(c) Skyhound

Download SkyTools V2.2i Update

April 30, 2009

Important Note: With the release of SkyTools 3, this is the last planned update for SkyTools 2.

Who Should Download this Update?
All users of previous SkyTools 2 versions should download and install this update.  Please note that SkyTools 2 must be installed for this update to work--this is not a complete installation of the program.

Important note: due to changes made by our web host provider the Feedback and Registration functions of SkyTools stopped working as of April 1, 2004 for versions prior to 2.1d.  This update restores the functionality of these services.  

Download Instructions
The full update is in a file called skytools22i.exe.  Click on the link below to start the download.  Your browser should prompt you to save the file. Save the file in a temporary folder.

Download SkyTools Version 2.2i Update (skytools22i.exe, 5.5MB) Close SkyTools!

We urge you to backup all of your data using the backup feature of the Data Manager before installation!

Installation Instructions

  1. Make a full backup of your data via the backup tab of the Data Manager.

  2. Close SkyTools! 

  3. Make certain that the skytools22i.exe file is not in your SkyTools folder. If it is, move it to a temporary folder before continuing.

  4. Start the update program (skytools22i.exe) by double clicking on it. This program will extract the update files and start the update process.

  5. Make sure that the install program places the files into the correct SkyTools folder. If you installed SkyTools in a folder other than the default, press the Browse button and select the correct path to the SkyTools folder.

  6. Verify the installation.  SkyTools 2 will run as before, except the intro screen will display version 2.2i.  You can also view the version by clicking on the Configure SkyTools button on the main planner tool bar.  What to do if the program still reports the last version.

Notes: some of your planner settings may be reset to the defaults, including your column choices, observing location, etc.  

Fixes in Version 2.2i

  • The magnitude of Saturn no longer becomes very faint at certain angles (such as experienced during the winter of 2008/2009).

  • All DSS image download sources have been restored to working order.

Fixes in Version 2.2h

  • The new Daylight Saving Time rules are incorporated for all US and Canadian time zones.  All defined observing locations that use US/Canadian time zones will be automatically updated.  These rules take effect on March 11, 2007.

  • An annoyance has been fixed in Real Time where a periodic update in the observing list would lose the current scroll position.  Now the current scroll position is retained when an update occurs.  The currently selected object remains selected, but it is no longer scrolled into a visible position with each update.

Fixes in Version 2.2g

  • A rare problem has been fixed where notes and log entries could become confused when the ID of a supplemental database object is changed.  This is rare, but can happen when a comet is assigned a periodic number or an asteroid is later assigned a minor planet number or formal name. 

  • Another rare bug has been fixed that sometimes occurred when downloading large numbers of minor planets: multiple copies of the same minor planet could appear. 

  • The binocular chart zoom was inadvertently disabled in the V2.2e update.  Zooming has been restored.

  • In certain circumstances the import of images from an stx file replaced the images in the root of the system drive.  Images are not properly stored in their original location (if possible) or the user's images folder.

Fixes in Version 2.2e

  • Times to the nearest minute that occurred within the 30 seconds prior to midnight were being displayed with the time rounded to midnight, but the date remained for the previous day. Times are no longer rounded up to the nearest minute. 

  • The column sorting state of the planner is now saved when the program is closed and restored when re-opened.

  • Supplemental database objects downloaded  with modified magnitudes (such as a change in a nova or supernova) were sometimes being reset to their original values.

  • Plotting DSS images in the chart background is now faster and more efficient.

  • Plotting large (> 60') DSS images in the chart background was sometimes causing program crashes.

  • Instrument names longer than 31 characters were causing problems with the log indexing.  Instrument names are now properly truncated to 31 characters.

  • Bowell's  new astorb.dat asteroid file format is now supported.

  • DSS image file names are now checked for illegal file characters.

  • FITS images plotted in the chart background were not consistently being processed to appear as they did in the image viewer.

  • Pressing zoom in/out while in the "best resolution" mode of an eyepiece view no longer changes the zoom level.  This mode has a fixed zoom level by design and pressing the keys repeatedly could cause confusion when the zoom level was applied when a normal eyepiece view was later selected.

