixed a rare crash. Two star alignment now tags the circular cursor with the star number, to reduce confusion during tagging.

Orion: Added support for Parsec 8300M and 8300C cameras. New DLLs for the StarShoot Autoguider were supplied by Orion.

Nikon: added support for new models.

Starlight Xpress: Added support for dithering when running non-SX main camera. Fixed an intermittent crash on disconnecting SX AO.

SBIG: Fixed glitch in AO driver fan enable control. Changed method of camera model enumeration, to allow for differentiation between ST-402 and ST-8300.

Miscellaneous: Prevent Set Calibration from creating a master frame for an empty group. Improved autosave sequence time estimate. Image processing only version now supports scripting. Autoguider output control now releases when changing ports or disconnecting camera. Fixed problem with focus offsets for autoguider. Minor updates to Apogee driver. Fixed problem in Annotate command. Fixed problem in Open Photometry File command. Fixed bugs in ASCOM camera driver cooler control and ASCOM Direct pulse guiding.

 

Version 5.08

OS Support: Added Windows 7 to list of supported operating systems (no actual software changes required).

Layout command: Added new View menu Layout feature, which allows the user to save and restore screen window positions. This can be useful when multiple screen resolutions are in use, such as when using Remote Desktop.

Canon: Added support for Canon Rebel T1i (500D). Added new Live View mode for the Canon 5D Mark II, 50D, and 500D.

Apogee: Driver now retains and auto-restores the temperature setpoint when automatic back-off occurs.

Roper (Princeton/Photometrics): PVCam driver now supports extended binning.

Starlight Xpress: Now supports cameras with temperature control. Now supports dithering with third-party main cameras. Fixed Lodestar subframe glitch. Progress indicator now defaults off.

Filter Wheels: added new Dual Wheels plug-in driver, which allows you to stack two filter wheels and operate them as if they were a single wheel. Fixed SX Filter Wheel prematurely reporting move completion. Loosened some restrictions on having two filter wheels.

Camera Control: Guider calibration now uses the star matching algorithm from the Stack command to increase robustness of the calibration procedure. Calibration now takes account of guider binning, so you can change binning without having to recalibrate. Tracking error alarms user interface has been improved. Camera status display now shows current filter position. Auto-dark reset can now act on one or all auto-dark buffers. Moved guider camera settings from Settings dialog box to Options drop list. Fixed several minor problems related to autoguider and filter wheel control and status reporting. Improved Autosave time estimation algorithm. Fixed problems with Resume Autosave and Mosaic Starting Tile Number features. Fixed problem with autoguiding in Basic version. Corrected PulseGuide timing for ASCOM Camera plug-in.

Observatory window: Added new option to synchronize Rotator to PinPoint solution. Status pane now shows transit time for current object when a German Equatorial mount is in use; this helps with planning meridian flips. FOV indicator now flips orientation to match telescope pier flip. FOV indicator definition now permits entering autoguider chip spacing as center-to-center, to match SBIG's published data. FOV can now be turned on/off from context menu. Added some minor right-click menu enhancements. Enhanced ASCOM driver error displays.

Screen Stretch: internal improvements to display acceleration algorithms.

Mosaics: Added TILEXY keyword to FITS header when mosaics are being acquired. This keyword is subsequently used by the Stack command to differentiate between the various image fields.

COM interface: Added COM property CCDCamera.GuiderBinning.

Zoom: Mouse-wheel zooming now recenters mouse after first rezoom, to prevent unexpected drift in zoom-to position.

Miscellaneous: Information window can now be resized. Fixed potential crash in Stack command when using Calibration with Remove Bad Pixels option. Fixed excess CPU usage when idle in Set Calibration command. Fixed position display not updating when dragging tags in the Photometry command. Fixed sense of position angle display in PinPoint command, and increased the height of the status display window. Fixed a problem with image processing plug-in installation on Vista/Windows 7 systems. Fixed File Details display under Windows 7. Minor fix to Process Levels command. Fixed glitch in DSI driver. FITS header I/O now blocks illegal characters from being entered into header.

 

Version 5.07

SBIG: Added support for SBIG STX series cameras. Fixed occasional unwarranted Error 100 status on filter wheel.

Flip-Flat: Added support for the Alnitak Astrosystems Flip-Flat. The Flip_Flat appears as a "filter wheel", and thus can be reconfigured during Autosave sequences. Two filter wheels are now allowed when only one camera is connected; this is to support operating Flip-Flat simultaneously with a filter wheel.

Starlight Xpress: Added support for the Starlight Xpress filter wheel. Added Full Calibration capability for the Starlight Xpress AO unit. This will allow hot pixel subtraction during calibration and guiding. Prevented SX AO from crashing if not configured properly.

