PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping


Dean Jacobsen
 

After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was trying to do an APPM point mapping run.

In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when going through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation.  I remember selecting and loading one of my preexisting narrowband profiles at some point.  The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate solver for the profile that I had loaded.  I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing...  after an hour of trying in the dark, I gave up and got out the guide scope..

I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation. 

PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked.  Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP and PS2. 

I have TheSkyX... 

For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?

So, the last image of this month was via guiding.  As usual, the Mach2 guides great.

Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha: https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/

All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background.  Here is a link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Joseph Beyer
 

Interesting, I’ve used SGP/Platesolve2 with APPM about a dozen times and it’s worked without a hitch.  Last week I set up, started the sequence, it solved a about 8-10 images then failed.  Same equipment, same profile used in all previous runs.  

SGP v3.1.0.479
Windows 10 Home v1909
APCC-Pro v1.8.2.1

I restarted a couple times after double checking all the parameters but at some point(s) during the run, even late in the run after solving 40 or so points PlateSolve2 would stop doing immediate solves and enter a spiral search mode. APPM also indicated AllSky plate solver had been activated several times but I’m not sure if it was concurrent with the PS2 spiral searches.  It seems likely though. After restarting several times I just let the process continue however long it took. On several occasions when PlateSolve2 was still in spiral search mode, APPM would register a successful solve and move to the next point. 

I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.

Joe

On Jun 28, 2020, at 8:32 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:

After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was trying to do an APPM point mapping run.

In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when going through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation.  I remember selecting and loading one of my preexisting narrowband profiles at some point.  The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate solver for the profile that I had loaded.  I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing...  after an hour of trying in the dark, I gave up and got out the guide scope..

I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation. 

PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked.  Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP and PS2. 

I have TheSkyX... 

For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?

So, the last image of this month was via guiding.  As usual, the Mach2 guides great.

Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha: https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/

All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background.  Here is a link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Dean,

Was SGPro controlling the camera, or SkyX? For consistent plate solving SGPro usually needs to be connected to the mount to get the RA/Dec value.

Did you happen to install a new version of SGPro?

I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of
deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.
Did you check the PlateSolve catalog folder setting to make sure it is correct?

Did you try using the NASA Sky View? If you do, make sure SGPro is connected to the mount and have SGPro select the ASCOM camera simulator for the camera.

For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?
Yes, it works, and I believe ImageLink is more accurate.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dean Jacobsen
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 8:32 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping

After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was trying to do
an APPM point mapping run.

In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when going through
Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation. I remember selecting and loading one of my preexisting
narrowband profiles at some point. The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate solver for the profile that I
had loaded. I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing... after an hour of trying in the dark, I gave up
and got out the guide scope..

I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of
deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.

PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked. Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP and PS2.

I have TheSkyX...

For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?

So, the last image of this month was via guiding. As usual, the Mach2 guides great.

Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha: https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/

All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background. Here is a link to a
starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>


Ray Gralak
 

Oh, one other thing... how good was your polar alignment? That can have a large effect on platesolve processing time.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dean Jacobsen
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 8:32 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping

After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was trying to do
an APPM point mapping run.

In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when going through
Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation. I remember selecting and loading one of my preexisting
narrowband profiles at some point. The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate solver for the profile that I
had loaded. I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing... after an hour of trying in the dark, I gave up
and got out the guide scope..

I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of
deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.

PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked. Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP and PS2.

I have TheSkyX...

For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?

So, the last image of this month was via guiding. As usual, the Mach2 guides great.

Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha: https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/

All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background. Here is a link to a
starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Joe,

I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
That is not normal. You normally should be able to get 2-3 points per minute.

Do you recall if you had enabled "Use last plate solve's offset as hint for next plate solve"? That setting is on APPM's Plate Solve Settings tab. If not enabled, I recommend you enable it.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:18 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping

Interesting, I’ve used SGP/Platesolve2 with APPM about a dozen times and it’s worked without a hitch. Last week
I set up, started the sequence, it solved a about 8-10 images then failed. Same equipment, same profile used in
all previous runs.

SGP v3.1.0.479
Windows 10 Home v1909
APCC-Pro v1.8.2.1

I restarted a couple times after double checking all the parameters but at some point(s) during the run, even late in
the run after solving 40 or so points PlateSolve2 would stop doing immediate solves and enter a spiral search
mode. APPM also indicated AllSky plate solver had been activated several times but I’m not sure if it was
concurrent with the PS2 spiral searches. It seems likely though. After restarting several times I just let the process
continue however long it took. On several occasions when PlateSolve2 was still in spiral search mode, APPM
would register a successful solve and move to the next point.

I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.

Joe


On Jun 28, 2020, at 8:32 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@outlook.com> wrote:



After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was trying
to do an APPM point mapping run.

In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when going
through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation. I remember selecting and loading one of my
preexisting narrowband profiles at some point. The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate solver for the
profile that I had loaded. I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing... after an hour of trying in the dark,
I gave up and got out the guide scope..

I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of
deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.

PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked. Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP and
PS2.

I have TheSkyX...

For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?

So, the last image of this month was via guiding. As usual, the Mach2 guides great.

Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha:
https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/

All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background. Here is a
link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>


Dean Jacobsen
 

Thanks for the tips Ray.

Polar alignment was good - I actually disassemble the Mach2 as per Roland's recommendations and leave the base on the pier.

Nothing changes on the SGP configuration.  I thought that I had gone through all of my SGP profiles and had correctly set them up according to your documentation but I think I did load up a pre-existing profile instead of just using the "default" profile.

I will look at the catalog setting and try it again with the NASA Sky View.  Probably user error or frustration on my part that I can't get it reconfigured properly.  After going through the setup several times without a positive result I found myself wondering if my imaging laptop would actually make a good Frisbee.

If you think that Image Link is a little more accurate than PlateSolve 2 then that is something I would like to try.

