Thanks for the comments. Yes, I have a decent pointing model; my mount can get the intended object within about 3 arc minutes of center on its own without any help from SGP.
I need to explain more about the failure mechanism. If i invoke the plate solver manually, it works every time. I have the failover setup, but it’s never had to fail over so far. It solves images in seconds. But when I use Auto Center, it quits before it gets that far. Here’s my example:
Last night I chose an easy target, M31.
In the target list I selected Auto Center and started the sequence
As expected, my mount got pretty close (3 arcminutes) on the first try.
SGP took a picture, plate solved it in 1 or 2 seconds
SGP then moved the mount slightly to correct the 3 arcminute positioning error.
SGP then took a second picture, downloaded it, and launched the plate solver again, to verify the new position.
The plate solver failed within 1 second, on a picture it had just successfully solved about 20 seconds earlier.
So the problem is not with the plate solver itself; it acts like there is missing information that just aborts the task as soon as it starts. I’m speculating perhaps something is missing from the FITS header?
I say this because when I try to do the manual centering technique, it works whenever I try it on an image that I retrieved from the HDD, but it fails whenever I try it on the same exact image that was put up by SGP automatically. Those two images are different somehow, I just don’t know how.
Hoping You do.