What's New with RTGUI+S
and its Related Files
June 5, 2013: Release 9.3
Sept. 18, 2011: Release 9.2
- Changes to the user interface for downloading positions for Near-Earth
asteroids and comets. No longer just goes off and gets current parameters when
position not found in current file. (This is a good idea for 60 days'
positions, which always are obtained in real-time, not so good for the
possible multiple datasets containing just 24 hours' positions). Now the user
must approve getting the new positions.
- Fixed problem with Scripting. Original command minalt (for
minimum altitude) is changed to minal (6 letters down to 5).
- Fixed rounding error in Azimuth display sometimes causing it to display
- Fixed a few data errors in FULL.RTG.
New Feature: "Object Trace." Get a list of altitude & azimuth
values for the current object, for a specified length and interval,
starting at the current time (need not be Real-Time).
Fixed bug where trying to load a catalog from a drive that's not
ready caused RTGUI to terminate.
Added double-quotes to Command Line parameters for Skychart.
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
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
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
Added 109 of the brighter and more popular Carbon Stars (of bright red hue)
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.
Feb. 18, 2009: Release 8.4
Fixed name display problem for comets &
asteroids. Re-labelled some name fields.
Fixed problem reading newer
Meade latitude string including seconds.
Fixed bug involving "maximum altitude" keeping
planets out of 'Best of Sky'.
Changes to FULL.RTG to prevent larger NGC numbers
turning up first during searches for smaller ones.
Bug fix to prevent RTGUI Icon from being created
more than once.
Created new Celestron telescope selection,
"NexRemote". Introduces character delays when sending to virtual serial
port. Use with all model telescopes when using NexRemote program.
Added Constellation names to objects in RADIO.RTG
Several small bug fixes in Search Wizard
Number of COM ports increased from 8 to
New Scripting command, "SKY" (invokes skychart of