ACP Expert Scheduler Update 8.3 is now available. New features are minimal and it is compatible with the ACP Application Programming Interface changes in ACP 8.3. Several bug fixes, including a long standing one, have been made as well. See the Release Notes below. To install and use this Update, your ACP Expert Support & License must be current as of Feb 1, 2020.


Release Notes for ACP Expert Scheduler V8.3 (8.3.2)

Release to add a few new things and to pick up various issues since Fall 2019. 8.3.1 was a private build for the detection of new "interstellar" comet encoding for a few customers, and of course that feature is part of this build as well.

New Features and Improvements

  • A Microsoft-supplied utility tool is now included for compacting and repairing the Scheduler database. You should only need to do this once or twice a year in most cases. See the Advanced Features section.
  • The log now logs which mode (normal, day/night (testing), or simulation) the scheduler is in when starting up. The mode is now logged in capital letters to make it easier to see.
  • Emails sent in response to weather safe/unsafe events can now be separately enabled or disabled, like Plan notices.

Changes & Fixes

  • The VOEvent fake event templates have been fixed and upgraded. The ASASSN ones have been removed since they are for a private project.
  • The AAVSO Chart tool (toolbox) in the Web interface has been updated to use the new AAVSO JSON API.
  • The Web Schedule Browser now allows start and end times through the year 2040.
  • The Web Image Series and Astro Imaging forms now restrict Priority to between 0 and 127. Priority is a 7-bit number.
  • Add recognition of Interstellar ("I") comet types, e.g. 2I/Borisov
  • If Close-If-Idle is set, and the scheduler is started during the night, and the weather goes safe, it is possible to get into the Efficiency() function before starting up the observatory, and cause Operator Intervention for no telescope. Make Efficiency() safe for no telescope connected by assuming that the Observation will not cross the meridian.
  • Unhandled exceptions (rare) are now handled explicitly with extra diagnostic info added to the Windows Application log, as well as a pop-up alert that indicates the problem with traceback in both places.
  • Corrupted date-time string in the profile for simulation time is now caught and repaired. Also, the saving and reading of this string is done under invariant culture. This was a problem on a Japanese system.
  • A long standing obscure bug where the scheduler could become confused between simulation mode and normal operation with ACP has been finally fixed!
  • Startup reporting of clock mode and time has been clarified. This will help identify simulation vs normal mode.
  • The handling of errors from the Operator Intervention Tool has been improved and made more robust.