Fixes in Version 2.2d

  • Because there are so many files available now, obtaining a download listing from our web site via the Import tab of the Data Manager has been taking too long.  To address this issue we have added a new "Skyhound Web" selection that will take you directly to our web site, where the files are now separated by type.  Now select the type of files you wish to browse and click the "Get Listing" button.

  • The orbit of Pluto's moon, Charon, has been updated to be more accurate.

  • Entering the BC keyword with a quick date entry was not being translated to the proper year

  • Bowell's astorb.dat file was not being imported properly due to the very large number of minor planets contained

Fixes in Version 2.2c

  • The Print/Copy functions for Special Events were not properly taking into account the "Visible Events Only" radio button.  This sometimes lead to the wrong events being printed/copied.

  • Logs were sometimes missing from the Log Search dialog results when an object was observed in more than one instrument but the search included only one of those instruments.

  • Object links to images sometimes failed to appear in the listing on the Object Information dialog when links were made to supplemental database objects.

  • The Event Calendar would sometimes show a telescope icon for nights that did not meet the users criteria.

  • The field size on the simulation charts did not always appear properly in the status area at the bottom of the window.

  • Entering a lower case "pn g..." designation into the Quick Search window caused a crash.

  • Some Sharpless objects (e.g. Sh 2-68) were not properly found in the Designation Quick Search.

  • The magnitude limit for minor planets at opposition in the Current Events search sometimes cut off minor planets that should have been bright enough to appear in the listing.

  • The Nightly Events planner would report an incorrect dark period for high latitudes on nights when the moon never set.

  • Object sizes between 100" and 120" were being displayed improperly on the Object Requestor dialog

  • The Object Requestor didn't display the proper coordinates in the status area when J2000 coordinates where entered.

Fixes in Version 2.2b

  • Downloading DSS images from the STScI and LEDAS servers failed due to changes in the web interfaces of those servers.  This update restores these services.  It also adds the ability to download second generation DSS images via the LEDAS server. 

  • The tick labels on motion trails sometimes didn't properly show the change in date.

  • The angular measurement tool on the Interactive Atlas was not properly taking into account the proper motion of stars when making relative measurements. 

  • A crash could occur on the Interactive Atlas when trailing a long-period binary orbit and then zooming way out.

  • The SkyCat USNO-A2 "starfield" server changed output formats causing this service to fail.

Fixes in Version 2.2a

  • The orbital inclinations for a few historical comets were in error, particularly for comet Hyakutake in 1996, leading to incorrect positions.

  • The magnitude of Saturn was being incorrectly calculated for negative ring inclinations.

  • Comets from the historical (primary) database sometimes did not display properly using the "trace" feature on the charts.

  • Images attached to supplemental stellar database objects (such as a nova or supernova) sometimes failed to be listed.

  • Plotting an ephemeris for a fixed object from the Ephemerides tab of the planner sometimes lead to a program crash. 

Fixes in Version 2.2

  • The Feedback and Registration functions stopped working as of April 1, 2004 due to security changes by our web host provider.  These functions are restored to working order.

  • The data for the default instrument and observer saved by the New Log Defaults dialog was not being updated to reflect changes made in the instrument or observer (such as adding an eyepiece).

  • A Database Power Search for variable stars could sometimes return bogus stars (always with the same HD number).  These stars would not appear if added to an observing list.

  • The star icons in the Database Power Search results didn't always reflect the variable or multiple status of the star.

  • It is no longer possible to backup or restore your observing lists without also backing-up the supplemental databases.  A backup and restore without supplemental databases could lead to corruption of some observing lists.

  • A crash could occur if you opened a file browser dialog in certain cases (such as linking images to an object) and subsequently canceled without selecting a file.

  • The Select All/Unselect All functions on the Database Power Search were not updating selections in the list efficiently (the list would scroll as the selections were taking place, sometime taking a long time to complete).

  • Daylight Savings time was staying in effect an extra day on the Real Time dialog.

  • The constellation Andromeda could not be added to an observing list.

  • The blue highlighted text in the Current Events list (which indicates events that occur on today's date) were not being changed to something more appropriate when in Night Vision mode, often rendering them invisible through a red screen filter.

