Platesolve2 or PinPoint


Money not an option, which should I install to achieve the most reliable plate solving routines for SGP?

cardiofuse observatory


I would use Pinpoint. Not because it is a better solver necessarily, but it is a paid for product which means it is supported and has a forum for issues. If PS2 doesn’t work, you can report it, but not much else. That said, I have used PS2 in the field with great success (at least at my scale).


Hi Rick,

I think PinPoint is a very fast and reliable PlateSolver, but I can recommend it only with a small constraint:

The issue for me is the default time out of PinPoint (which is 60 seconds) and which cannot be changed within SGPro. On my laptop I have checked out, that if PinPoint is capable to solve an image it will be done within 10-15 seconds.
That means, after these time span is elapsed, I know for sure that the solve will fail, and it just drives me crazy to wait another 45 to 50 seconds for nothing :slight_smile:

PinPoint can fail to solve, if the actual position is too way off the target or simply because the solving image is bad.

If I am using my equipement on a GM2000 (which is fixed mounted on the observatory of our astronomy club) then I have no issue with the positioning - it will be allways in the range for PinPoint to solve. Also in the meantime I have figured out the right integration time for the solving images and failed solving because of bad images are no big issue any more.
In that environment I still use PinPoint and I am happy with it.

If I am using my mobile equipement (EQ8/AZEQ6) with EQMod, PinPoint is no option for me. As I do not want to create a pointing model prior starting imaging, in too many cases the target is too way off.
Here I am using a local installation of Astrometry.NET as primary solver.

Best regards



For what it’s worth, I own PinPoint, but I use PS2. I could always go back to PinPoint, but the PS2 install was virtually automatic and has simply worked every since. I initially changed because of a warning when I updated to Windows 10 that the PinPoint application was incompatible and going to be un-installed. PinPoint support (who were very responsive) said that it was safe to ignore the warning, but it still made me nervous.

As Ken mentioned, if I ever have an issue with PS2, I can circle back to PinPoint, at least for the next 10 months.

Best regards,


I used to use the local Astrometry server and that always worked fine. I migrated to Platesolve 2 when that option became available and now use that all the time simply because it’s faster. PS2 has never let me down - so spending $149 on Pinpoint is definitely not something I’m thinking about.



I have PPoint also, but is it worth the $150 plus yearly subscription…No. If I had to do it over again, PS2 would be the winner. Same thing with programs like focusmax($150) verses the focusing algorithm in SGP plus all the additional features for $99.

When I total up all the money I wasted on programs like maxim, tsx, ccdap, ect., I’m embarassed that I put up with all the frustration, lost imaging time, and cost. With SGP and PS2 you save a lot of money and headaches. Take the savings and apply it to equipment or the wife…Gunny


That is amazing, the UCAC3 looks like a 401MB dowmnload compared to 6 GB for the Pinpoint directory. How is this possible? For some reason Pinpoint only solves about half my images when I use the center and sunc function.

Maybe I should take your advice. I have an MX+
Mount and the image link has rarely failed me.


PS2 works for me every time with SGP and is really fast. I rarely need to fall back to a blind solve. As long as you have your camera properties input correctly it works great. I’ve used it with an SCT, refractor, and Newtonian. No problems centering my MX+. I’m glad I don’t have to fuss with Elbrus anymore, and astrometry is a bit slow.



Having used Pinpoint quite successfully I ran into problems with my high resolution 36MP Nikon camera, switched to PlateSolve and never looked back, fast and even if I’m far off with alignment it will successfully solve where as with PP it needed to fail over to blind solver quite regularly …



Thanks Chris! So you’re saying it works as well as TSX “Closed loop slew” function? No problem avoiding the sync to preserve your Tpoint model?

Many thanks…


SGP always centers my target perfectly. You can give it coordinates, a URL from astrobin, a downloaded picture, etc… I use the framing and mosaic wizard to place the frame exactly where I want it and SGP will match it. If using the newest beta versions of SGP you can use the offset method to center which does not require a sync so the Tpoint model is preserved. However, with SGP, the Tpoint model isn’t even needed with plate solving. When I first got my MX+, I didn’t even build one. I did polar alignment with PHD2.