Project: ASCOM Alpaca - ASCOM is not just for Windows any more

The introduction of ASCOM Remote in 2018 began the process of extending the ASCOM ecosystem to include the internet, Linux, and MacOS, to include small embedded controllers like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. As of early 2019, this effort has grown into a new wave of development, with several astronomy instrument vendors embracing the implementation of the ASCOM Interfaces as ReST resources, reachable over the internet. Now known as ASCOM Alpaca, the next steps are being taken. This effort is much farther along that you might imagine. If you are interested in learning more, visit the ASCOM Alpaca page:

Learn More about ASCOM Alpaca

Project: ASCOM Platform 6.4SP1 (completed, released September 2018)

The current generation of the ASCOM Platform provides compatibility with Windows 7/8/10 enhanced security and 64-bit systems, greatly expanded support for .NET languages, the new SafetyMonitor and ObservingConditions 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 Platform 6 project was first released in June 2011, and is now the standard for general use. The 6.4 Service Pack 1 update was provided in September 2018. For info on what has changed, please see the GitHub Latest Release page and the release notes there.

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, see the Developer Resources section of this site.

How to upgrade to Platform 6.4SP1

The installer for Platform 6.4 has been designed to upgrade previous Platform installations (back through 4.1, and including earlier Platform 6 versions) without your needing to uninstall. Just download the Platform 6.4 installer from the GitHub "Latest Release" page below, then run it.

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.

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. Have a look at The ASCOM Initiative Community to see how the developer community operates.

Project: ObservingConditions Interface and Drivers (2015)

See the ObservingConditions Downloads section for available drivers.

Project: SafetyMonitor Interface and Drivers (2015)

See the SafetyMonitor Downloads section for available drivers.

Project: Switch Standard and Drivers (completed early 2014), released in Platform 6.1, first driver available)

This project adds the new ASCOM Standard Switch interface which provides standard calls for activating a variety of on-off and adjustable switches. The interface has been accepted and is defined the ASCOM Platform 6.1. In June 2014, the first Switch driver was released. It supports controlling the power outlets of a Digital Loggers Web Power Switch. It is available in the new Switch download section here.

Project: Integration with TheSky X (now part of TheSky X)

Thanks to Software Bisque, as of September 2013 TheSky X Pro incorporates ASCOM compatibility for Mount, Dome, Focuser, Camera, FilterWheel, and Rotator as a standard feature. You do not need to install anything extra. TheSky X can use ASCOM drivers for all of the preceding classes of sevices.