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ANSVR Local blind plate solve failing most of the times

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#1 nikulsuthar

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 11:28 PM

Hello Folks,

 

Many thanks in advance for taking time to read my this post. Basically I'm trying to do a beginner's level of astro imaging with ANSVR Plate Solve failing most of the time. I do not want to find and center the object in the finderscope. Following are the details of my setup:

 

1. Explore Scientific ED80 Carbon Fiber Apo triplet refractor

2. ZWO ASI 224MC color CMOS camera

3. SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount with EQMOD on Windows 10

4. Precise polar alignment with QHYCCD Polemaster

5. Stellarium or Cartes Du Ciel

6. Sharpcap 3.2 64 bit version (free)

7. ANSVR local server up and running with all the index files installed and configured

 

Some days 2 out of 10 times it might succeed in plate solving. Many days it will consistently fail to plate solve. I try to do plate solving through the "Plate solve and Sync" button in Sharpcap's "Scope Control" section on the bottom right of the Sharpcap screenshot. As you can see in the Sharpcap screenshot there are at least 50 to 100 stars visible and still it fails to plate solve. It will detect anywhere from 30 to several thousands of objects depending on my exposure time and gain level and will try to do plate solving for several several minutes and it fails ultimately. I tried numerous different exposure times between 5 seconds to 30 seconds and gain levels from 200 to 500 but still it fails majority of times.

In another screenshot you can see the settings of plate solving in Sharpcap. I learnt to do plate solving from online and not through any experienced astrophotographer. So I must be making several silly mistakes to make it working. Kindly help me in this regard as this has become a big blockage in my imaging session. I can provide more information as needed but please do not hesitate to ask for it.

 

Thanks,

Nikul

Attached Thumbnails

  • Sharpcap plate solve fail.jpg
  • Sharpcap Settings for Plate Solving.jpg

Edited by nikulsuthar, 16 August 2019 - 11:34 PM.


#2 OrionSword

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 08:15 AM

I don't use Sharpcap but from what your screen shots show there is not much info being passed over to ansvr to find much of a solution.  For instance there are no coordinate hints you can enter to put the beginning of a solve in the general location of the sky.  Also other programs allow one to specify how much of the sky to do the search such as 15-180 degs.

 

Basically with the meager amount of info that is being passed to ansvr it is trying to "blind solve" and that can be hindered depending on the Index files you have in the library.

 

Someone more familiar with Sharpcap may have a better answer.

 

You might want to download and install Platesolve2 and load the same image you are trying to solve in PS2 and see if it can work it in stand alone mode.


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#3 entilza

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 11:51 AM

Save an image that is failing, you can test afterwards.  Do you have any of these images, if so upload please share them we can find which index you should use.


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#4 kathyastro

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 11:56 AM

Even a "blind" plate solve works better if it is not totally blind.  It helps if it knows the focal length and sensor size, so it can calculate the field of view it is looking at.  Perhaps you have given it that information, but if not, that will greatly hinder the plate solve. 

 

Without that information, even the best case is that the solve will take a lot longer than it needs to.  Worst case, of course, is that the solve fails.


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#5 S.Boerner

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 01:41 PM

Is anything showing up in the logs, particularly the ANSVR log that you can see from Start/Astrometry.net Local Solver/Watch ANSVR Log?

 

You can sometimes pick up what the problem is watching those.

 

Also if you can save an image try posting to SharpCap's Forum and see if Robin can help diagnose the problem.


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#6 nikulsuthar

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 05:20 PM

I don't use Sharpcap but from what your screen shots show there is not much info being passed over to ansvr to find much of a solution.  For instance there are no coordinate hints you can enter to put the beginning of a solve in the general location of the sky.  Also other programs allow one to specify how much of the sky to do the search such as 15-180 degs.

 

Basically with the meager amount of info that is being passed to ansvr it is trying to "blind solve" and that can be hindered depending on the Index files you have in the library.

 

Someone more familiar with Sharpcap may have a better answer.