I can get Image Link to solve my images from the last session no problem just by setting up a few parameters in the SkyX Image Link config window.  Once that is done, is it as simple as telling APPM to use Image Link and making sure TheSkyX is running and connected through the virtual port?

--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Ray Gralak
 

Dean,

I can get Image Link to solve my images from the last session no problem just by setting up a few parameters in
the SkyX Image Link config window. Once that is done, is it as simple as telling APPM to use Image Link and
making sure TheSkyX is running and connected through the virtual port?
There are separate settings in SkyX for external plate solvers, so you should take a look the help for that tab in APPM.

Also, you should connect SkyX through the AP V2 ASCOM driver.

Again you can test this in daylight using the NASA Sky View camera option in APPM.

BTW, update SkyX to the latest daily update if there is one.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dean Jacobsen
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:52 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping

Thanks for the tips Ray.

Polar alignment was good - I actually disassemble the Mach2 as per Roland's recommendations and leave the
base on the pier.

Nothing changes on the SGP configuration. I thought that I had gone through all of my SGP profiles and had
correctly set them up according to your documentation but I think I did load up a pre-existing profile instead of just
using the "default" profile.

I will look at the catalog setting and try it again with the NASA Sky View. Probably user error or frustration on my
part that I can't get it reconfigured properly. After going through the setup several times without a positive result I
found myself wondering if my imaging laptop would actually make a good Frisbee.

If you think that Image Link is a little more accurate than PlateSolve 2 then that is something I would like to try.

I can get Image Link to solve my images from the last session no problem just by setting up a few parameters in
the SkyX Image Link config window. Once that is done, is it as simple as telling APPM to use Image Link and
making sure TheSkyX is running and connected through the virtual port?

--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>


Joseph Beyer
 

Hi Ray,

Yes, that feature is enabled.  I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video.  In the past I've been able to complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro.  The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could extend the time.  I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since everything has been working so well I've more than happy to let it be.

Joe 

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 9:33 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:
Hi Joe,

> I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.

That is not normal. You normally should be able to get 2-3 points per minute.

Do you recall if you had enabled "Use last plate solve's offset as hint for next plate solve"? That setting is on APPM's Plate Solve Settings tab. If not enabled, I recommend you enable it.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3:  https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:18 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping
>
> Interesting, I’ve used SGP/Platesolve2 with APPM about a dozen times and it’s worked without a hitch.  Last week
> I set up, started the sequence, it solved a about 8-10 images then failed.  Same equipment, same profile used in
> all previous runs.
>
> SGP v3.1.0.479
> Windows 10 Home v1909
> APCC-Pro v1.8.2.1
>
> I restarted a couple times after double checking all the parameters but at some point(s) during the run, even late in
> the run after solving 40 or so points PlateSolve2 would stop doing immediate solves and enter a spiral search
> mode. APPM also indicated AllSky plate solver had been activated several times but I’m not sure if it was
> concurrent with the PS2 spiral searches.  It seems likely though. After restarting several times I just let the process
> continue however long it took. On several occasions when PlateSolve2 was still in spiral search mode, APPM
> would register a successful solve and move to the next point.
>
> I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
>
> Joe
>
>
>       On Jun 28, 2020, at 8:32 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:
>
>
>
>       After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was trying
> to do an APPM point mapping run.
>
>       In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when going
> through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation.  I remember selecting and loading one of my
> preexisting narrowband profiles at some point.  The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate solver for the
> profile that I had loaded.  I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing...  after an hour of trying in the dark,
> I gave up and got out the guide scope..
>
>       I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of
> deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.
>
>       PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked.  Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP and
> PS2.
>
>       I have TheSkyX...
>
>       For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?
>
>       So, the last image of this month was via guiding.  As usual, the Mach2 guides great.
>
>       Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha:
> https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/
>
>       All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background.  Here is a
> link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:
>
>       https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
>       --
>       Dean Jacobsen
>       http://astrophoto.net/wp/
>       Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
>       Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/  <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>
>
>





Dean Jacobsen
 

Ok, thanks.  I haven't seen the SkyX settings for external plate solvers yet.  I will look for that.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Ray Gralak
 

Ok, thanks. I haven't seen the SkyX settings for external plate solvers yet. I will look for that.
You can find it in the help file, as well as online here (scroll to the SkyX section):

https://www.siriusimaging.com/Help/APCC/appm_platesolve_settings_tab.htm

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dean Jacobsen
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 10:06 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping

Ok, thanks. I haven't seen the SkyX settings for external plate solvers yet. I will look for that.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>


Ray Gralak
 

Yes, that feature is enabled. I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video. In the past I've been able to
complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro. The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could extend the
time. I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since
It could be just a different part of the sky requires more processing time (e.g. Milky way fields). Try increasing Max Solve time in APPM.

Also, you can configure APPM to save the plate solves that fail from APPM's Settings menu. You can try solving the images later, perhaps uploading to Astrometry.Net if needed.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 10:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping

Hi Ray,

Yes, that feature is enabled. I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video. In the past I've been able to
complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro. The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could extend the
time. I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since



Joe

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 9:33 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@gralak.com> wrote:


Hi Joe,

> I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.

That is not normal. You normally should be able to get 2-3 points per minute.

