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Newbe Plate Solving with SharpCap and Astap

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#1 erdoc

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:04 PM

Trying to see if I can try out plate solving at home with the above software before I waste an hour traveling out to my semi-dark site.

I can successfully control my Evolution mount with CPWI via SharpCap, and would like to see if plate solving works. 

To that end, have selected as camera the deepsky camera simulator, which brings up the Orion nebula and neighborhood.

When I click on TOOLS, then PLATESOLVE (Yes, I know it won't move or center the mount),Astap pops up, program runs for about a minute, I get a "No Stars Found" error.

Do I need to do a Capture or some other action for it to do the blind plate solve, or does it not work with the simulated camera?

 

Thanks,

Robert



#2 barbarosa

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:37 PM

To solve the image of Orion, you must first slew the mount to Orion.

 

I just tested this with Stellarium, a CEM60 and the "Deep Sky camera"

 

The  mount is PA and on a pier but not star aligned, it is working off the plate solve from the last session.  Orion is up here in California so I selected it in Stellarium (my usual method) and issued the go to command. When the slew ended, I started the DS camera and did an ASTAP solve from the camera control panel.

 

It was necessary to turn down the gain, ASAP found too many stars. When that was done it moved the mount just a tad.smile.gif



#3 erdoc

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:05 PM

Barbarosa, thanks for the quick reply.

 

I wasn't sure if a mount needed to be connected in order for the plate solving tab in the TOOLS tab is to work, but last night I had my mount fake slewed to Rigel (it was as close as CPWI could get at the time), and I still had the same problem. If it was too far away to solve, I would imagine I'd get an error saying something like "75 stars found, but unable to plate solve" It doesn't seem to find a single star.  I tried playing with the gain and histograms as well, no joy.



#4 barbarosa

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:46 PM

Let's step back for a moment.

 

I no longer have a Celestron mount and never used CPWI. This thread discusses plate solving, ASCOM and CPWI. It may point to a solution.

 

But I think the essentials may be that there is an ASCOM driver for Celestron, that you have the current driver and ASCOM platform installed on your PC and connected to the hand control or whatever is appropriate for the Evo, and assuming that SharpCap "sees" your mount and can connect, that is the arrow keys is SC for the mount actually move the mount. Also that in SharpCap Settings, on the plate solve tab you have selected ASTAP and selected under Actions, "Sync mount and re-center the target".


Edited by barbarosa, 05 May 2021 - 10:50 PM.


#5 sbradley07

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:55 PM

Trying to see if I can try out plate solving at home with the above software before I waste an hour traveling out to my semi-dark site.

I can successfully control my Evolution mount with CPWI via SharpCap, and would like to see if plate solving works. 

To that end, have selected as camera the deepsky camera simulator, which brings up the Orion nebula and neighborhood.

When I click on TOOLS, then PLATESOLVE (Yes, I know it won't move or center the mount),Astap pops up, program runs for about a minute, I get a "No Stars Found" error.

Do I need to do a Capture or some other action for it to do the blind plate solve, or does it not work with the simulated camera?

 

Thanks,

Robert

Do you have any images that you took from home, like maybe from your back yard, with the same gear you want to take to the dark site?  If so, you can at least test ASTAP to make sure it will solve those images.  Open up ASTAP, load one of your images, and click solve.  If it succeeds, you should be good to go.  



#6 erdoc

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:10 PM

Thanks, guys for your help.

 

My setup is communicating properly from SharpCap to CPWI /ASCOM to the mount in that the mount control buttons on SharpCap control the mount just fine. It's just that SharpCap is not seeing the test camera stars.

 

Unfortunately, don't have any pictures on my computer.  I'm more like a tourist, and have lots of phone shots of my computer screen. 

 

Will try posting in SharpCap forum, I'm probably missing something very simple. Or, when skies clear up, take my scope out and use my camera and see if that works.

 

Robert




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