New User on Plat Solving

I don’t have SGP yet but will be trying it soon. In order to get the telescope on a target in the same orientation as a night before, will I need to buy PinPoint or some other plate solving software to integrate with SGP or, will SGP do this by itself?

What about focusing? Will that require some other program too?

Thanks

JonM

Hi,

To get back to the same spot as the night before, you’ll need to plate solve and yes you’ll need to download some plate solving software - elbrus is free and many folk use it but it (can) be fiddly to get working . Others (including myself) use pinpoint which is fast and reliable and a little easier to set up. But there’s no reason why you can’t get things working smoothly with Elbrus.

You don’t need any extra downloads to focus. If you’re planning on running auto focus then you’d need a stepper focuser which can return to its absolute position. But otherwise you can just loop exposures (without needing to save the images) until you’re happy with your focus.

If you’ve got plate solving working, you can always slew off to whatever star you want to focus then slew back to your target at the click of a button.

With auto focus SGP uses the whole star field to work out focus and this is a great to achieve very good focus.

It really is excellent software and makes imaging so much easier. It’s very intuitive and easy to learn. Plus the support from the writers is quick and helpful. Personally I can’t recommend it enough!

Just to clarify as well I’m not receiving any money for these glowing endorsements of SGP I’m just a happy user (but Ken/Jared I’ll happily pm you my bank details if you like!!!)

Have a read of this as well it’s really useful:
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://mainsequencesoftware.com/content/SGP-The%20First%20Week.pdf&ved=0CBwQFjAAahUKEwjG6Jmax_TGAhWHFtsKHZvyDzc&usg=AFQjCNExemqgSvomGsyzR1owzm84zOLPOw&sig2=Ju0x4y4nmqRfWC_mPTkvYQ

Kit

Hi JonM,

Welcome to SGP, you will love it.

For target centering you’ll need to install at least one plate solver. I recommend installing both Elbrus and the Astrometry.net local solver. Both are free.

Automatic focusing is a built-in feature, no need to install anything else.

Be sure to check out the SGP documentation which is excellent. And check out some of the many tutorials that are available, such as the ones linked at the bottom of the SGP support page.

Andy

Hi Andy,

I don’t really see what is the use of having Elbrus AND Astrometry.net installed. Could you please elaborate on this ?

Cheers,
Janos

Janos,

No plate solver is 100% accurate or your hints may be too inaccurate (after a long slew or something). SGPro allows use of a “primary” solver (usually the fastest one you own and then has the ability to use a “fall back” secondary plate solver like a local version of Astrometry.NET in the case of failure of the primary. This increases the odds that your sequence will finish if your you find yourself in a situation where you need a blind solve.

Sure… Elbrus can plate solve extremely quickly, typically in about 1 second. Astrometry.net (local) takes a lot longer, from several seconds up to minutes. The issue is that Elbrus (and Pinpoint) need to know the approximate starting coordinates, or location hint. Ordinarily the position reported by the mount is quite close, and Elbrus works. However, in some cases the mount position may be off by an amount greater than Elbrus can tolerate. For me this sometimes happens when I first unpark my G11-G2 mount, or sometimes after a meridian flip. In these cases Elbrus fails the plate solve but SGP immediately tries solving with local Astrometry.net, and since astrometry.net does not require the location hint, it succeeds. SGP then syncs the mount with the solved coordinates and Elbrus succeeds in any subsequent plate solves.

As usual SGP makes this happen simply and automatically. You just need have Elbrus and local Astometry.net installed and check the “Use blind failover” option in the Camera tab of the control panel.

Andy

Thanks Andy,

Now I understand it and for sure I will install Elbrus !!

Cheers,
Janos

For best results make sure you use the Elbrus installer provided by MSS http://mainsequencesoftware.com/Releases and follow the included instructions.

Sometimes we hear people say that the installation is finicky but I have never experienced that myself. I have installed it on several different computers and I always install it in C:\Elbrus and have never had a problem.

Andy

Hi Andy,

In between I could install Elbrus and it works when I enter the RA & DEC “hint”. Shouldn’t RA & DEC be recorded in de FITS header automatically ? I don’t see it by my recent frames, taken with version 2.4.10 :frowning:
Elbrus doesn’t work without this info automatically as I understand, or do I overlook something here ?

Clear skies,
Janos

Right, SGP provides the hint automatically so you should not need to do anything manually yourself.

I do see RA and DEC in the FITS headers in my subs taken with SGP. Not sure why you do not see them in your subs.

Andy

Hi Andy,

This is what I see in my FITS header, do you have a hint where can I enable registration of RA and DEC ?

Cheers,
Janos

Andy,

I think I see my problem: I just checked my sequence and the mount was not connected to SGPRO ( didn’t start with plate solving that time yet ) … so no wonder it couln’t record RA and dec. Completely my fault I think !

Cheers,
Janos

ah yes, that totally makes sense.
Andy