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Massive LTI Update
Richard S. Wright Jr.'s Blog

There's a new daily build in town... for Windows anyway, and the other OS's as soon as Daniel can get to them (my remote powers can only do so much ;-)

Look for Build 11012.

Well, I am very pleased with the feedback so far from the many users that have tried out the technical preview of TheSky LTI. With today's daily build for all four supported OS's (eventually), there is a massive change list for LTI. I am only sorry to report that we still have not moved @focus3 or the new screen stretch into the Pro version of TheSkyX, but both of these features have undergone some significant refinements and are probably only really "now" about ready to start bringing over. Still, LTI has gotten a bit more useful this round and I hope you will like the updates, fixes and improvements. Much of this was driven directly by user feedback too!

First, I should say there may be regressions! There has been quite a bit of underlying framework changes and as much as I've been able to test it, we seem to be a-okay. One thing though:

WARNING: LTI WILL CHANGE SOME SETTINGS YOU MAY HAVE IN THESKYX PRO!

Specifically, the file naming conventions for your autosaved files (and LTI always turns on autosave, except for the new collimation tool) is now always set to show your own prefix, plus the filter, temperature, etc. See the release change log for more details.

You will need to re-run the auto focuser characterization wizard. Sorry, but the location where these values was being saved has been brought into the main TheSkyX area. This is actually the first and necessary step to making @focus3 available from the Pro version, so hey see I have been working towards this! ;-)

I'm not going to list the entire change list here, but there are a few really big things people have asked for that are now available, aside from other bug fixes and cosmetic changes:

  1. Just in time for the solar eclipse... if you search for the Sun or Moon from the Target box, when you slew to the target, the tracking rates are automatically set to solar or lunar. Sidereal tracking is restored by slewing to any other target, or slewing from the sky chart (right click, slew). (This only works on Paramounts....). This is actually not in the other change list as I snuck it in under the gun.
  2. There is a parking wizard, and you can park at the end of a series!
  3. @focus3 now displays feedback on the images while focusing, and a graph showing final focus. The FWHM if it can be determined is displayed at the end of the focus run. FWHM plays no part in the focus algorithm, but many people want to see what it is at end of focus if they are using a star or field of stars. The displayed FWHM is the average of all the stars in the final focus confirmation wizard, and it does give you a good indication of the current seeing conditions.
  4. @focus3 now saves focus images and a log just like @focus2. 
  5. Zoom/Pan box has a thumbnail of the image so it's more intuitively obvious what purpose it serves.
  6. You can now set LTI to simulate camera images using DSS data.
  7. If you change targets during a series, the target name is prepended to the name for all images of that target.
  8. You can now move to a specific focuser location. Click the focuser position button to turn it into an edit control. In addition, you can abort a focuser move by clicking this button while a movement is in progress.
  9. A bit of rearranging of the Wizards and Utilities toolboxes with tasks better organized. I also added a "shutdown" button for people who can't guess to try the "ESC" button.
  10. There is a brand new "Collimation Tool", so no more trying to use the focuser panel for collimation! You can save your current focuser position and restore it, rerun @focus3 if you like, and there are three different display modes. Traditional, one with crosshairs and individually resizable circles for judging donut roundness, and my favorite, a zoomable four corner display so you can work on imaging chip planarity while looking at all four corners of your image at the same time.

I also spent some time in Golden with the brothers recently, and LTI was a prime topic of conversation. How are we going to market it? How to sell it? What is the roadmap for the future? Here's a couple of things I can tell you now:

If you are a SkyX Pro users, you are not going to have to pay for LTI separately when it's an official product. You can stop asking about upgrade pricing<g>.

People will be able to buy "Just LTI", with the restricted feature set for a MUCH lower price than PRO.

It won't be long and I am going to have to add support for mounts other than the Paramount. LTI should actually "mostly" work with non-Paramounts now, but there's some things we need to do in order to make this a first class experience. Not top priority... but it will have to happen.

I hate guiding, but nobody is going to let me get away with not adding guiding to LTI. When it comes though, it will be as revolutionary as @focus3 in terms of ease of use. Otherwise, just no.

Also, the boss man wants the new screen stretch and @focus3 in TheSkyX Pro ASAP... so that is going to happen next. Really this time... ;-)

Richard


Posted 08-03-2017 7:52 AM by Richard Wright
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Comments

Frank wrote re: Massive LTI Update
on 08-04-2017 5:46 PM

Come on Richard, where is the secret button to push to turn on @Focus 3!!!!! in TSX Pro???

Nice Job!

Frank

David Gwyn wrote re: Massive LTI Update
on 08-05-2017 10:45 AM

I love how you almost apologize for the daily build to be Windows only and then it shows up first for download on Mac. Keep up the great work!

johnnyvsx wrote re: Massive LTI Update
on 08-07-2017 1:12 PM

What is TheSky LTI?  I don't see it on your products page.

Richard Wright wrote re: Massive LTI Update
on 08-08-2017 7:39 AM

Johnny,

See this blog: www.bisque.com/.../introducing-theskyx-lti.aspx

It's not a product yet, just a technical preview.

Richard

ngc6744 wrote re: Massive LTI Update
on 08-18-2017 5:10 AM

Is LTI going to include an automated meridian flip?

Richard Wright wrote re: Massive LTI Update
on 08-23-2017 7:05 AM

Yes, LTI does a flip at the meridian. It also has a small settle routine after the flip to make sure the first image is good. This is currently for unguided operation on a Paramount (reminder).

   

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