Thanks!  Contributions are always welcome.  As I said in the presentation that is how I got started.  I just started making improvements here and there where I saw a need.  Anyone can contribute, you don’t need coding experience, you can test software, make suggestions etc.  if you do have coding experience you can make even bigger contributions of course, but every little bit helps.

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That is good news, glad to hear you got it working initially.  Yes, if you selected "Internal Solver" in the StellarSolver options, that is the internal build of astrometry.net that I worked on for months.  I purposefully made stellarsolver to be flexible however, it can also use ASTAP, local astrometry.net, and online astrometry.net as well.  There are some options that might help improve solving such as using different profiles, changing things like exposure time or binning that might be either better or worse on your system.  You also might want to download more index files for the solver (make sure you calculate what size index files you will need and get a few extras around that range.  And I would highly recommend lots of testing and experimenting before going outside to make sure you have it all figured out.  Please let me know if you have more questions.

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1. So StellarSolver didn't "appear." It was a project that I worked incredibly hard on for 8 months during the pandemic.  The goal is a plate solver that works on Mac, Windows, and Linux and solves extremely fast as a library with very little configuration, no external settings files, and no external programs.  Plate Solving has been extremely tricky to get working on Windows and Mac.  I am trying to make it more beginner friendly and simple, but more powerful at the same time.   I had it perfected in its own world, but then integrating it into KStars was a bit challenging and it took us awhile to work it all out.  Part of the problem was that when I was making StellarSolver, we had been sent home due to the pandemic and I had more time on my hands, but when we were integrating it, I had started back at work and it was at least twice as hard due to the pandemic.  Now it should be pretty good, I haven't heard of many bugs in the last few months, but there still could be some issues here and there.  I would definitely try the internal solver if you can.  If you are not getting enough stars try increasing the exposure time or try a different area of the sky.  You can also try a different options profile.  

2.  I would highly recommend installing GSC so that you can have stars in your simulator images so you can work out issues.  The reason it isn't included in the main release is that some people just use kstars as a planetarium program.  Another reason would be people who already have everything worked out in their system and they never need to use simulators.  For you I would highly recommend it.  I wouldn't say the file is too big compared to what it will do for you.

3.  I don't always see every post people put up asking for help.  I am sure that is true for others as well.  If we see it, we will try to help though.  It was your post in the beta test forum that led me to this post.  I had no idea you had posted this.  Sometimes I have time to browse the forums, but recently I haven't had as much time.  As to diagnosing why your system is not plate solving, I will need more information.  I can tell you that it solves on my system both with ASTAP and StellarSolver using simulators, but to figure out why it doesn't work on your system I will need more information.  I don't know either why it would be working on your system for months and then suddenly not work.  With more information, maybe we can find out.  I think you first need to install the GSC files so you get stars and then try longer exposures.  Also try different methods.

 

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I am still a little confused by what you are saying here. There are several things.

1. You say you would like to use ASTAP, right?  Then I don't understand why you are downloading index files?  ASTAP uses its own database files.  The Astrometry index files are for the Internal StellarSolver solver or the local astrometry.net solver.  Is ASTAP all set up appropriately with its databases installed?  Did you select to use ASTAP in the StellarSolver options?  Did you maybe want to try a different solving method?

2. You said you are getting no stars in the simulator images?  Did you re-download the GSC data files after you wiped out the data directory?  The downloader is in the Startup Wizard.  GSC is too big to distribute with KStars in the DMG and not everybody wants it.

3. There is definitely support in the forums.  I try to help all that I can do, I have had quite a lot more work this year with a full time teaching job where everything has changed due to the pandemic.  I try my best to fix all the Mac bugs that I can and help out folks in the forum.  There are plenty of other people more than willing to help as well.  We are all volunteers and we believe in the project.  I know it has greatly improved my astrophotography in the last several years and many others can say the same.  Sometimes though, it does take some patience, especially when working with a beta.  We really need more people to extensively test the Mac betas and let me know if there is anything wrong with the build so that I can fix it.  Some people do it, but I think we need more.

Thanks,

Rob

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The INDI panel has opened when you start up an INDI server for many years.  Actually I asked this several years ago and it seems that folks like to be able to immediately see their devices coming online, or at least that’s what I understood the reason to be.  I don’t think it’s necessary myself but if we take it away now I don’t know I might miss it also since I’m used to it now.

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Are you saying that you are using ASTAP with the INDI Simulator CCD driver, that there are stars in the image, and that you try to plate solve and it doesn't solve?  Based on what you said, I assume you had ASTAP installed and working well with a previous KStars version with StellarSolver, so that is not the issue?

Is it pointing near the pole?  Could you try a different area of the sky?  maybe select an area with different or more stars?

I just tried plate solving with ASTAP with simulators on the latest Beta and it solved right away

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Note that you can have more than one version of the KStars Mac program on your computer.  I have really tried to make sure that they would act totally independently.  So you can download a test version or a beta, put it someplace else on your computer, play with it, and you don't have to replace the original KStars.

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PK,

I think that is mainly an INDI issue not a KStars issue?  Do you get the same issues when a Linux machine acts as a client?

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Poison,

I believe the window issue you are experiencing is a side effect of the "always on top" behavior that I had to add several years ago to many of the windows in KStars.  It was necessary because on Mac OS X, child windows don't always appear in front of their parents.  Without adding that behavior, then you lose many windows behind the skymap.  Since the skymap is supposed to be the background window and very large, that is a bad thing if the windows you are trying to work with go behind it.  So, making those other windows "always on top" was the best compromise I could come up with until there is a way to make Mac windows work the same way.

Thanks,

Rob

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Hi Jerry, let me know if there are any issues.  Hopefully the image transfer issue was just a network problem or something.

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Yes, Stefane, it is hopefully going to be the stable version.  It is a test build.  Hopefully everything works out this time.  If it does check out, we will copy this DMG into the main folder and release it.

I can take credit for fixing the Mount Control Box, it was an OS X font size issue.  I added some code that would scale it properly for OS X fonts.

Rob

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Very good.  Thank Pawel for fixing the drivers, but I did a bunch of work on the build.  It took a number of hours since craft forced me to do a full rebuild and that’s when I found a bunch of recipes needed to be updated.  

Please do more testing though since we need to make sure it is good to release.

 

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