 

You might want to download and install Platesolve2 and load the same image you are trying to solve in PS2 and see if it can work it in stand alone mode.

I have no idea on how to pass on the information of camera details, focal length, aperture, RA/DEC position and more details to Sharpcap and the plate solving tool it uses. I tried to find out and couldn't find any with Sharpcap. I tried to blind solve one of its image in Astrotortill and All Sky Plate Solver but it failed. But the plate solve succeeded with PlateSolve2. So it looks like my ANSVR local setup has broken all of a sudden or something is missing in it to be configured. However the pain point here is that I don't know how to configure PlateSolve2 with Sharpcap...



#7 nikulsuthar

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 05:24 PM

Save an image that is failing, you can test afterwards.  Do you have any of these images, if so upload please share them we can find which index you should use.

I have a fits image of the object and Astrotortilla and All Sky Plate Solver fails to plate solve it. They failed to do blind solve as well. So looks like my ANSVR setup has gone bad or I'm missing some critical configuration.



#8 nikulsuthar

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 05:27 PM

Even a "blind" plate solve works better if it is not totally blind.  It helps if it knows the focal length and sensor size, so it can calculate the field of view it is looking at.  Perhaps you have given it that information, but if not, that will greatly hinder the plate solve. 

 

Without that information, even the best case is that the solve will take a lot longer than it needs to.  Worst case, of course, is that the solve fails.

I have no idea where to provide the sensor details and the focal length while plate solving in Sharpcap or Astrotortilla or All Sky Plate Solver... If you have any idea then it would be great for me to know...



#9 nikulsuthar

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 05:29 PM

Is anything showing up in the logs, particularly the ANSVR log that you can see from Start/Astrometry.net Local Solver/Watch ANSVR Log?

 

You can sometimes pick up what the problem is watching those.

 

Also if you can save an image try posting to SharpCap's Forum and see if Robin can help diagnose the problem.

It did not write anything to the ANSVR log console after it failed in plate solving an image of the object in All Sky Plate Solver... Some major config looks missing or I'm missing a major step in the process to do it...



#10 S.Boerner

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 07:50 PM

I have no idea on how to pass on the information of camera details, focal length, aperture, RA/DEC position and more details to Sharpcap and the plate solving tool it uses. I tried to find out and couldn't find any with Sharpcap. I tried to blind solve one of its image in Astrotortill and All Sky Plate Solver but it failed. But the plate solve succeeded with PlateSolve2. So it looks like my ANSVR local setup has broken all of a sudden or something is missing in it to be configured. However the pain point here is that I don't know how to configure PlateSolve2 with Sharpcap...

From reading on the forums my understanding is that SharpCap tries to simplify platesolving by providing "canned" info for ANSVR.  I don't believe it is possible to tell ANSVR the particulars about your setup.

 

Post a link to one of your images and I'll take a look at it.


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#11 nikulsuthar

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 08:34 PM

From reading on the forums my understanding is that SharpCap tries to simplify platesolving by providing "canned" info for ANSVR.  I don't believe it is possible to tell ANSVR the particulars about your setup.

 

Post a link to one of your images and I'll take a look at it.

Yes. I'm not able to provide the setup details to ANSVR for quicker plate solving. Please find following link of the exported FITS of Wild Duck Cluster from Sharpcap's stacked image. If you can provide me some pointers then that would be great...

 

https://drive.google...JRpClETb829g5y7



#12 S.Boerner

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:05 PM

I uploaded it to http://nova.astrometry.net/uploads  figuring that if it couldn't do it, the local versions (AT, ANSVR) couldn't either.  Astrometry.net couldn't solve your posted fits, it but I then converted it to mono and it was successful.

 

Sequence Generator Pro can solve with a variety of plate solvers.  I have it set up to do both PlateSolve2 and ANSVR.  Both were able to do the mono image.  With PlateSolve2 being really fast and ANSVR multiple minutes.

