AstroDMx Capture - Version History
AstroDMx Capture Changelog
Changelog (version 0.64.4)
Fixed a bug associated with cancelling ZWO long exposures
Fixed QHY long exposure bug More Information
The QHY SDK version 6.0.5 has a bug which causes long exposures to fail for the QHY5L-II-C and QHY5L-II-M. In order to fix this, the SDK has been dropped to 5.10.0.
Deleted version 0.64.3
Changelog (version 0.64.1)
Added DSLR camera support More Information
The new DSLR tethering support has been tested on the Nikon D50, Nikon D5100, Canon 4000D, Canon 600D and the Canon 40D. Bulb mode should work on all Canon cameras but many Nikon cameras do not support tethered bulb. Many other DSLR cameras should work. The developer of AstroDMx would like to hear from anybody that has successfully used a DSLR camera not detailed here.
Significant performance optimisations More Information
Performance critical sections of AstroDMx have been completely rewritten to make better use of multithreaded CPUs. Fast computers will most likely not see any improvement because they are already capable of running a specific camera to the manufactures theoretical maximums. Slower or older computers should see significant frame rate improvements on high megapixel cameras. The display controls no longer impact frame rates and there are options to lower the resolution of the preview screen to speed up processing further.
Added display performance options More Information
Processing data for the live preview can be computationally heavy for high megapixel cameras. The preview screen performance options drop the resolution of the live preview without affecting saved data. Dropping the resolution of the preview screen can greatly increase the speed at which the live preview screen updates.
Significant preview display improvements More Information
The preview display code has been completely rewritten to take advantage of multithreaded CPUs.
Added hardware accelerated preview display mode More Information
The preview display now operates in one of two modes. The first is the original mode (software acceleration) and a new mode which uses hardware acceleration via OpenGL. Hardware acceleration should be more efficient on computers with high-end GPUs and use less CPU time. The mode can be changed from the drop-down menus and software acceleration is the default option.
Mouse to pan around the preview display (OpenGL mode) More Information
If the preview display scale is larger than the screen size one must pan around the area. In software acceleration mode, the application presents scroll bars for the purpose. However, in hardware acceleration mode, one must use the mouse to pan around the image area by grabbing somewhere the image. There are four panning speeds which can be changed from the drop-down menus.
- UI Tweaks and optimisations
- Camera controls, such as gain or gamma, can now be made during long exposures without cancelling the previous control
- Values can now be typed into the display control UI
Significant improvements to the way that the application stores settings More Information
As of version 0.64.1, AstroDMx stores its settings in a highly structured way which means that the application will maintain its user supplied settings after upgrades.
The main camera controls can now be hidden More Information
To allow more area for the preview display, it is now possible to hide or show the main controls. This can be a huge benefit if using a small or low resolution monitor. The show/hide control can be found on the top control bar of AstroDMx Capture.
- Improvements for failed exposures handling
- Saturation and Reticle colours are now stored
- Display controls / transforms no longer have an affect frame rates
- Added auto USB bandwidth and USB speed functions for ZWO cameras
- Fixed possible font issues on some Linux distributions
- The main control area size now stored
- Added SER time stamps
- Added mouse over help to many UI controls
- Improved function to scale the live preview
- Saturation and reticle and now be changed in realtime
Colour space and resolution can now be changed during long exposures More Information
Previous versions of AstroDMx Capture did not allow the user to change the camera's resolution or the colour space control without dropping the exposure to below 1000ms. As of version 0.64.1, these values can be changed. Changing the resolution or colour space setting will cause the current exposure to be cancelled. If the connected camera does not support exposure cancellation then a message is presented to the user and the request is cancelled.
- Fixed a problem that sometimes caused the main controls to jump position
- QHY SDK updated to version 5.1.0
- ZWO SDK updated to version 1.14.0715
- Many other bug fixes and improvements
- Temporarily removed the reset all controls reset function
Changelog (version 0.50.11)
- Fixed Map to Greyscale crash
- Fixed Atik Binning problem
- Fixed Atik Crash on exit
Changelog (version 0.50.9)
Added a lag control function More Information
Some Video4Linux (UVC) cameras can show image lag despite a reasonable frame rate. For example, a connected camera could be showing a frame rate of 15 fps but, if the camera was moved, it could take a few seconds for this movement to be observed on the preview screen. Frame lag control is available in the main options menu.
- Fixed problem with the AstroDMx_DATA directory not been created and showing lots of errors
- Improved error handling for writing output files
- Reduced CPU usage for QHY cameras
- Fixed problem with the histogram using lots of CPU time
- Other post-release bug fixes and improvements
Changelog (version 0.50.4)
- Realtime calibration now works for frame integration
- Bug fixes
Changelog (version 0.50.1)
- Full support for the Atik 314L
- Full support for the Atik 314E
- Full support for the Atik 320E (Colour)
Other 16-bit Atik cameras should work More Information
Atik cameras with mechanical shutters and SetPoint coolers have been fully implemented but are untested. The developer of AstroDMx would be interested to hear from anybody who has used an Atik camera not listed above.
- Improved support for the ZWO ASI178MC
- FITS Support with configurable FITS Metadata
Added Non-destructive display controls (Gamma, Contrast and Brightness) More Information
The display controls feature can be used to change how the stream data are displayed on the preview screen. These controls do not affect the saved data but can slow down the frame rate. If using a slower computer, it is advised that the display controls are disabled before starting the main capture routine.
Added additional 16-bit to 8-bit display transforms (Linear, Gamma Log and Inverse Hyperbolic Sine) More Information
Cameras capable of operating in 16-bit mode must have their data mapped to the 8-bit preview display. Mapping these data linearly does not show faint detail very well. AstroDMx therefore provides three additional methods to show the faint detail on the preview screen. Gamma Log, ASinH (Inverse Hyperbolic Sine) and ASinH (ASinH) (inverse Hyperbolic Sine of the inverse Hyperbolic Sine). Gamma Log and the ASinH functions shows fainter information but they are computationally heavy and so should only be used for long exposures.
