Project: ASCOM Video (started April 2012, status: Stable)

The new ASCOM interface for video is now available for both video hardware vendors and client software vendors. This provisional standard is currently under development and thus is subject to evolutionary change. The standard can be installed as an SDK that contains the COM interfaces, an IVideo simulator and a client video software with source code in C# .NET. More information about the project can be found on the ASCOM Provisional Video Standard project page.

How to install ASCOM Provisional Video SDK

The installer is available from the project home page. Just download the ASCOM Provisional Video SDK installer via the link below, then run the it.

http://www.hristopavlov.net/ASCOM/ASCOMProvisionalVideoSDK.exe

Project: ASCOM Platform 6 (completed late June 2011)

The next generation of the ASCOM Platform provides compatibility with Windows 7's enhanced security and 64-bit systems, greatly expanded support for .NET languages, some new device interfaces, and even more support for both drivers and astronomy applications. It contains new simulators, updated Visual Studio driver templates, and much more. This huge project was completed in late June 2011, and is now the standard for general use.

Most of you don't need to know what's going on inside the Platform. All you need to know is that it is a set of components that are used by ASCOM drivers and programs that work with ASCOM drivers. If you are a developer, or just want to know the details about the things that changed in Platform 6, here's a detailed description of ASCOM Platform 6 (June 2011).

How to upgrade to Platform 6

The installer for Platform 6 has been designed to upgrade previous Platform installations (back through 4.1, and including Platform 6 Release Candidates) without your needing to uninstall. Just download the Platform 6 installer via the link below, then run the it.

http://download.ascom-standards.org/ASCOMPlatform6SP1.exe

The developer components and help have been placed into a separate installer to create a cleaner Platform install and to allow them to be updated whenever required. There is no need to install these tools if you do not develop your own ASCOM client applications or drivers.

http://download.ascom-standards.org/ASCOMPlatform6DeveloperSP1.exe

How to get help with problems and report bugs

If you have a problem after upgrading from an older Platform or with a new installation, first post to the ASCOM Talk Forum and ask for help. Try to supply enough info so that others can understand your problem (e.g., "ASCOM is broken" is insufficient). Have a look at How to Get Support for details on reporting problems. The Platform does not replace or modify any Windows components nor does it change settings for any program. It is strictly a support package for ASCOM drivers and programs which use ASCOM drivers.

If you are reasonably certain that you have found a bug, you can report it and file a ticket for it to be fixed. Have a look at The ASCOM Initiative Community to see how the developer community operates. To file a bug (or improvement request), use the ASCOM Jira Issue Tracker. You will need to sign yourself up for an account. Select the ASCOM Platform project and open a new issue. Don't assign anyone to it. Try to select the best fit for the type of issue. Be as detailed as possible, including a step by step repro scenario if available.

Project: ASCOM Integration with X2 and TheSky X (Completed September 2011)

Software Bisque has implemented a cross-platform driver architecture called X2 that provides interfacing with astronomical devices from TheSky X Pro. The ASCOM X2 Integration project has developed generic X2 drivers that convert from X2 to ASCOM, allowing TheSky X to take advantage of the many existing ASCOM drivers. The new X2 drivers replace the old TeleAPI, FocusAPI, and DomeAPI plugins that are legacy from TheSky 6. Fopr info on how ASCOM and TheSky interoperate, see our FAQ Working WIth TheSky. The X2 interfaces provide a richer set of capabilities, allowing TheSky X to take advantage of more features of devices via their ASCOM drivers. There are X2 to ASCOM drivers available for Mount, Focuser, Camera, FilterWheel, and Rotator. Thanks to Evan Warkentine for most of these drivers, and to Bob Denny for the mount driver, this project is complete. You can get these X2 drivers at our Download Area, Plugins Page.

Note that ASCOM is Windows-only, so these X2 to ASCOM drivers will not work with TheSky X Pro running on Mac OS X.