 

I was unable to solve the mono image with ANSVR from SharpCap.  Here's the log info that SharpCap is giving ANSVR... (ignore the fact that it says AT...it really is ANSVR)

 

Astrotortilla plate solve command is: solve-field -b /etc/astrometry/backend.cfg  --ra 283.555293937407 --dec -7.09295779365053 --radius 15 --sigma 30 -r --objs 100 --no-plots -N none -L 0.1 -H 20 -u degwidth -D /tmp/ec3c9f84-69cb-4194-861e-12291132c3b3 /tmp/ec3c9f84-69cb-4194-861e-12291132c3b3/frame.png

 

Sorry I can't be of more help



#13 entilza

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:23 PM

Normally we use a single frame not a stretched stack for plates solving.  Do you have a single frame?


Edited by entilza, 17 August 2019 - 10:23 PM.

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#14 OrionSword

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 08:30 AM

I have no idea where to provide the sensor details and the focal length while plate solving in Sharpcap or Astrotortilla or All Sky Plate Solver... If you have any idea then it would be great for me to know...

In All Sky Plate solver go into the Settings tab and set the coordinates for your location.  In the Settings tab again choose plate solver settings enter the focal length (mm) of your scope and pixel size of the camera you are using.  There is also a settings assistant in the same Settings pulldown.  You will need to determine the Indexes you need from astrometry.net for the FOV of your telescope and camera setup the installation wizard can help with that.


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#15 nikulsuthar

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 09:32 AM

Normally we use a single frame not a stretched stack for plates solving.  Do you have a single frame?

I've uploaded a single frame image to my Google Drive and following is the link:

 

https://drive.google...R3NPRDCk9f1bTey

 

However I tried its platesolving at Atrometry.net online and it failed as well...



#16 entilza

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 09:38 AM

This is a bayered PNG file?   You don't have any .fit files?  you should be saving fits when imaging.  Got any single .fit files?


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#17 nikulsuthar

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 09:38 AM

In All Sky Plate solver go into the Settings tab and set the coordinates for your location.  In the Settings tab again choose plate solver settings enter the focal length (mm) of your scope and pixel size of the camera you are using.  There is also a settings assistant in the same Settings pulldown.  You will need to determine the Indexes you need from astrometry.net for the FOV of your telescope and camera setup the installation wizard can help with that.

Many thanks for this information. I looked into it last night and to my surprise I found all the index files missing for my setup. When I installed the ANSVR and its index files, I downloaded them separately and not through this Settings tab of All Sky Plate Solver. I downloaded the necessary index files and the plate solving of my images shared earlier passed and the mount sync did happen with at least the Simulation driver. I'll try now doing the ANSVR plate solving the next time when I image and I believe that it should work... smile.gif


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#18 nikulsuthar

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 09:41 AM

This is a bayered PNG file?   You don't have any .fit files?  you should be saving fits when imaging.  Got any single .fit files?

I don't know but even if I select option TIFF for subframe saving in Sharpcap, it saves only in PNG format. I haven't tried FITS format and can let you know. Is it because I'm using a free version of Sharpcap and that is why it is saving only in PNG format. Please find this configuration on the top-right side in my Sharpcap screenshot. The only FITS file I have is the stacked one I shared earlier.



#19 nikulsuthar

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 09:29 PM

I'm now able to do plate solving most of the times after trying after installing the missing index files. I did not knew that was the way to find out the relevant index files and download if missing. In the beginning I just downloaded all index files in terms of few GBs of file size and I believed that I downloaded all of them. Maybe it did not pick all of them or they were not all the index files. But now it is not failing the plate solving provided the signal in the captured image is reasonably good. 

 

Many thanks to all of you in helping me out with this.

 

However one small issue I face. It does not place the target object in the exact center of the frame. It is always offset by some 10-20% of the frame width in different directions. Does anybody have any idea why it will not be centered after plate solving and slewing the mount?



#20 S.Boerner

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 09:50 PM

If you are only running the platesolve once on the image, try it again (and again...)  It should get you closer depending on how good a mount you have.

 

While SharpCap doesn't have it, Sequence Generator Pro has a "center here" feature.


Edited by S.Boerner, 22 August 2019 - 09:54 PM.



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