Meade DSI: Improved driver installation.

DSLRs: Revamped Olympus driver now supports E-1, E-300, E-330, E-400, E-410, E-500 and E-510 and works under Windows XP, Vista, and Vista 64. Updated Nikon redistributable files. Made minor tweaks to Canon driver.

ASCOM Cameras: Improved abort behavior. Improved status display on abort. Implemented HasShutter feature.

Orion StarShoot: Added support for the Orion StarShoot Monochrome III Deep Space Imager.

File menu Settings: Added option to auto-connect equipment on program start. Also added option to open the camera control window but not automatically connect.

Audible Alarms: Redesigned Alarms user interface.

FITS files: Added FITS keys for focuser position, step size, and position. Added FITS key for rotator angle. Minor improvements to FITS Header Editor. User can now specify value for FITS keys that are normally auto-generated by MaxIm DL, if the auto-generation does not occur; for example, you can specify FILTER when no filter wheel is connected.

Filter Wheels: Focus offsets now automatically disable/enable temperature tracking as needed (some wheels do not permit move commands while temperature tracking is on). Improved focus offset initialization. Eliminated excessive filter wheel delays that could occur under certain circumstances.

Stack: If Set Calibration settings are changed, previous quality measurements are now automatically reset. Image names are now filtered to remove characters that are illegal for filenames. When classify by Object is off and Classify by Filter is on, LRGB subgroups are now automatically created. Fixed destination folder not being persisted. Improved handling of various anomalous conditions.

Set Calibration: Replace w/Masters now ignores disabled groups. Added more logging information. Settings are now written to disk more frequently.

Photometry: Fixed problem that could arise if the user did not set the reference star magnitude.

Autoguiding: Added new option to reverse both X and Y guiding outputs upon pier flip (useful when using the new TheSky-Controlled Telescope PulseGuide feature). Fixed problem with subframes when changing guider binning. Fixed problem with AO bump calibration at certain rotation angles. Fixed problem with Guider Settle by Distance during autosave sequences.

Observatory Control: Fixed a problem whereby image overlays could trigger PinPoint repeatedly. Fixed problem with Auto-Center calibration via PinPoint not handling angles properly.

Scripting: Added min and max pixel math functions.

Samples: Moved from My Documents to Program Files folder, to avoid reinstallation when creating a new user account.

Miscellaneous: Added FITS header keys FOCUSPOS, FOCUSSZ, FOCUSTEM, and ROTATANG. Fixed problem with restoring subframe settings after an autofocus run. Added Apogee INI files to the Obsolete Driver Pack. Improved window position restoration on multi-monitor systems. Improved editing of cells in list controls. Improved behavior of Virtual Keypad for combo boxes. Improved filtering of mouse clicks to prevent unintended changes to subframe and guide star selection. Fixed crash on drag-and-drop of Canon RAW files. Improved enabling/disabling of cooler control buttons. Coordinates can now be entered with colon delimitors. Fixed problem with rotation and subframe handling when swapping cameras. Improved Tracking Error Graph display. Presets now persist the camera choice. Minor improvements to focuser display. Fixed crash on Curves command save/load feature. Fixed persistence of Show Details in File Open/Save. Reordered "Files of type" dropdown for several commands. Force cached settings out to files prior to saving new Configuration. Fixed Exposure Delay feature in Continuous mode.

 

Version 5.06

Fixed an intermittent crash in the camera control window. Fixed a problem the guider binning settings to being retained. Minor tweaks to Stack command. Fixed problem with Folder Picker dialog positioning on dual monitor systems. Minor internal enhancements to the ASCOM camera plug-in interface.

 

Version 5.05

Added new Extract Bayer Plane feature. This allows you to isolate a single color plane from Bayer-encoded ("raw") color images.

Stack: Reorganized the right-click menus for clarity. Functions that only work on groups are now available at all times; e.g. even if an image is selected in the tree view rather than its parent group. This includes the Color tab, which some users had trouble figuring out how to activate. An option is now available to write the completed images to disk. When stacking multi-filter color images, you can now request that the individual planes be retained in addition to the assembled color image . Manual one-star alignment now determines scaling from FITS header binning values. When manually aligning, the auto-next function now chimes at the end of each image set. Improved Stack error detection and display, and added more information to the Log. Apply Alignment has been renamed Computer and Align Image, and has been enhanced to automatically compute the alignment if it has not already been done. Fixed a bug whereby clicking on the image would sometimes unexpectedly activate image drag alignment mode.