Do you recall if you had enabled "Use last plate solve's offset as hint for next plate solve"? That setting is
on APPM's Plate Solve Settings tab. If not enabled, I recommend you enable it.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:18 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping
>
> Interesting, I’ve used SGP/Platesolve2 with APPM about a dozen times and it’s worked without a hitch.
Last week
> I set up, started the sequence, it solved a about 8-10 images then failed. Same equipment, same profile
used in
> all previous runs.
>
> SGP v3.1.0.479
> Windows 10 Home v1909
> APCC-Pro v1.8.2.1
>
> I restarted a couple times after double checking all the parameters but at some point(s) during the run,
even late in
> the run after solving 40 or so points PlateSolve2 would stop doing immediate solves and enter a spiral
search
> mode. APPM also indicated AllSky plate solver had been activated several times but I’m not sure if it
was
> concurrent with the PS2 spiral searches. It seems likely though. After restarting several times I just let
the process
> continue however long it took. On several occasions when PlateSolve2 was still in spiral search mode,
APPM
> would register a successful solve and move to the next point.
>
> I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
>
> Joe
>
>
> On Jun 28, 2020, at 8:32 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@outlook.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was
trying
> to do an APPM point mapping run.
>
> In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when
going
> through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation. I remember selecting and loading one of
my
> preexisting narrowband profiles at some point. The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate
solver for the
> profile that I had loaded. I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing... after an hour of trying in
the dark,
> I gave up and got out the guide scope..
>
> I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several
tries of
> deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.
>
> PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked. Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP
and
> PS2.
>
> I have TheSkyX...
>
> For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?
>
> So, the last image of this month was via guiding. As usual, the Mach2 guides great.
>
> Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha:
> https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/
>
> All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background. Here
is a
> link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:
>
> https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
> --
> Dean Jacobsen
> http://astrophoto.net/wp/
> Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
> Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/
<https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>
>
>







 

i use SGP + Pinpoint for plate solve with exposure time of 5 seconds bin 1 (FLI proline 16803 camera). I got maybe 5 solve failures in a 400 point model and it took about 3 hours. not sure how that lines up with your exposure times 


On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 10:02 AM Joseph Beyer <jcbeyer2001@...> wrote:
Hi Ray,

Yes, that feature is enabled.  I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video.  In the past I've been able to complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro.  The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could extend the time.  I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since everything has been working so well I've more than happy to let it be.

Joe 

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 9:33 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:
Hi Joe,

> I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.

That is not normal. You normally should be able to get 2-3 points per minute.

Do you recall if you had enabled "Use last plate solve's offset as hint for next plate solve"? That setting is on APPM's Plate Solve Settings tab. If not enabled, I recommend you enable it.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3:  https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:18 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping
>
> Interesting, I’ve used SGP/Platesolve2 with APPM about a dozen times and it’s worked without a hitch.  Last week
> I set up, started the sequence, it solved a about 8-10 images then failed.  Same equipment, same profile used in
> all previous runs.
>
> SGP v3.1.0.479
> Windows 10 Home v1909
> APCC-Pro v1.8.2.1
>
> I restarted a couple times after double checking all the parameters but at some point(s) during the run, even late in
> the run after solving 40 or so points PlateSolve2 would stop doing immediate solves and enter a spiral search
> mode. APPM also indicated AllSky plate solver had been activated several times but I’m not sure if it was
> concurrent with the PS2 spiral searches.  It seems likely though. After restarting several times I just let the process
> continue however long it took. On several occasions when PlateSolve2 was still in spiral search mode, APPM
> would register a successful solve and move to the next point.
>
> I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
>
> Joe
>
>
>       On Jun 28, 2020, at 8:32 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:
>
>
>
>       After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was trying
> to do an APPM point mapping run.
>
>       In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when going
> through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation.  I remember selecting and loading one of my
> preexisting narrowband profiles at some point.  The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate solver for the
> profile that I had loaded.  I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing...  after an hour of trying in the dark,
> I gave up and got out the guide scope..
>
>       I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of
> deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.
>
>       PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked.  Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP and
> PS2.
>
>       I have TheSkyX...
>
>       For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?
>
>       So, the last image of this month was via guiding.  As usual, the Mach2 guides great.
>
>       Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha:
> https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/
>
>       All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background.  Here is a
> link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:
>
>       https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
>       --
>       Dean Jacobsen
>       http://astrophoto.net/wp/
>       Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
>       Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/  <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>
>
>






--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Joseph Beyer
 

OK, thanks.  The setting to save the failed solves is already checked.  I'll try solving those independently and see if there's a problem with them.  Where are they saved in the file structure?  

Right now the All-Sky Max Solve Time is the default at 300 seconds.  I'll leave as is for now.  As a reality check before I spend any time experimenting, is there any value of changing the 'Subframe' setting under the 'Camera Settings' tab from full frame, e.g. 1/2 x 1/2 center?  I'm using a full frame Nikon but switch it to DX crop mode when running APPM because the images are so large.  The system has successfully solved images in both modes but the solving in full frame mode takes a LOT longer.  

Thanks again for the suggestions,

Joe

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 10:25 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:
> Yes, that feature is enabled.  I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video.  In the past I've been able to
> complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
> I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro.  The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could extend the
> time.  I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since

It could be just a different part of the sky requires more processing time (e.g. Milky way fields).  Try increasing Max Solve time in APPM.

Also, you can configure APPM to save the plate solves that fail from APPM's Settings menu. You can try solving the images later, perhaps uploading to Astrometry.Net if needed.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3:  https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 10:02 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping
>
> Hi Ray,
>
> Yes, that feature is enabled.  I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video.  In the past I've been able to
> complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
> I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro.  The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could extend the
> time.  I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since


