1.8 is finally here

Hey everyone,
I am more than happy to announce, that N.I.N.A. Version 1.8 will be officially released! This is a huge update with massive quality of life improvements, bugfixes and lots of new stuff!

Special Thanks

To everyone that participates in our community! Be it by discussing about new features, providing feedback, reporting issues, helping to resolve them, directly contributing code or giving financial support – everything is highly appreciated and will lead to a better overall product. Thank you!

Feature Overview

One of our community members and contributors Stanley made an awesome summary video of the upcoming features. Please go check it out!

About Auto Update

Also part of this update is the new infrastructure for the auto update and this whole new homepage which you are currently looking at.
Previously the auto updater inside the application relied on the bitbucket API and was rather static in its function. For 1.8 this will change and also enable the application to provide not only release versions, but also beta and nightly builds for some early previews. These can be activated by switching the auto update source inside the options.
As version 1.7 still relies on the old auto update mechanism, there will be a two step upgrade when using the auto updater. First there will be an intermediate version 1.7.1 installed, which will make it possible to switch to the new infrastructure to update to the new 1.8 version.
The alternative is to just directly download the 1.8 version from the download section manually and just install it.

I hope you will enjoy these new capabilities.

Wish you all clear skies and happy imaging,
Stefan

Beta 1.8 Start

I am happy to announce the start of the Beta Phase for the Release 1.8.
This is the time to try out all the new features we added and fix all the issues we encounter for them. Once everything is ironed out, the official release can take place 🙂

Please find a list of all the awesome things we have worked on below!

Features

Sequence

  • Enable/Disable sequence entries

Plate Solving

  • Added interface for All Sky Platesolver

Camera Control

  • Altair native driver support
  • ToupTek native driver support
  • QHYCCD native driver support
  • Added support for anti-dew heaters in ZWO cameras
  • On ASCOM drivers support for setting readout modes

Framing Assistant

  • Add SkyAtlas image source which allows for framing based on offline SkyAtlas data

Flat Wizard

  • Supports you taking flats

Imaging

  • Added a list of manual focus targets (bright stars) that are currently visible in the sky

Framing Assistant Offline Sky Chart

  • Based on Sky Atlas data a basic sky chart showing objects can be displayed
  • Instead of dragging the rectangular through the initial image like in the other framing sources the background itself will be moved like in an orrery

Guiding

  • Added Synchronized PHD2 Guider (experimental)
  • Synchronized PHD2 Guider will synchronize your Dither requests between multiple instances of N.I.N.A.
    • Known limitations: Dithering will happen every possible synchronized frame and is not changeable

Auto-Update Channels

  • Previously the auto update was always just looking for released versions. Now multiple sources (Release, Beta and Nightly) can be selected and the auto updater updates to the respective version accordingls.
  • Additionally the changelog for the new version will now be displayed prior to updating, too.

Bugfixes

  • Corrected Max Binning level for ASI Cameras
  • Focuser move command fixed where lots of move commands where sent by accident
  • Rotation value now considered for sequence import|export
  • Canon: Fixed bulb mode for exposure times <30s
  • Canon: All shutter speeds now correctly added when step set custom function is set to 1/3
  • Meridian Flip window does not get stuck anymore when clicking on cancel
  • Log Level will now be set on application start based on profile settings.
  • ASI Cameras will not shut down their cooling and progress on opening multiple instances of NINA

Improvements

  • Clear button for PHD2 Graph
  • Hide camera cooler controls when not available for current camera model
  • Zero Floating point numbers now displayed as "0.00" instead of ".00"
  • Show better exception message when an ASCOM Interop Exception occurs
  • Canon: Errors are now shown to users in a readable format if any occur
  • Removed hard requirement of ASCOM platform. Application can now function without it
  • Improved UI Style.
    • Tweaked some color themes for more consistent colors
    • Better spacing between elements to reduce wasted space
    • Two new background colors to better pronounce some ui elements
    • Reworked Imaging tab to have a common style.
    • Imaging tab tools pane (to hide/show panels) moved to the top and split into two separate categories
  • Profiles don’t get overriden when using multiple instances of N.I.N.A. with each one having a separate profile active
  • Autostretch replaced by a better midpoint transformation function
  • Autostretch now has black point clipping options
  • Vastly improved Image Statistics calculation.
  • Estimated Finish Time will automatically update in the sequencing view
  • Added copy button for existing color schemas to copy over to custom and alternative custom schemas
  • Framing tab:
    • Moved coordinates out of framing boxes to not obscure target
    • Added a new button to be able to add the framing target to a sequence instead of replacing
    • Control to adjust opacity of framing box
  • Improved Framing Assistant and Sequence Target Textboxes by giving up to 50 target hints based on input to select from
  • Framing Assistant now can annotate DSO
  • Attempt to start PHD2 and connect all equipment when connecting to guider and PHD2 is not running
  • Adaptive Cooling: Duration for cool/warm camera is now a minimum duration. In case the cooler cannot keep up with the set duration, the application will wait for the camera to reach the checkpoints instead of just continuing setting new targets without the camera having any chance to reach those in the timeframe.

Special Thanks

The N.I.N.A. team would like to thank

  • Nick Smith from Altair Astro for providing a GPCAM2 290C to integrate Altair SDK
  • Elias Erdnuess from Astroshop.eu for providing multiple Toupcam Cameras to integrate ToupTek SDK
  • The staff at QHYCCD dealer Cloud Break Optics for lending a QHY183C to integrate QHYCCD SDK

These items helped a lot during development and testing.
Thank you for your support!

Wish you all clear skies and happy imaging!

Welcome

I am happy to welcome you on our brand new homepage for the N.I.N.A. project. Feel free to look around. You can get lots of information and documentation about the project, as well as the latest setup builds to install and try out N.I.N.A.