Every ASCOM Platform release aims for 100% backward compatibility with current drivers and applications, providing an easy upgrade path and new capabilities that developers and enthusiasts can exploit.
If you would like to confirm the integrity of the installed Platform, the Diagnostics Tool will provide a wide ranging report through a comprehensive test suite that exercises every aspect of Platform functionality.
Alpaca devices can now be discovered from the Chooser, which will also create a dynamic driver so that the device can be used in any ASCOM client program. By default, Alpaca discovery is disabled but can be enabled through a new "Alpaca" menu option in the Chooser. This menu also enables you to manually create an Alpaca driver for devices that do not support automatic discovery as well as configure discovery and Chooser behaviour.
Further information on Alpaca use is provided here: Using Alpaca devices through the Chooser.
We now have a new "Device Hub" that replaces the ageing POTH, Pipe, Hub and Dome Control drivers. This provides improved functionality delivered in a modern technology that makes it easy to enhance if required. Thanks very much to Rick Burke for delivering this significant improvement!
Following an RFC we have added a new interface, ICoverCalibrator, which enables clients to control opening and closing of automated telescope covers and to adjust the brightness of flat field calibration panels. The interface incorporates these two distinct capabilities because some devices provide both within one hardware device.
Platform 6.5 requires Windows 7 or later together with .NET Framework 4.8. PCs running Windows XP should use Platform 6.4 Service Pack 1 together with .NET Framework 4 Client Profile instead.
Please use the ASCOM Groups.io forum:
ASCOM Talk Forum
https://ascomtalk.groups.io/g/Help to report and discuss issues that you come across when using the ASCOM Platform. You will find the
Diagnostics Tool located in Start Menu / ASCOM Platform 6 / Tools; it will help greatly if you run it before reporting an issue as it provides concrete evidence to
help diagnose and resolve the problem.
ASCOM Platform 6.5in the Apps and add/remove programs dialogues