>
>
> Joe
>
> On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 9:33 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:
>
>
>       Hi Joe,
>
>       > I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
>
>       That is not normal. You normally should be able to get 2-3 points per minute.
>
>       Do you recall if you had enabled "Use last plate solve's offset as hint for next plate solve"? That setting is
> on APPM's Plate Solve Settings tab. If not enabled, I recommend you enable it.
>
>       -Ray Gralak
>       Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
>       Author of PEMPro V3:  https://www.ccdware.com
>       Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver
>
>
>       > -----Original Message-----
>       > From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
>       > Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:18 AM
>       > To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
>       > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping
>       >
>       > Interesting, I’ve used SGP/Platesolve2 with APPM about a dozen times and it’s worked without a hitch.
> Last week
>       > I set up, started the sequence, it solved a about 8-10 images then failed.  Same equipment, same profile
> used in
>       > all previous runs.
>       >
>       > SGP v3.1.0.479
>       > Windows 10 Home v1909
>       > APCC-Pro v1.8.2.1
>       >
>       > I restarted a couple times after double checking all the parameters but at some point(s) during the run,
> even late in
>       > the run after solving 40 or so points PlateSolve2 would stop doing immediate solves and enter a spiral
> search
>       > mode. APPM also indicated AllSky plate solver had been activated several times but I’m not sure if it
> was
>       > concurrent with the PS2 spiral searches.  It seems likely though. After restarting several times I just let
> the process
>       > continue however long it took. On several occasions when PlateSolve2 was still in spiral search mode,
> APPM
>       > would register a successful solve and move to the next point.
>       >
>       > I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
>       >
>       > Joe
>       >
>       >
>       >       On Jun 28, 2020, at 8:32 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:
>       >
>       >
>       >
>       >       After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was
> trying
>       > to do an APPM point mapping run.
>       >
>       >       In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when
> going
>       > through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation.  I remember selecting and loading one of
> my
>       > preexisting narrowband profiles at some point.  The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate
> solver for the
>       > profile that I had loaded.  I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing...  after an hour of trying in
> the dark,
>       > I gave up and got out the guide scope..
>       >
>       >       I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several
> tries of
>       > deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.
>       >
>       >       PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked.  Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP
> and
>       > PS2.
>       >
>       >       I have TheSkyX...
>       >
>       >       For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?
>       >
>       >       So, the last image of this month was via guiding.  As usual, the Mach2 guides great.
>       >
>       >       Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha:
>       > https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/
>       >
>       >       All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background.  Here
> is a
>       > link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:
>       >
>       >       https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
>       >       --
>       >       Dean Jacobsen
>       >       http://astrophoto.net/wp/
>       >       Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
>       >       Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/
> <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>
>       >
>       >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>





Joseph Beyer
 

I'm using 8 second exposures at ISO 6400.  Nominally not all that different from your exposure time although the high ISO when starting the mapping run early in the evening may be washing out the background.  I'll have a look at the failed solves if they've been stored and see if there's anything obvious.

Thanks, Joe

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 10:36 AM Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
i use SGP + Pinpoint for plate solve with exposure time of 5 seconds bin 1 (FLI proline 16803 camera). I got maybe 5 solve failures in a 400 point model and it took about 3 hours. not sure how that lines up with your exposure times 

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 10:02 AM Joseph Beyer <jcbeyer2001@...> wrote:
Hi Ray,

Yes, that feature is enabled.  I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video.  In the past I've been able to complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro.  The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could extend the time.  I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since everything has been working so well I've more than happy to let it be.

Joe 

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 9:33 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:
Hi Joe,

> I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.

That is not normal. You normally should be able to get 2-3 points per minute.

Do you recall if you had enabled "Use last plate solve's offset as hint for next plate solve"? That setting is on APPM's Plate Solve Settings tab. If not enabled, I recommend you enable it.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3:  https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:18 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping
>
> Interesting, I’ve used SGP/Platesolve2 with APPM about a dozen times and it’s worked without a hitch.  Last week
> I set up, started the sequence, it solved a about 8-10 images then failed.  Same equipment, same profile used in
> all previous runs.
>
> SGP v3.1.0.479
> Windows 10 Home v1909
> APCC-Pro v1.8.2.1
>
> I restarted a couple times after double checking all the parameters but at some point(s) during the run, even late in
> the run after solving 40 or so points PlateSolve2 would stop doing immediate solves and enter a spiral search
> mode. APPM also indicated AllSky plate solver had been activated several times but I’m not sure if it was
> concurrent with the PS2 spiral searches.  It seems likely though. After restarting several times I just let the process
> continue however long it took. On several occasions when PlateSolve2 was still in spiral search mode, APPM
> would register a successful solve and move to the next point.
>
> I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
>
> Joe
>
>
>       On Jun 28, 2020, at 8:32 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:
>
>
>
>       After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when I was trying
> to do an APPM point mapping run.
>
>       In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created when going
> through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation.  I remember selecting and loading one of my
> preexisting narrowband profiles at some point.  The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the plate solver for the
> profile that I had loaded.  I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing...  after an hour of trying in the dark,
> I gave up and got out the guide scope..
>
>       I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after several tries of
> deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.
>
>       PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked.  Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve SGP and
> PS2.
>
>       I have TheSkyX...
>
>       For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?
>
>       So, the last image of this month was via guiding.  As usual, the Mach2 guides great.
>
>       Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha:
> https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/
>
>       All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background.  Here is a
> link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the background:
>
>       https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
>       --
>       Dean Jacobsen
>       http://astrophoto.net/wp/
>       Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
>       Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/  <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>
>
>






--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Ray Gralak
 

OK, thanks. The setting to save the failed solves is already checked. I'll try solving those independently and see
if there's a problem with them. Where are they saved in the file structure?
The same folder as the logs. BTW, when APPM is collecting data if the image has been saved you can double-click the failed line in APPM and the FITS image will be opened in the default FITS viewer on your computer.

Right now the All-Sky Max Solve Time is the default at 300 seconds. I'll leave as is for now. As a reality check
before I spend any time experimenting, is there any value of changing the 'Subframe' setting under the 'Camera
Settings' tab from full frame, e.g. 1/2 x 1/2 center?
Usually full-frame results in better accuracy than 1/2 or 1/4 in my setup, but I'm not sure if that is universal. Using 1/2 or 1/4 center may or may not speed up plate solving as there might be 4x or 16x as many spiral plate solve attempts, and the max solve count for PlateSolve2 may be reached sooner.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 10:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping

OK, thanks. The setting to save the failed solves is already checked. I'll try solving those independently and see
if there's a problem with them. Where are they saved in the file structure?

