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Introduction Features FAQ/HowTo Support Download

What's New

What's New in K3CCDTools 2.2.4

1, Meade LPI support

Wide spread Meade LPI camera is now directly supported by K3CCDTools. You can capture directly to AVI file or use LPI for autoguiding (also with using LPI long exposures).
The LPI camera is controlled via K3CCDTools LPI Control Panel. You can activate it by pressing the LPI Control Panel toolbar button:

The LPI Control Panel can work in 3 modes:
1, Short Exposure mode - this mode is dedicated for exposures from 1ms - 1000ms

2, Long Exposures mode - this mode is covers exposures from 0.5s - 16s

This mode enables you to visually watch the pending exposure progress.

3, All Exposures - this mode offers whole Meade LPI exposure range from 1ms - 16s in one range.

You can use the Record button in the same way like in Long Exposure dialog - including Pause (right mouse click).
You can also use Dark Frame which eliminates hot pixels in Preview or during autoguiding. The Dark Frame has no effect to frames recorded to AVI file.

2, Intelligent port output

Long exposure cameras (SC, JG or SAC) as well as ST4 autoguiding interface can be controlled with "Intelligent Output".
When "Intelligent Output" is checked, then K3CCDTools uses only these bits of parallel port, which it actually needs. This allows you to use 2 long exposure cameras on computer with only one parallel port - you can use lower 4 bits for one camera and the higher 4 bits for the second camera.
Or you can use 4 higher bits for parallel port guiding.

3, Simultaneous using of 2 SC long exposure cameras connected to 1 parallel port

This is practical example of using Intelligent port output mentioned above.
All you need is:

1, Parallel port adapter splitter plug:

2, Proper settings in K3CCDTools:

Camera I.
Camera II.

4, Long Exposure autoguiding

Now you can use Long Exposure modified camera for autoguiding. It enables you to use fainter stars for autoguiding.
Simply open the Long Exposure dialog, enable Preview and then you can start the Drift Explorer.

5, Long Exposure FFT capture analysis

Now you can use FFT analysis dialog also during Long Exposure capturing or previewing. You can use it e.g. for better focusing.

6, ST-4 interface for autoguiding

K3CCDTools 2.2.4 now supports this popular guiding interface via parallel port. This interface is supported by a lot of mounts, including Celestron NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS, NexStar 5i/8i/8i Special Edition, CGE and AS-GT scopes. For more details about Celestron's Auto Guide port look here.

Data outputs wires for ST-4 interface are fully configurable:

You can use ST-4 with Guide Port Interface from Shoestring Astronomy or home made Bonduelle interface.

7, New LX200GPS command set for autoguiding

New Meade mounts support undocumented LX200 guide commands - ":Mgx1234#". The new commands fix the problem of LX200GPS which stops sidereal tracking for 0.5 second after receiving standard commands (e.g. after ":Me#" ":Qe#:" sequence).

8, Enhanced Dark Frame processing - Enhanced Average Surround algorithm

Average Surround Dark Frame algorithm was enhanced and now you can see it's effect also in each individual frame. Furthermore, this feature enables you to export AVIs or image sequence as dark frame corrected sequence. You can use it also for batch dark frame correction of photographs from your digital camera, if you have dark frame.

M27 - raw frame example
Select Dark Frame algorithm:

A, Raw frame from AVI file - no dark frame
B, Raw frame after simple Dark Frame subtraction
C, Raw frame after Averaged Surround Dark Frame algorithm

9, Implemented enhanced support for signed and unsigned FIT16 files

  • New version can work (load, save or export) with both signed and unsigned 16-bit FIT format. Some other astronomy programs can work only with one of 16-bit formats, so now you can choose export formats, which will best match your demands
  • If summing/stack result values exceed 16-bit range (i.e. -32768..+32767 for signed FIT16 and 0..65535 for unsigned FIT16), then the values are recalculated so they fit the FIT format range
  • You can use K3CCDTools now also for conversion 32-bit FITs into 16-bit FITs or from FIT16 signed to FIT16 unsigned and vice-versa. This is very useful, when you want use your results saved in FIT32 in programs which support only FIT16.

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Last Update: 24.03.2006