Set Calibration: Improved user interface controls for Auto Generate, which can now either keep old groups or clear them. A history list is now available for the Auto Generate path; a delete button is available to drop paths from the history. The browse button now has a folder icon. Groups list is now sortable by clicking on the heading row. Files can be added to the currently-selected group by drag-and-drop. The keyboard Delete key can now be used to remove files or groups. Now displays a progress dialog, which can be used to abort processing if needed. Improved defaults and settings retention for various features, including Boxcar, Sigma Clip, and SD Mask settings.

Batch Save and Convert: Added progress dialog, which can be used to abort processing if needed.

Configurations: Improved user interface so it remembers most recently saved or loaded configuration name. This makes it easier to update the current Configuration.

Pixel Math: Added new Minimum and Maximum options.

Camera Control: Added new option to automatically create subfolders by date when using Autosave. Fixed Autosave window sometimes popping up when program restored from minimized state. Fixed problem with auto-tricolor mode skipping the Green plane when autoguiding. Fixed problem with FITS header DATE_OBS key when imaging in TDI mode.

Guiding: Fixed a problem with autoguider calibration when a very hot pixel is located very close to the edge of the window. Fixed a problem with long delays due to incorrect operation of guider settling feature. Fixed problem with autoguider binning/subframes not being retained when the camera was disconnected.

Scripting: Fixed a problem with CCDCamera.StartSequence. Fixed a problem with CCDCamera.Expose failing to start exposure if the guider is running and the same driver is being used to control two separate cameras.

Observatory: Improved error messages on Focus tab.

Meade DSI: Fixed problem with temperature display on DSI III.

Dome control: Dome slaving parameters now retain fractional values.

Rings cursor: Fixed problem in increase/decrease commands when using Large Rings mode.

DSLR drivers: Included new driver update from Canon. Fixed a problem that could cause excessive delays on some computers.

 

Version 5.04

DSLR drivers: Added support for Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Fixed problem with long exposures on Canon EOS 1D Mark III, and mirror lock-up on the Canon EOS 40D. Fixed a problem with drivers losing time on some computers. Fixed problem with accessing high COM ports for bulb cables.

Observatory Focus tab: Added ability to manually select the star to use for focusing. Added the ability to subframe so that stars near the edge of the frame will not be auto-selected. Improved focuser polling. Also improved automatic star selection and added autofocus data to the Log window.

Observatory Telescope tab: Improved slew limits feature.

Camera Control Guide tab: Fixed a problem that could prevent calibration from detecting stars under certain circumstances. Added new automated Anti-Stiction feature. Added "Small Stars" option to allow the user to turn off hot pixel rejection when images are very undersampled. Added option to automatically save autoguider calibration images to disk.

SBIG AO: Fixed problem with 4x4 binning mode.

Stack: Added Auto Make Pixels Square feature. Fixed a problem with Apply Alignment function. Added tool tip to tree view to alert users to the right-click menu.

Threshold: Fixed problem with threshold enable check boxes.

Camera Control TDI tab: fixed user interface problem that can result in extraneous error messages.

Remove Bad Pixels: improved to allow larger bad pixel maps.

 

Version 5.03

New cameras supported: Canon EOS 50D and Canon Rebel XS 1000D.

Stack command: Added Drizzle capability. Improved handling of images previously "on-the-fly" calibrated; calibrated frames are now retained when Stacker is closed and reopened, and all calibrated frames are flushed if you change Set Calibration. Percentage of rejected outlier pixels are now recorded in the Log window for Sigma Clip and SD Mask. Image Scale display now works correctly.

Photometry command: Added support for new "AAVSO Extended Format" for observation reports.

Camera Control window: TDI mode is now available (where supported by camera driver). The guide star detection algorithm was improved, especially when working with undersampled images. Increased dither range. Fixed a glitch in Autosave that could cause incorrect filter to be selected under certain conditions. Fixed potential crash in Autosave on first usage. Fixed potential glitch in filter wheel handling following slews commanded by the Observatory window. Lowered minimum auto-dark pedestal to 10 ADU, for use with 8-bit guiders. Fixed minor user interface glitches in Scheduled Mode. Fixed a discrepancy between the Guider status scripting properties and their documented behavior.

Observatory window: Added controls to override or modify SideOfPier information from ASCOM telescope drivers (some drivers report SideOfPier backwards or simply wrong). Added prompt to request user to manually set the mount type if the ASCOM driver does not report it (to ensure correct SideOfPier handling). Size and position of the Zoom display is now shown on the All Sky tab. Corrected sense of angle for Rotator display on Zoom tab. Zoom tab now displays Bayer, Flamsteed or HIP instead of GSC ID, when available. Minor tweaks to mouse handling in AllSky tab. Catalog tab now clears Object ID field when selecting Stars category to allow the list to be populated. Fixed problems with catalog region search feature. Telescope sync commands and errors are now copied to the Log window. Fixed some glitches in image overlays. Focuser polling was optimized to reduce traffic.