Right now the All-Sky Max Solve Time is the default at 300 seconds. I'll leave as is for now. As a reality check
before I spend any time experimenting, is there any value of changing the 'Subframe' setting under the 'Camera
Settings' tab from full frame, e.g. 1/2 x 1/2 center? I'm using a full frame Nikon but switch it to DX crop mode
when running APPM because the images are so large. The system has successfully solved images in both
modes but the solving in full frame mode takes a LOT longer.

Thanks again for the suggestions,

Joe

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 10:25 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@gralak.com> wrote:


> Yes, that feature is enabled. I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video. In the past I've been able
to
> complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
> I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro. The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could
extend the
> time. I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since

It could be just a different part of the sky requires more processing time (e.g. Milky way fields). Try
increasing Max Solve time in APPM.

Also, you can configure APPM to save the plate solves that fail from APPM's Settings menu. You can try
solving the images later, perhaps uploading to Astrometry.Net if needed.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 10:02 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping
>
> Hi Ray,
>
> Yes, that feature is enabled. I set up APPM based on your SGPro/PS2 video. In the past I've been able
to
> complete a 55 point run in about 40 minutes.
> I'm using a Nikon DSLR with SGPro. The exposure may be longer than it needs to be which could
extend the
> time. I had thoughts of optimizing the exposure to speed things up but since


>
>
> Joe
>
> On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 9:33 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@gralak.com> wrote:
>
>
> Hi Joe,
>
> > I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
>
> That is not normal. You normally should be able to get 2-3 points per minute.
>
> Do you recall if you had enabled "Use last plate solve's offset as hint for next plate solve"? That
setting is
> on APPM's Plate Solve Settings tab. If not enabled, I recommend you enable it.
>
> -Ray Gralak
> Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
> Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
> Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
> > Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:18 AM
> > To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping
> >
> > Interesting, I’ve used SGP/Platesolve2 with APPM about a dozen times and it’s worked without a
hitch.
> Last week
> > I set up, started the sequence, it solved a about 8-10 images then failed. Same equipment, same
profile
> used in
> > all previous runs.
> >
> > SGP v3.1.0.479
> > Windows 10 Home v1909
> > APCC-Pro v1.8.2.1
> >
> > I restarted a couple times after double checking all the parameters but at some point(s) during the
run,
> even late in
> > the run after solving 40 or so points PlateSolve2 would stop doing immediate solves and enter a
spiral
> search
> > mode. APPM also indicated AllSky plate solver had been activated several times but I’m not sure if
it
> was
> > concurrent with the PS2 spiral searches. It seems likely though. After restarting several times I
just let
> the process
> > continue however long it took. On several occasions when PlateSolve2 was still in spiral search
mode,
> APPM
> > would register a successful solve and move to the next point.
> >
> > I finally got the point map completed but it took a long time.
> >
> > Joe
> >
> >
> > On Jun 28, 2020, at 8:32 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@outlook.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > After three sessions of working without a hitch, PlateSolve2 stopped plate solving for me when
I was
> trying
> > to do an APPM point mapping run.
> >
> > In retrospect it was probably because I didn't open up the correct SGP profile which I created
when
> going
> > through Ray's setup instructions in the APPM documentation. I remember selecting and loading
one of
> my
> > preexisting narrowband profiles at some point. The control panel did show PlateSolve2 as the
plate
> solver for the
> > profile that I had loaded. I got a couple of good plate solves and then nothing... after an hour of
trying in
> the dark,
> > I gave up and got out the guide scope..
> >
> > I can't even get it to do a plate solve here at home now using the test button on APPM after
several
> tries of
> > deleting SGP profiles and re-doing the setup as per the APPM documentation.
> >
> > PlateSolve2 worked great... when it worked. Maybe there is a better way which doesn't involve
SGP
> and
> > PS2.
> >
> > I have TheSkyX...
> >
> > For those who have tried both, do you find that TheSkyX's Image Link works well with APPM?
> >
> > So, the last image of this month was via guiding. As usual, the Mach2 guides great.
> >
> > Here is a link to a wide field image of the Sharpless 2-101 area in h-alpha:
> > https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/0/
> >
> > All of those pesky foreground field stars block all of the nice stuff going on in the background.
Here
> is a
> > link to a starless version hich shows the emission nebula and the several dark nebula in the
background:
> >
> > https://www.astrobin.com/full/5szx79/B/
> > --
> > Dean Jacobsen
> > http://astrophoto.net/wp/
> > Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
> > Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/
> <https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/>
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







Greg Vaughn
 

Dean and Joe,

 

I normally watch this forum and learn from the experienced astronomers and imagers, but wanted to pass on a few thoughts about my developing experience with plate solving and APPM.

 

I was finally brave enough late last fall to dig into APPM and understand it well enough, after a few false starts, to make it work.    Despite understanding how to make it work now using at least three camera and telescope combinations and two different mount configurations, I still have an occasional issue - but I don’t think related to either APPM or my plate solver.   After successful use of APPM for several months with dedicated CMOS Astro cameras, a return to my Nikon D810A two weeks ago resulted in a failure to plate solve which resulted in an APPM failure.   Since then I’ve again had successful runs and my apparent failure to plate solve with the D810A is what I discuss in #5 below.

 

Just to level set everyone and to anticipate questions: I power up the mount, I use APCC to open the ASCOM driver, establish the virtual ports, and to run APPM.   For imaging I use SGP in concert with PHD2 and Focus Lynx software.   (I use SharpCap for planetary imaging, but use SGP to support APPM and auto focusing early in my sessions.)  I have been using Carte du Ciel planetarium software to slew to places other than those that I program into SGP for formal imaging runs (such as good locations for PHD2 calibration runs).   I have a Windows 10 Pro boot camp partition on a MacBook Pro with 16GB ram and an i5 processor.  I use a USB 3 router into which I plug; camera, guide camera, MGBoxV2 (GPS and environmental), USB to Serial cable for Mach 1 (CP4) or Mach 2 (CP5), and a Focus Lynx focuser.  I have the setup on my deck and run the operation from inside the house using UltraVNC remote desktop running on another laptop.  I use a variety of dedicated Astro cameras, ZWO and QHY, and a Nikon DSLR (D810A).   The only connection I ever have an issue with is the USB3 connection to the imaging camera.

