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    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ

    Default PinPoint 7.0 Released

    We have released PinPoint 7.0 to production. Field test is closed. Your PinPoint license must be current as of 01-May-2021. The only change from Field Test 5 is in the Catalog Checker which now catches selection of an individual mag-band subfolder instead of the main ATLAS folder. Here are the installers:

    The main installer is PinPoint-7.0. The other installer adds the 64 bit engine. We made this for some special-application customers, as well as for Main Sequence Software's upcoming 64-bit Sequence Generator Pro. Please note that we have updated the knowledge base article for catalogs to include downloading and installing the new ATLAS catalog. Usage of the ATLAS Catalog now has its own chapter in PinPoint Help.

    Downloading and Using PinPoint Reference Catalogs (Updated April 2021)

    PinPoint 7.0 Release Notes

    This release is mainly a restructuring of the engine internally so as to support a 64 bit version of the astrometric engine, and to add support for the ATLAS All-Sky Stellar Reference Catalog. Other improvements and changes are also included:

    What's New in 7.0?

    • The Astrometric Engine itself is now available as both a 32-bit and a 64 bit component.
    • The ATLAS All-Sky Stellar Reference Catalog is now supported. This 70Gb catalog, including Gaia stars and PanSTARRS magnitudes, has high quality magnitudes, it goes deep, and has proper motions. If you can afford the space, this is now the best catalog for all uses.
    • Visual PinPoint now reports the total number of solved and failed plates on a mass plate solve (2 or more plates).
    • The Visual PinPoint solve summary log now includes the name of the catalog from which catalog stars were read.
    • The PlateStars collections can now be sorted in Magnitude order (using the always-available red magnitude).
    • Visual PinPoint now checks images to see that they are not calibration frames (dark, bias, flat) before trying to solve. If it is a cal frame, the solve process will log that and advance to the next image in the list.
    • Visual PinPoint has a new option to fall-back to all-sky if a local plate solve fails.

    What's Changed in 7.0?

    • The catalog stars collection limit in the engine has been increased to 200000.
    • The engine now supplies the estimated plate scale to the all-sky solver. This appears to speed up all-sky solutions dramatically.
    • The PlateStar.RawFlux calculation for Catalog stars (which have no flux) has been corrected to produce reasonable (but fake) flux values.
    • The USNO B1.0 and USNO NOMAD Network access reference catalogs are no longer supported. The services have been taken down by the USNO.
    • The Visual PinPoint catalog selector list has been annotated for obsolete and ancient catalogs, and of course the ATLAS catalog selection has been added.
    • Updated the link in Visual PinPoint Solve Settings to the web page that gives info on the various catalogs.
    • The Visual PinPoint catalog path UI now uses a simplified smaller folder browser. It also pre-displays the current selection and will no longer blank out the path if Cancel is clicked.
    • The values for Plate.CatalogMaximumMagnitude and Plate.CatalogMinimumMagnitude are no longet rounded to integral values on writing these properties.
    • DATE-OBS FITS fields with seconds ending in .9999 or more nines no longer fails conversion to Plate.ExposureStartTime.
    • The Solve Settings values are now more thoroughly checked for trash and empty fields.
    • If "spiral search" is enabled, a new popup appears advising to use all-sky instead. Enabling anyway disables all of the all-sky controls.
    • The automated supernova detection feature has been removed. This never really worked well eniugh to compete with other methods.
    • The documentation for Plate.DeleteFITSKey() now advises that mapped FITS properties may be written back out on UpdateFITS() and WriteFITS().
    • The mapped FITS properties for ambient and CCD temperatures have been corrected. TEMPERAT is the image sensor temperature, and AMBTEMP is the air temperature (from weather sensor etc.)
    • Floating point image support has been corrected to use the entire dynamic range of the image, and to correct a scaling problem when large negative pixels are present (6.1.4)
    • The AutoFlat process no longer fails for permission when the current flat is out of the ADU range and zip-compressing of flats is enabled.
    • Property put code for Plate.AllSkyApiKey and Plate.AllSkyDomain has been corrected for improper use of BSTR objects.
    • The Plate.RemoveWCS() method now properly removes the distortion coefficients. It also removes the PLTSOLVD field since the WCS is now gone, and leaves a HISTORY record. Documentation has been improved.
    • The ListStars sample script has been updated to use the ASCOM.Utilities library instead of the ancient DriverHelper.
    • Visual PinPoint has been fixed so that an all-sky failure with no approximate RA/Dec in FITS header will no longer cause the application to exit after reporting the error.
    • The documentation for the Plate.ArcsecondsPerPixelH/V plate scale properties has been updated to advise that the each may be positive or negative after a plate solution.
    Last edited by Bob Denny; Jun 2, 2021 at 18:12.
    -- Bob



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