Scheduler 8.1.1, a matched companion to ACP 8.1.1 has also been released. Here are the release notes (showing the new features and changes in Scheduler for 8.1.1 and 8.1):

Release Notes for ACP Expert Scheduler V8.1.1

This release corrects a couple of problems which have been in Scheduler for a long time, one of which is serious and prompted this point release.

Changes and Fixes

  • If weather fails to connect on startup, do not allow observing to continue as if the weather is safe. It is OK if weather is not enabled in ACP, but if it is, it must succeed for observing to start (with safe weather).
  • Missing comma in email setup "from" address causes the scheudler to completely die.

Release Notes for ACP Expert Scheduler V8.1


This is a minor release containing a few new features, improvements, and bug fixes that were discovered after release 8.0. It requires ACP 8.1 (not the service release to 8.0, the real ACP 8.1). If you are upgrading from V3.X or before, please read the 8.0 release notes! Several infrequently used features have been implemented by hashtags in the Description field of request elements. You should probably review Special Features in Text Fields right now.

New Features and Improvements

  • If an unknown filter name is encountered in an ImageSet, the entire plan will fail. No longer will the configured "clear" filter be substituted.
  • ACP Plan importing now recognizes the #nopreview directive and will suppress preview generation in the resulting Scheduler image acquisitions.
  • Support is provided for defocused image acquisition. This can be useful for wide field systems with focus variation across the field. After focusing on the center of the field, the defocus can "split the difference" across the field, resulting in better overall focus. This is the same as the #defocus directive in ACP live plans. ACP Plan importing now recognizes the #defocus directive and will result in images being acquired with the specified defocusing.
  • Support is provided for imager readout modes (such as RBI). Note that the ACP plan importer cannot import #readoutmode from ACP Plans because the compiler requires a live camera to validate the given readout mode. You will need to enter these manually after importing. This is implemented by the #romode directive in the ImageSet "description field".
  • Tables in the Web Schedule Browser are now color coded for 100% completion (green), > 80% completion (orange), and any failures (red). The Observations and ImageSets tables now show which ones are currently running (white on red) like the Projects table.
  • The (new) behavior of "aggregated autoguiding" has been documented.
  • The Scheduler engine log now uses a sortable date-time format for its log line time stamping.
  • If an ImageSet indicates auto-calibration, and the ACP "save raw images" option is enabled, the raw images will now be saved in a "RAW" subfolder under the folder containing the calibrated/final images.
  • Debug level logging for rising plan delay has been improved, to make it easier to follow the actions taken.
  • The web preview images are left in place/visible until a new image has been acquired.
  • Emails for weather safe/unsafe events are no longer sent if the sun altitude is above the local horizon.

Changes and Fixes


  • Autofocus now works with simple equatorial mounts (was producing "pier side not initialized" errors)
  • CCD Navigator support for query and delete of projects now works with punctuation such as a comma in the site name
  • If the dispatcher is started in the morning after sunrise, it will no longer start up and try to do dawn sky flats. It will try if the Sun is 2 or more degrees below the high flat limit.
  • The Desktop and Web Schedule Browsers both have improved behavior for the Observation Time After and Tolerance fields, along with the Immediately After checkbox. Zero values in the time/tol boxes automatically set the immediate checkbox, and setting it zeroes the boxes. You won't get trapped in form validation now either.
  • Logging of serious operator intervention errors has been clarified by reordering the info in the Engine Log.
  • The behavior of autoguiding has been made more logical, particularly with regard to "aggregated exposure times" which now affect only a single ImageSet.
  • The guider will now properly restart if it spontaneously stops during an ImageSet with Count > 1.
  • An obscure error has been corrected in which rising plan delay would allow a Plan with a "must start before" time to rise beyond that time.
  • The case where a weather unsafe event during system startup should be handled more resiliently now. There are probably sequences involving hardware and software dome/roof closing that will need more work. I have tried as many combinations as I can create here.
  • Plan completion emails are now sent for "best efforts" plans which complete early.
  • Plan completion emails are now sent to both the Project Owner/user and the Project Contact if the addresses are different.
  • Settings file defaulting now works on Japanese systems for empty elements which should default.
  • Help info for GMail setup corrected to remove explicit port 465 (which is obsolete).
  • Cosmetic change a couple of "Simulated clock" logged messages to "Internal clock" to avoid confusion.