 

Assuming  you are leveraging SGP for APPM, here are a few items that stand out in my mind as being worth trying or checking:

 

  1. After ‘connecting’ camera and mount on the APPM run page, make sure you have the proper imaging camera and plate solve settings, and they match, in both APPM and SGP prior to initiating your APPM run.  Critical items include binning (or ISO), exposure length, and Image Scale (must be correct for your current imaging train config in both places J).
  2. Remember to make sure in SGP that the selected image output format, under camera settings, is the FITS format.  My Nikon D810A choices in SGP are NEF, NEF and FITS, and FITS.   I have to choose ‘FITS’ – APPM will not work in ‘NEF and FITS’ and will deliver a ‘BAD IMAGE SCALE’ error.  (For my dedicated Astro cameras, I only have a choice of binning and FITS is automatically set.)
  3. I used platesolve2 for a long time as my plate solver in SGP.  As a result of a forum discussion (here as I remember)  about using ASTAP, I have switched to ASTAP (it was easy) and found that I can plate solve much faster and I think it works very well with APPM, returning points faster.    I like it better than platesolve2.   Consider switching to ASTAP if it seems slow with platesolve2.
  4. While this may be obvious, focusing your image train prior to running APM seems to improve my plate solve speed/reliability.   Even when I don’t mess with focus when I tear down and set back up, I still encounter different temperatures and could have bumped the focuser, so I do a focusing run.   (This may delay your mapping routine, but I like to try to do it.)
  5. My USB connection to the camera can be finicky – though not very often.  Most nights I have no issue.  When I do have an issue, sometimes it goes away with shutting down and restarting SGP, but sometimes it doesn’t resolve without shutting EVERYTHING down and starting completely over.   The only time that I’ve had issues with APPM in recent memory is when SGP shows that it’s connected to the camera and it’s downloading the plate solve image – but it really isn’t and it never completes the download.  The camera will show connected, but the image just will not complete a download to SGP.  This results in APPM timing out and reporting a failed plate solve, when clearly this was a camera/SGP issue.
  6. To make sure things are working properly before doing an APPM run, I usually do the focus run mentioned in #4 and I will do a ‘solve and sync’ in SGP to test the plate solver settings/connection and to start off on common ground.   These exercises will usually let me know if it’s a finicky night for my camera(s).   It also confirms that my exposure length and binning/ISO are sufficient to achieve a plate solve wherever I am in the transition to full darkness.

 

I’m sure that there are many other helpful items available to help you navigate APPM and plate solving, but the bottom line experience I’ve had is that APPM works well, but is usually unforgiving if your settings are mismatched between it and SGP and depends on SGP (in my case) delivering a plate solve.   I have SGP up in background and for the first couple points watch closely to make sure it goes through all the plate solve steps properly.   I’ve only had APPM stop one time after the first couple points were successful and that was due to a similar, but delayed, camera/image download issue which required attention on my part – independent of APPM.

 

Best of luck to everyone.  I have been very pleased with APPM and its impact.   I feel fortunate to have it to help compensate for having no view of Polaris from my deck and having a less than perfect polar alignment.

 

One last anecdote.   I only have about a 90deg azimuth sector available for imaging (~090-180) and a small slice overhead to the Northwest.   To cover that available sector, I did a 44 point map Thursday night and was able to track Jupiter in the early morning hours with a tiny ZWO ASI174 (in 640x480 mode) through an EDGE11 SCT with a Televue 4X Powermate connected to it - without guiding.   I had to make very minor 1X corrections with the virtual keypad about every fourth video capture to keep the planet absolutely centered - so I guess that’s a mild form of manual guiding) – but I was very impressed.    I had meant to ask Ray if the mapping would help tracking of the planets as well, but apparently it does.  (I should mention that this was with the Mach 2.)

 

Cheers, good luck, and clear skies!

Greg

 

p.s.  Ray helped me understand my failings in my first couple outings with APPM and I should also give credit to George who helped me set up APCC and the ASCOM driver for both the CP4 /Mach 1 configuration and the CP5/Mach 2 configuration.   Knowing that all that was good gave me additional confidence to dig into APPM.


Virus-free. www.avast.com


DFisch
 

Greg thanks, A veritable lecture in an email that is a real keeper!!

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 22:10 Greg Vaughn <gregvaughn@...> wrote:

Dean and Joe,

 

I normally watch this forum and learn from the experienced astronomers and imagers, but wanted to pass on a few thoughts about my developing experience with plate solving and APPM.

 

I was finally brave enough late last fall to dig into APPM and understand it well enough, after a few false starts, to make it work.    Despite understanding how to make it work now using at least three camera and telescope combinations and two different mount configurations, I still have an occasional issue - but I don’t think related to either APPM or my plate solver.   After successful use of APPM for several months with dedicated CMOS Astro cameras, a return to my Nikon D810A two weeks ago resulted in a failure to plate solve which resulted in an APPM failure.   Since then I’ve again had successful runs and my apparent failure to plate solve with the D810A is what I discuss in #5 below.