Added Endpoint Control More Information
The endpoint control function is an experimental feature. In order to map a 16-bit stream into the 8-bit preview display, AstroDMx calculates the brightest and dimmest pixels. Sometimes, the brightest and dimmest pixels can be skewed by hot or dead pixels. The endpoint control feature therefore trims the brightest and dimmest pixels by a fixed percentage and uses these new values to map the 16-bit stream to the 8-bit display.
Added filter wheel exposure ratios More Information
Filterwheel ratios allow the user to specify an offset value for each filter which will automatically increase or decrease the exposure length when a specific filter is selected. For example, if the exposure was set at 20 seconds and the filter offset was set at 1.2 then the exposure would be automatically be increased to 24 seconds. Similarly, if an exposure was set at 25 seconds with an offset of 0.8 then the exposure would automatically be changed to 20 seconds. Filter ratios are available online for many filter sets or can be calculated using data from your own experience.
- Long exposure indicator now shows hours, minutes and seconds
- ROI chip position is now shown in the UI
Capture window can now be minimised More Information
The capture window can now be minimised to increased the amount of available desktop real-estate. Key information, such as number of frames remaining, is displayed on the AstroDMx status bar (at the bottom of the application). There are three keyboard shortcuts which can be used to control the capture. C=Capture, P=Pause Capture and S=Stop. These shortcuts work even if the Capture window does not have focus.
Added Keyboard shortcuts More Information
Many parts of the UI now have shortcuts. Pressing the CTRL key will show the available shortcuts with an underscore. Additionally, the Capture Window has the following shortcuts C=Start Capture, P=Pause Capture and S=Stop. The Capture Window shortcuts work even if the Capture Window does not have focus.
Significant improvements to the realtime calibration system More Information
The calibration system has a non-destructive mode which applies only to the preview display. This function is useful for cameras, such as the ASI120MC, which can have lots of hot pixels when being used for long exposure. The calibration system can, for example, be used to remove these hot-pixels without affecting the saved data. The histogram can also be dark frame corrected without affecting the saved data which yields a more accurate representation of the incoming signal.
- Calibration frames can now be saved in the FITS file format.
The Heartbeat function has been renamed to Connection Manager More Information
The connection monitor watches the connected camera. If it goes offline then it will be automatically reinitialised and the operations will continue from the point of failure. For example, if the user is capturing data and accidentally knocks out the USB cable, AstroDMx will attempt to automatically reinitialise the camera and allow data collection to continue without any user intervention. The timeouts for the connection monitor can be changed from the drop-down menus.
- New UI to control camera timeouts.
- Added a custom ROI resolution UI.
Added function to make AstroDMx startup at the size it was when closed More Information
AstroDMx will now automatically startup at the size it was when it was last closed down. This function can be disabled in the drop-down options menu.
Files now output with zero padded dates More Information
Time and Date stamps on output files now have a leading zero when needed. For example, 2018-11-01 00-01.
Various defaults changed More Information
Various defaults have been changed, the most important: the software now defaults to debayering to the screen and saving RAW files. For more information, please see the main page for AstroDMx.
- Various UI changes and improvements
- Significant performance improvements throughout AstroDMx
- ZWO SDK updated to 1.13.0930
- Added System information UI
Significant improvements to the debugging mode More Information
If you experience problems with AstroDMx, you can run the software in debug mode. The debug mode can be invoked from the menus or can be run from the terminal by using either the -D1 (ASCII colours) or the -D2 (No Colours) switch.
- Several information messages added which can be disabled by clicking "Don't show again"
- One click controls added to easily scale the live preview to the UI or to show the live preview at 100%
- Removed the dark theme compatibility mode, the UI style now fully inherits from the system theme
- The main UI now shows the current time in the title bar
- The main UI shows the ADC bit-depth and operating bit-depth in the status bar
- The main UI shows frame capture information in the status bar
- Added, check for new version function
- AstroDMx version numbering has been changed to use a three digit set instead of the previous four
- Various bug fixes and other changes and improvements
Changelog (version 0.10.2.0)
- Full support for the QHY-5L-II MONO
- Full support for the QHY-5L-II COLOUR
- Other QHY cameras should work but have not been tested
- Histogram Added. The histogram supports both Linear and Logarithmic scales and shows channels in RGB combined, Luminance, RGB Average, Red, Green, Blue or Greyscale.
- Histogram image saved as a TIFF file
- Automatic Exposure, Automatic Gain and Automatic White Balance improvements (If supported by camera)
- Frame integration now works for all cameras operating in 8-bit modes
- Improvements to the camera log file
- Improvements to the over-exposure markers
- Over-exposure markers now have a sensitivity control
- Improvements to the Reticle
- Custom colours now allowed for the over-exposure markers and the reticle
- Right-click to reset controls now works for the exposure control
- Reset all controls implemented
- Long exposure countdown indicator improvements
- Long exposures are now cancelled before the new exposure is set
- Installers now create menus to launch the software
- Detailed debugging mode added - which can be invoked from the menus or manually by passing -D to the astrodmx binary
- Status area now shows the connected camera's bit-depth and calibration frame status
- Added a dark theme compatibility mode - if you are using a dark theme and the controls are still light then this option will force the controls to be dark. This option is only works with dark themes.
- Bug fixes and other improvements
Changelog (version 0.9.11-18)
- Now allows dark and flat field calibration to be used simultaneously
- Improvements to the long exposure countdown indicator
- Bug fixes
Changelog (version 0.9.11-15)
- Initial Release