Apogee USB/Net driver: Preflash option is now exposed in Readout Mode drop list instead of Camera Settings. This makes it easier for the user to select modes, and also makes it accessible from the scripting interface.

SBIG camera drivers: Added support for Normal and Fast readout for the AO driver. Improved CFW10 serial protocol. Some minor internal tweaks to SBIG Universal plug-in.

PinPoint: Basic plate solution information is now copied to the Log window.

Kernel Filters: Median filter operations are now faster.

Other minor changes: Fixed improper calibration error recovery in Batch Save and Convert. Fixed a problem with autosave numbering when the target file extension is not ".fit". Fixed Batch Processing problems affecting Pixel Math and persistence of the command script. Fixed crash in Lucy-Richardson Deconvolution. Fixed problem misreading RAW file headers when opening multiple files simultaneously. Fixed some FITS header fields being set incorrectly when cameras are swapped. Added some missing Starlight Xpress install files. Fixed memory management problem in one mode of the Convert Color command. Fixed several problems related to Unicode Windows versions (such as Chinese and Japanese). Fixed missing DSUSB option for Canon EOS 1 driver. Autofocus now returns the focuser to its original position when an autofocus run is aborted. Fixed crash in toolbar customization dialog.

 

Version 5.02

Camera Control window: Added support for Nikon D300. Scheduled Sequence mode now works. When running two identical camera models, camera control now saves settings for the two cameras in different places, so they can each be configured differently. Added ISO control to automation interface, and fixed glitch with autofocus control functions. Added guider cooler information to guider status display. Removed DSLR drivers improperly showing on the Filter drop list. Fixed crash on camera disconnect when running SX-AO. Fixed problem with getting temperature setpoint from wrong camera when swapping roles. Added code to ensure that subframes remain full size when changing binning. Fixed problem clearing auto-dark buffer for unregulated camera models.

Observatory Control window: Fixed pier flipping compensation for telescope auto-center calibration. Fixed improper "expose after slew" behavior for dithering and mosaic capture. Fixed merdian line display. Fixed readback of position from FITS header. Fixed errors in Julian Day and Airmass calculations. Added Airmass to FITS header. Fixed intermittent problem with dome alignment calculation. Fixed initial display of Rotator position.

Image Processing: Added Canon Rebel XSi and Nikon D300 to the Convert Color presets. File Open command now defaults File Format to Auto. Fixed File Save As overwrite not being recognized if file extension not present. Fixed crash on saving JPEG to Raw. Set Calibration now preserves the state of the Boxcar check box. Fix glitch in Batch Save and Convert, Move to Subfolder option. Fixed a problem with LRGB color combining that could cause black speckles. Fixed intermittent "Out of memory" error in Stack command. Added binning FITS header keywords to Stack command output images. Manual align modes in Stack command now recalculate all image alignments when the Reference image is adjusted.

 

Version 5.01

Canon EOS 2 driver now supports Windows Vista for all cameras including the Digic III camera models. Please note that Canon has decided not to support the older models operated through the Canon EOS 1 driver under Windows Vista.  

Various Stack command improvements and fixes. Added new Individual stack mode, which is useful for multispectral imaging. Removed extraneous document sometimes appearing in list. Improved handling of deletions from the tree view. Corrected some generated FITS keyword values. Fixed a bug that could cause intermittent crashes under some conditions.

Fixed problem with certain planetarium and telescope settings not being saved in Observatory Control window. Also now force the telescope tracking state to match the Sidereal Tracking check box, and fixed a problem with synchronous-slewing telescope models.

Several changes to File Open/Save dialogs. Fixed problem with displaying thumbnails when "Hide extensions for known file types" is turned on in Windows Explorer. Changed Save As folder location policy as it conflicted with new Windows Vista dialog design. Fixed potential crash in Windows Vista.

Fixed missing guider control panel for the SBIG STV.

Fixed scrambled main window display under certain conditions when using SBIG AO.

Corrected Dual Chip Mode to ignore Filter Wheel 2.

Fixed several problems in Autosave Sequences, including incorrect ISO values, readout mode selection, missing ISOSPEED FITS keyword, Load Sequence, and color saving for certain plug-in drivers.

On the Expose tab, fixed a problem with resetting autodark buffers, a conflict between script and GUI when selecting the filter wheel position, and New Buffer is now properly disabled in Continuous mode.

The Camera Control window Setup tab now remembers the selected camera by name, rather than by index. This prevents the selection from changing when new camera models are added.

Minor adjustment to SBIG Universal driver to reduce CPU burden under certain circumstances.

 

Version 5.00

Baseline release.