 

Just to level set everyone and to anticipate questions: I power up the mount, I use APCC to open the ASCOM driver, establish the virtual ports, and to run APPM.   For imaging I use SGP in concert with PHD2 and Focus Lynx software.   (I use SharpCap for planetary imaging, but use SGP to support APPM and auto focusing early in my sessions.)  I have been using Carte du Ciel planetarium software to slew to places other than those that I program into SGP for formal imaging runs (such as good locations for PHD2 calibration runs).   I have a Windows 10 Pro boot camp partition on a MacBook Pro with 16GB ram and an i5 processor.  I use a USB 3 router into which I plug; camera, guide camera, MGBoxV2 (GPS and environmental), USB to Serial cable for Mach 1 (CP4) or Mach 2 (CP5), and a Focus Lynx focuser.  I have the setup on my deck and run the operation from inside the house using UltraVNC remote desktop running on another laptop.  I use a variety of dedicated Astro cameras, ZWO and QHY, and a Nikon DSLR (D810A).   The only connection I ever have an issue with is the USB3 connection to the imaging camera.

 

Assuming  you are leveraging SGP for APPM, here are a few items that stand out in my mind as being worth trying or checking:

 

  1. After ‘connecting’ camera and mount on the APPM run page, make sure you have the proper imaging camera and plate solve settings, and they match, in both APPM and SGP prior to initiating your APPM run.  Critical items include binning (or ISO), exposure length, and Image Scale (must be correct for your current imaging train config in both places J).
  2. Remember to make sure in SGP that the selected image output format, under camera settings, is the FITS format.  My Nikon D810A choices in SGP are NEF, NEF and FITS, and FITS.   I have to choose ‘FITS’ – APPM will not work in ‘NEF and FITS’ and will deliver a ‘BAD IMAGE SCALE’ error.  (For my dedicated Astro cameras, I only have a choice of binning and FITS is automatically set.)
  3. I used platesolve2 for a long time as my plate solver in SGP.  As a result of a forum discussion (here as I remember)  about using ASTAP, I have switched to ASTAP (it was easy) and found that I can plate solve much faster and I think it works very well with APPM, returning points faster.    I like it better than platesolve2.   Consider switching to ASTAP if it seems slow with platesolve2.
  4. While this may be obvious, focusing your image train prior to running APM seems to improve my plate solve speed/reliability.   Even when I don’t mess with focus when I tear down and set back up, I still encounter different temperatures and could have bumped the focuser, so I do a focusing run.   (This may delay your mapping routine, but I like to try to do it.)
  5. My USB connection to the camera can be finicky – though not very often.  Most nights I have no issue.  When I do have an issue, sometimes it goes away with shutting down and restarting SGP, but sometimes it doesn’t resolve without shutting EVERYTHING down and starting completely over.   The only time that I’ve had issues with APPM in recent memory is when SGP shows that it’s connected to the camera and it’s downloading the plate solve image – but it really isn’t and it never completes the download.  The camera will show connected, but the image just will not complete a download to SGP.  This results in APPM timing out and reporting a failed plate solve, when clearly this was a camera/SGP issue.
  6. To make sure things are working properly before doing an APPM run, I usually do the focus run mentioned in #4 and I will do a ‘solve and sync’ in SGP to test the plate solver settings/connection and to start off on common ground.   These exercises will usually let me know if it’s a finicky night for my camera(s).   It also confirms that my exposure length and binning/ISO are sufficient to achieve a plate solve wherever I am in the transition to full darkness.

 

I’m sure that there are many other helpful items available to help you navigate APPM and plate solving, but the bottom line experience I’ve had is that APPM works well, but is usually unforgiving if your settings are mismatched between it and SGP and depends on SGP (in my case) delivering a plate solve.   I have SGP up in background and for the first couple points watch closely to make sure it goes through all the plate solve steps properly.   I’ve only had APPM stop one time after the first couple points were successful and that was due to a similar, but delayed, camera/image download issue which required attention on my part – independent of APPM.

 

Best of luck to everyone.  I have been very pleased with APPM and its impact.   I feel fortunate to have it to help compensate for having no view of Polaris from my deck and having a less than perfect polar alignment.

 

One last anecdote.   I only have about a 90deg azimuth sector available for imaging (~090-180) and a small slice overhead to the Northwest.   To cover that available sector, I did a 44 point map Thursday night and was able to track Jupiter in the early morning hours with a tiny ZWO ASI174 (in 640x480 mode) through an EDGE11 SCT with a Televue 4X Powermate connected to it - without guiding.   I had to make very minor 1X corrections with the virtual keypad about every fourth video capture to keep the planet absolutely centered - so I guess that’s a mild form of manual guiding) – but I was very impressed.    I had meant to ask Ray if the mapping would help tracking of the planets as well, but apparently it does.  (I should mention that this was with the Mach 2.)

 

Cheers, good luck, and clear skies!

Greg

 

p.s.  Ray helped me understand my failings in my first couple outings with APPM and I should also give credit to George who helped me set up APCC and the ASCOM driver for both the CP4 /Mach 1 configuration and the CP5/Mach 2 configuration.   Knowing that all that was good gave me additional confidence to dig into APPM.


Virus-free. www.avast.com

--
TJF MOBILE


Joseph Beyer
 

Greg, 

Thanks for the information.  You've highlighted a number of important parameters to double check in SGPro and APPM setups.  I need to look through the program profiles again to make sure everything is correct.  

I've also found APCC-Pro and APPM very useful.  I've retired my guidescope and now spend my imaging time star gazing rather than watching the guider graph.  

Joe    

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 7:10 PM Greg Vaughn <gregvaughn@...> wrote:

Dean and Joe,

 

I normally watch this forum and learn from the experienced astronomers and imagers, but wanted to pass on a few thoughts about my developing experience with plate solving and APPM.

 

I was finally brave enough late last fall to dig into APPM and understand it well enough, after a few false starts, to make it work.    Despite understanding how to make it work now using at least three camera and telescope combinations and two different mount configurations, I still have an occasional issue - but I don’t think related to either APPM or my plate solver.   After successful use of APPM for several months with dedicated CMOS Astro cameras, a return to my Nikon D810A two weeks ago resulted in a failure to plate solve which resulted in an APPM failure.   Since then I’ve again had successful runs and my apparent failure to plate solve with the D810A is what I discuss in #5 below.

