What's New with RTGUI and its Related Files

March 15, 2017: Release 11

Aug. 28, 2015: Release 10

June 5, 2013: Release 9.3

Sept. 18, 2011: Release 9.2
  • Feb. 28, 2011: Release 9.1
  • The servers at the Minor Planet Center underwent major reconfigurations (none of them documented), causing RTGUI's downloading of asteroid and comet positions to stop working. Changes have been made to RTGUI allow it to work with the new data configuration. There are still a few problems with the generated RTG files that I don't yet understand, but they are approximately 99% correct. If you should happen to hit an entry that does not look correct, try downloading the file again later, or changing the program time to pick up an earlier or later entry.
  • RTGUI now displays two COM port selections next to the "Options" button on the main form. The first is the COM port selected for the telescope connection. The second is the COM port selected for reading the GPS. 



    Dec 11, 2010: Release 9.0

  • Increased the number of possible COM ports from 32 to 64.
  • Skycharts Ver. 3.2  is now released and supported. You must use Skychart version 3.2 (10 Oct. 2010) or later, which you can download here.  If your skychart.exe file is older than 10 Oct. 2010, it will not fully support the functions of RTGUI (and some of its features will be broken, anyway).  If you have an older Skychart version  (probably Version 2.76), you must install Skychart Ver 3 in the same directory - this is the recommended install procedure. If you download Ver 3.2 on a machine with no old version, this is OK. If you have only the old Skychart version installed on your computer, RTGUI will operate the same as before, but it is strongly recommended that you upgrade as the new Skychart program is much better.

  • RTGUI now uses two separate COM ports, one for communication with the telescope, and one to read the time and location from a GPS device. Click on the "options" button to load the Options form. To select or change the telescope port, click on "Select COM port for telescope," then click on one of the available ports listed, and click "OK". To select or change the GPS COM port, do the same with the "Select COM Port for GPS." Your selections are recorded if you click the "Save" button afterward, or choose "Yes" when asked to save configuration changes when you exit  the program. You do not need to select a COM port again unless you want to change your selection. The operation of the two ports are completely independent, and neither interferes with the other. You can  use the same port for both, but then you must disconnect the telescope to use the GPS. 

  • Fixed bug of uninitialized variable for GPS COM port. (If you previously selected a GPS COM port, you'll have to do it again.) Added explicit warnings when RTGUI is being run in a directory where the user does not have write access.

  • Minor feature enhancement to Search Wizard, making it easier to find a specific star that is not above the horizon. You might, for example, want to know how far south Alp Cru is, even if it never rises above your horizon. You can click on "Alp" in the Greek Letter table, then enter the 3-letter constellation abbreviation in the second name box. Previously, this kind of search was not allowed.

  • If the length of the transient file name of an asteroid or comet (without the ".rtg") is longer than 12 bytes (the length of a name field), the displayed name of the object will be the file name itself, rather than the name field in the file. This allows names longer than 12 characters to be displayed.

    April 14, 2010: Release 8.5.

    Modified Search Wizard to work with catalogs containing different kinds of deep-sky objects (specifically, the Herschel 400 Catalog).

  • Increased the number of COM ports from 8 to 32. Earlier problems with using COM ports > COM9 are fixed. Added visible search status during COM search to provide feedback showing where delays might be occurring.
  • COM search now performed only on demand, no longer automatic. Once a COM port is selected and stored, there is no need to scan again unless you wish to change it.
  • Added 109 of the brighter and more popular Carbon Stars (of bright red hue) to FULL.RTG
  • Modified the Search Wizard to include searches for Carbon Stars, and Quasars (already in FULL.RTG). Fixed bug in checking magnitude limit. 
  • Now using Ver. 7.52 of Alzip to create self-extracting code. This allows the self-extractor to run OK on 64-bit versions of Windows . Previously, RTGUI would run OK on 64-bit systems, but the self-extractor failed.
  • No longer prompts for deletion of obsolete asteroid or comet data. Deletion is automatic when the object is selected, and updated positions are obtained from the internet (if connected).
  • Changed all instances where "GMT" was displayed to read "UTC".
  • Changed name of temporary file containing comet or asteroid data as received from "mpe.tmp" to "MpeTmp.txt"

    March 11, 2010: Bug detected in catalog-building utility "addconst.exe". File was fixed and updated.