New Beta bug - plate solving failed


I use PinPoint and have only rarely had a solve fail in the last 3 years.

Tonight I updated to the latest beta and started imaging and my target ‘Centre’ failed repeatedly at the plate solve stage (and then later I tried ‘Slew and Centre’ and this too failed at the plate solve). I swapped to PlateSolve2 and this also failed. Blind Solve Failover also failed repeatedly.

Log here (I saved and transfered to my home pc from the observatory pc via Team Viewer before shutting down the observatory and sequence)

I didn’t carry on with the sequence as there was only a short weather window and I wasn’t sure what else may not function.

Am I missing something from the new beta plate solve API - should I have done something to enable normal functionality?

Thanks guys,



I’m not sure this is a bug… we test the solvers pretty extensively prior to release. From your logs:

[14/03/2016 19:56:57] [DEBUG] [Telescope Thread] Auto center scope frame failed to solve.Solve failed! There are too few catalog stars in the area for reliable matching. Increase the catalog star faint limit, or use a more dense catalog.

We would need to see the image that is not solving to be sure.


Thanks Ken. I didn’t save the plate solve download frame (daft on reflection now).

I didn’t think that there was excessive murky skies. If it stays clear (rather than cloud as forecast) I’ll start up again and see if I can make progress as M96 rises more. I’m imaging at 1.47"/px with a QSI683 so I normally gather plenty of stars in an 8s frame. I’ll report back when I can image again.

Sorry if I’ve raised a false alarm here as PinPoint is normally so reliable.


It’s not a big deal at all.

You may want to get some more sensitivity (and speed) out of the plate solve exposure by going to 2x2. Here is what you are passing to Pinpoint… may want to validate the accuracy of this (your image scale looks pretty scary):

[14/03/2016 19:56:54] [DEBUG] [Telescope Thread] Plate Solve Hint RA: 12.9595931755305
[14/03/2016 19:56:54] [DEBUG] [Telescope Thread] Plate Solve Hint DEC: 89.8717819148936
[14/03/2016 19:56:54] [DEBUG] [Telescope Thread] Plate Solve Hint Scale: 0.184190771003681
[14/03/2016 19:56:54] [DEBUG] [Telescope Thread] Plate Solve Hint Angle: 270.471052443708
[14/03/2016 19:56:54] [DEBUG] [Telescope Thread] Plate Solve Search: Use up to magnitude 20 stars
[14/03/2016 19:56:54] [DEBUG] [Telescope Thread] Plate solve binning: 1x1
[14/03/2016 19:56:54] [DEBUG] [Telescope Thread] Plate solve exp len: 8


How would the Hint Scale be set at that value? Should be 1.47"/px for this profile.

The profile for the setup has the correct scale set in the Camera tab as set from first setup in 2013 (as it does in the control panel) - should I have set something in the PinPoint engine? Never studied the log before to check this value as it just worked? Could this value have changed with the recent sequences of betas (I had to reset up plate solving when the beta changed format between sequence options/global settings) and all worked well up to now?

I’ll shoot out to the observatory now and double check.


The profile is probably correct. It can, however, be adjusted during execution of a sequence:

  • Accidentally, if you though the mouse cursor was on a different field.
  • Through any operation that does a solve and sync (although, it would be odd if something solved at this scale).

Make sure that, in addition to checking the profile, you also check the sequence you are running.


Yes - will do.

Mystery solved.

The profile is correct. The sequence however had the scale set to 0.18 (scary as you say LOL!).

When I opened the sequence, I recall I opened the Control Panel and increased the ‘Download Times’ estimate as I keep on having the error message in the Sequence window ‘Image has not downloaded in allotted time period’; increasing from 15s to 20s to see if this would clear this error. As you suggest above, my mouse must also have also amended the Scale field as this is just to one side of the ‘Download Times’ field. Adjusting this parameter using Team Viewer whilst I waited for the ccd to cool obviously didn’t help :joy:.

After all, it isn’t as if this hobby is difficult enough without errors being induced by the idiot located between keyboard and seat :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.

Cheers Ken for the calming voice of wisdom.