  • It was possible to add a J2000 coordinate position to an observing list even though this is not truly supported by the program (by design).  To avoid future confusion it is no longer possible to add them.

Fixes in Version 2.1c

  • The computation of the current time failed by an hour in some cases due to a quirk in the way Windows handles daylight saving time.  A work around has been introduced to solve this problem.

  • The abort button for a DSS image download failed to work properly.

  • The UT time was sometimes displayed incorrectly on the Log Dialog for positive time zones.

  • It was possible for some supplemental deep sky objects to be drawn outside of their view in printed/copied simulation charts.

  • Trailing large numbers of comets under certain circumstances could cause the program to hang.

Fixes in Version 2.1b

  • The taller observing list pull-down on the Observing List and Real Time tabs was making observing list selection difficult or impossible in some cases.

  • For locations with positive time zones (GMT +1, GMT +2, etc.) the UT time could be displayed incorrectly on the Date/Time dialog after entering a local time.

Fixes in Version 2.1a

  • The ASCOM telescope interface code has been updated to address a recently raised issue regarding newer .NET drivers.  SkyTools now releases the driver in all instances when the connection is closed.

  • Clicking on certain variable star designations while browsing with the Object Requestor dialog failed to correctly resolve the star.

  • The eyepiece listing for the Insert Eyepiece feature of the Log Dialog wasn't always being updated after modifying the eyepieces assigned to a telescope.

  • The sky darkness filter on the main planner was not retaining it's previous setting after changing tabs.

  • The planet grid line thickness chart preference was not working properly.

  • The Current button on the Interactive Atlas Time dialog failed or caused a crash.

  • Comet trails could appear and disappear when zooming the Interactive Atlas in/out.

  • The Martian moon trails did not properly disappear behind the planet.

  • Making charts directly from the Special Events dialog for lunar occultations could lead to a crash

  • Entering times followed by "a" (such as 03:00a) lead to incorrectly interpreted times

  • The defaults for new telescope/simulation charts have been improved (Telrad circles enabled when present, alt/az orientation assumed for alt/az mounted scopes).

  • Renaming an observing location now retains the obstructed horizon.

  • The online Feedback and Registration functions were sometimes timing out.  The result was an error message, yet the message was usually delivered successfully anyhow.  The time out period has been increased to address this problem.

  • The times across the bottom of the NightBar we invisible in Nightvision mode.

New Features/Modifications in Version 2.1

  • The separately purchased Real Time add-on brings using SkyTools in the field to a whole new level.  Observing lists can be displayed in "real time", various GOTO telescopes can be easily slewed to objects, the position of the telescope is indicated on all charts, and the Sky Commander interface is supported.

  • The new mars bitmap has more natural colors

  • The help system has been improved and updated

  • Keyboard shortcuts have been added for the observing list right-click functions

  • The red Nightvision mode has been improved for use in the field

  • A new Center in Current Chart right-click menu selection has been added to the observing lists -- if a chart is open this will make the selected object the chart target (positioned at the chart center).  Combined with the "c" keyboard shortcut this is a real time saver.

  • The supplemental dark nebulae are now plotted via the "opacity" scale (1-6, with 6 being the darkest).

  • Support has been added for for a special version of the Rigel Quikfinder that uses a cross hair reticle rather than bullseye circles

  • Plottable Images dialog: View and Delete buttons have been added to allow greater manipulation of plottable images directly from a chart

  • The age of the moon since new in days has been added to the object information

  • Uranometria 2nd Ed. chart numbers have been added

  • The surface brightness is now displayed for comets in the object information

  • The output format for printed/copied log entries has been updated

  • The charts are now labeled with each individual target object when multiple charts are printed

  • Visibility icons are now painted red in NightVision mode

  • Objects can now be added to an observing list directly from a chart

  • An optional return email address field has been added to the Feedback dialog to allow for replies to your inquires

  • Keyboard shortcuts have been added to the Naked Eye chart to point the view in the direction of the cardinal points: Alt-n will point the view north, Alt-w will point west, Alt-s points south, Alt-e points east.

As always, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to report bugs and make suggestions!  In particular I would like to thank the Real Time beta testers for doing a terrific job!