 

Just to level set everyone and to anticipate questions: I power up the mount, I use APCC to open the ASCOM driver, establish the virtual ports, and to run APPM.   For imaging I use SGP in concert with PHD2 and Focus Lynx software.   (I use SharpCap for planetary imaging, but use SGP to support APPM and auto focusing early in my sessions.)  I have been using Carte du Ciel planetarium software to slew to places other than those that I program into SGP for formal imaging runs (such as good locations for PHD2 calibration runs).   I have a Windows 10 Pro boot camp partition on a MacBook Pro with 16GB ram and an i5 processor.  I use a USB 3 router into which I plug; camera, guide camera, MGBoxV2 (GPS and environmental), USB to Serial cable for Mach 1 (CP4) or Mach 2 (CP5), and a Focus Lynx focuser.  I have the setup on my deck and run the operation from inside the house using UltraVNC remote desktop running on another laptop.  I use a variety of dedicated Astro cameras, ZWO and QHY, and a Nikon DSLR (D810A).   The only connection I ever have an issue with is the USB3 connection to the imaging camera.

 

Assuming  you are leveraging SGP for APPM, here are a few items that stand out in my mind as being worth trying or checking:

 

  1. After ‘connecting’ camera and mount on the APPM run page, make sure you have the proper imaging camera and plate solve settings, and they match, in both APPM and SGP prior to initiating your APPM run.  Critical items include binning (or ISO), exposure length, and Image Scale (must be correct for your current imaging train config in both places J).
  2. Remember to make sure in SGP that the selected image output format, under camera settings, is the FITS format.  My Nikon D810A choices in SGP are NEF, NEF and FITS, and FITS.   I have to choose ‘FITS’ – APPM will not work in ‘NEF and FITS’ and will deliver a ‘BAD IMAGE SCALE’ error.  (For my dedicated Astro cameras, I only have a choice of binning and FITS is automatically set.)
  3. I used platesolve2 for a long time as my plate solver in SGP.  As a result of a forum discussion (here as I remember)  about using ASTAP, I have switched to ASTAP (it was easy) and found that I can plate solve much faster and I think it works very well with APPM, returning points faster.    I like it better than platesolve2.   Consider switching to ASTAP if it seems slow with platesolve2.
  4. While this may be obvious, focusing your image train prior to running APM seems to improve my plate solve speed/reliability.   Even when I don’t mess with focus when I tear down and set back up, I still encounter different temperatures and could have bumped the focuser, so I do a focusing run.   (This may delay your mapping routine, but I like to try to do it.)
  5. My USB connection to the camera can be finicky – though not very often.  Most nights I have no issue.  When I do have an issue, sometimes it goes away with shutting down and restarting SGP, but sometimes it doesn’t resolve without shutting EVERYTHING down and starting completely over.   The only time that I’ve had issues with APPM in recent memory is when SGP shows that it’s connected to the camera and it’s downloading the plate solve image – but it really isn’t and it never completes the download.  The camera will show connected, but the image just will not complete a download to SGP.  This results in APPM timing out and reporting a failed plate solve, when clearly this was a camera/SGP issue.
  6. To make sure things are working properly before doing an APPM run, I usually do the focus run mentioned in #4 and I will do a ‘solve and sync’ in SGP to test the plate solver settings/connection and to start off on common ground.   These exercises will usually let me know if it’s a finicky night for my camera(s).   It also confirms that my exposure length and binning/ISO are sufficient to achieve a plate solve wherever I am in the transition to full darkness.

 

I’m sure that there are many other helpful items available to help you navigate APPM and plate solving, but the bottom line experience I’ve had is that APPM works well, but is usually unforgiving if your settings are mismatched between it and SGP and depends on SGP (in my case) delivering a plate solve.   I have SGP up in background and for the first couple points watch closely to make sure it goes through all the plate solve steps properly.   I’ve only had APPM stop one time after the first couple points were successful and that was due to a similar, but delayed, camera/image download issue which required attention on my part – independent of APPM.

 

Best of luck to everyone.  I have been very pleased with APPM and its impact.   I feel fortunate to have it to help compensate for having no view of Polaris from my deck and having a less than perfect polar alignment.

 

One last anecdote.   I only have about a 90deg azimuth sector available for imaging (~090-180) and a small slice overhead to the Northwest.   To cover that available sector, I did a 44 point map Thursday night and was able to track Jupiter in the early morning hours with a tiny ZWO ASI174 (in 640x480 mode) through an EDGE11 SCT with a Televue 4X Powermate connected to it - without guiding.   I had to make very minor 1X corrections with the virtual keypad about every fourth video capture to keep the planet absolutely centered - so I guess that’s a mild form of manual guiding) – but I was very impressed.    I had meant to ask Ray if the mapping would help tracking of the planets as well, but apparently it does.  (I should mention that this was with the Mach 2.)

 

Cheers, good luck, and clear skies!

Greg

 

p.s.  Ray helped me understand my failings in my first couple outings with APPM and I should also give credit to George who helped me set up APCC and the ASCOM driver for both the CP4 /Mach 1 configuration and the CP5/Mach 2 configuration.   Knowing that all that was good gave me additional confidence to dig into APPM.


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Dean Jacobsen
 


Terri Zittritsch
 

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 12:33 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
That is not normal. You normally should be able to get 2-3 points per minute.
Ray, have you tried using SGPro and platesolve2?   I did not get 2-3 points per minute.  I was maybe getting 1 per minute average.   This accounted for the fact that some points (maybe meridian) needed to be solved multiple times (twice only I think).   So while each solve likely took less than a minute, with the central points that needed to be solved twice, it averaged out to 1 per minute.   
 I always shoot at 1X, but have do have usb3 download.  One of these days I'll try binning, but I've never thought binning on a CMOS camera did anything at the camera for efficiency.

T