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Question on Plate solving

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#1 John59

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:09 PM

All,

I have both Celestron CPC DX and an iOptron CEM25P.

I use SharpCap a lot and I am looking at the use of plate solving.

 

Do I understand it correctly that plate solving removes the need to star align the mount?

I notice that the sites refer to not having to ever use a finder scope again.

 

 

 

 


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#2 descott12

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:35 PM

Yes, exactly. Just start in your home position and do a goto. It will be off but you can plate solve and then sync the mount. Repeat for your next target. Once you have a few points saved, the gotos will improve.

It is magic.


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#3 scadvice

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:37 PM

I've heard that but I still do a quick one star even with plate solving. Maybe it's not necessary but I've gotten into the habit.

 

Edit...Ahh...descott12 reminded me I have just synced on a known star when rough focusing and let plate solve adjust it from there.


Edited by scadvice, 05 June 2020 - 06:40 PM.

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#4 John59

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 07:00 PM

Thank you for the replies.

Of the three that SharpCap lists

All Sky Plate Solver

ANSvr

Astro Tortilla

 

is one one better than the other or is it just personal preference?


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#5 descott12

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 07:05 PM

I use ASPS. It works well and has a nice little GUI but for me it is a little slow. Still working on that but it almost never fails. All three are based on the astrometry.net code so they should all be similar but I have not played with the others yet.

 

The latest versions of SC also support ASTAP which is supposed to be really fast. I tried it and could never get it to solve anything but others really like it.



#6 scadvice

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 07:07 PM

I can't answer that I've used APT and N.I.N.A only for plate solving.



#7 John59

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 07:13 PM

Looks like some testing nights coming up.

Hope the skies cooperate.

Thank you for the replies!



#8 Forward Scatter

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 12:40 AM

With ASPS, it's got a great wizard to download the correct index files once you enter the focal length, pixel size and pixel array size. I found it more user friendly than Astro Tortilla.
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#9 ChrisMoses

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 01:26 PM

Sharpcap has a pretty good PS routine.  So does TheSkyX.

Keep in mind that you still have to have a good polar alignment!  Sharpcap will help you with that also, if your scope/camera is wide enough.



#10 Alex McConahay

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 07:32 PM

Most plate solvers solve faster and more reliably if they know where they are supposed to be looking. 

 

They find this out from the mount. They ask the mount where they are pointing, and start their search there. 

 

Of course, your mount has no way of knowing where it is pointing for real----it just knows where it thinks it is pointing. It assumes that you set it up right, and therefore when it starts it is at position "HOME," which is for many mounts counterweight down pointing north. If you have in fact started it there, you are good to go. In case you may not have, however, it is good to send it to a known, bright star, center that star, and tell the mount: "You are definitely here!!!" At that point the mount knows for sure. 

 

This is a "one-star alignment." Is it necessary? Maybe not. But it may make that first solve a lot easier, quicker, and more certain. After that, a reasonably set up mount should be able to find itself rather easily with successive plate solves confirming pointing. 

 

Alex



#11 descott12

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 08:27 PM

Sharpcap has a pretty good PS routine.  So does TheSkyX.

Keep in mind that you still have to have a good polar alignment!  Sharpcap will help you with that also, if your scope/camera is wide enough.

Actually SharpCap doesn't really do plate  solving itself but it can use one of several different platesolvers that have to be installed separately and the integration is beautifully seamless.

 

I just used the polar alignment tool for the first time last night. After struggling and failing to calibrate my brand new polar scope for several nights, I used SC and was perfectly aligned in less than 5 minutes - and I hadn't even looked at the tool before. That is how good it is.




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