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Problem Installing AstroTortilla

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#1 Rac19

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 07:53 PM

AT was working well, from SharpCap until I tried plate solving from APT. After that there were problems (see https://www.cloudyni...t-correcting/).

 

I decided to re-install AT to try to get everything back to the way that it was but now I get the error shown below. The original installation was problem free so I am wondering whether or not the error is a temporary problem with access to http://astrotortilla.kuntsi.com. I think that I tried one of the alternate web sites bit had the same error. That link doesn't work if you click one it by the way.

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  • AT_Setup.jpg

Edited by Rac19, 10 May 2021 - 07:56 PM.


#2 Rac19

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 02:27 AM

I have made some progress by downloading the Windows Astrometry.net Server, not normally necessary as far as I know. It spent an hour or so downloading index files, not long enough for the full 31 GB, but I already have the full set downloaded and can copy them in, once I figure our where they should be.

 

The good news is that Sharpcap automatically found the solve-field exe associated with this installation. I might try re-installing Astrotortilla and see if Sharcap is happy with that.

 

I am still struggling to understand it all, but I get the impression that Astrometry.net is the underlying  engine for many, if not most, plate solvers. I am guessing that Astrotortilla et al are a front-end/API for it.



#3 Rac19

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 05:17 AM

 

All three of the plate solving tools listed above are actually just wrappers around the open source ‘Astrometry.Net’ solver, so if you are trying to choose a plate solving tool from this list, make your choice based on the UI you prefer as the actual solving engine is basically the same for all three.

The quote above is from Sharpcap, so my hunch was correct. The AstroToritlla problems seem to be intractable which very puzzling as the original installation was problem free.

 

The three choices for plate solving in SharpCap are...

All Sky Plate Solver
AnSvr
Astro Tortilla


Edited by Rac19, 11 May 2021 - 02:58 PM.


#4 Astrolamb

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 09:00 AM

Well you're basically right on all accounts there and it sounds like you made some headway in figuring out where it will be already. 

I ended up going through a really similar process when I was messing with mine because I thought the same thing. Just get AT back to defaults and maybe it will all work again. The kicker really is those astronomy.net indexes though. It took me a whole day to download them the first time around. So I did the same thing you are thinking and just copied them to a new file on the desktop and pasted them back in after I deleted everything.

 

Hopefully I will save you some time.

 

For the index files, if they are in the default location, you can find them in PC>Local Disk>cygwin>usr>share>astrometry>data.

 

To delete all the cygwin files you have to delete leftovers in 

This PC>Local Disk>temp

And the original cygwin file on local disk.

 

I ended up downloading a 32 and a 64bit format at one point and that's why I had to delete everything completely. It really broke it.. lol



#5 Rac19

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 03:02 PM

Thanks Astrolamb. Cloudy nights have prevented further progress (i.e. testing). It was working  so well until it broke, one of those situations where it will be a relief to get back to where I startedfrown.gif. I will have a better understanding of how it all fits together at the end of it.


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#6 Rac19

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:02 AM

After much erasing and copying of index files all over the place. I think that I have pale solving ready to work again, without AtsoTortilla, which is OK by me.

 

I removed/deleted everything, more than once, and ended installing only Astrometric.net. I ended up seeing the following in Sharpcap.

 

Ansvr : Found at C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr

Sovle-field found automatically at C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr\bin\solve-field

The index files seem to belong at C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr\usr\share\astrometry\data

 

Sharpcap seems good to go but I can't do a real word test due to cloudsfrown.gif. Hopefully I will get a chance to do so soon.

 

This is the full Sharpcap status.

 

 

Manually configured Astrometry      : Not found at C:\Users\xxxxxx\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr\bin\solve-field
AstroTortilla                       : Not found
All Sky Plate Solver                : Not found at C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\Astrometry

Ansvr                               : Found at C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr
Cygwin/Astrometry based             : Not found at C:\cygwin
Astap                               : Not found at c:\Program Files (x86)\Astap\Astap.exe


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#7 Rac19

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:58 AM

Well it didn't quite end there. When I went back to Sharpcap everything was broken againfrown.gif.

 

The culprit might be the Index Downloader. I used it to check that there were no index files missing and I suspect that it changes the name of the C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr\usr\share\astrometry\data folder to C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr\usr\share\astrometry\data.save while downloading index files. It also creates a "system file" called Data, possibly to nail down that folder name for later. Either the data.save folder was not renamed on completion, or I possibly aborted the Index Loader.

 

The Shapcap configuration now looks like this. Now for some clear skies!

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  • PlateSolveConfig.jpg

Edited by Rac19, 12 May 2021 - 08:00 AM.

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#8 Rac19

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 09:06 AM

The quote below from the Astrotortilla Source Forge page explains things to a certain extent. I had noticed that the C:\\cygwin installation seemed very deficient.

 

I have downloaded the recommended Astrometry.net build which creates its own copy of Cygwin at C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr. It seems that If I need to install Astrotortilla (as an API for Sharcap) I should configure it to use this copy of Cygwin. I think that's the gist of it.

 

 

The current AT installable astrometry.net solver build is very old. It is recommended to install the build made by ADG Software from http://adgsoftware.com/ansvr/ and install without starting the server. You can copy your existing index files to the location where it installs the astrometry.net solver as a cygwin environment. Typically that is under application data folder, on Windows 10 it is C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr and use that as the Cygwin location in AT configuration.


Edited by Rac19, 12 May 2021 - 09:06 AM.

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#9 Astrolamb

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 09:14 AM

You have certainly found a whole other set of issues that I did not run into, but it seems like you are making good progress! Keep me updated on how it goes and if it solves and corrects for you under the stars! 

Also feel free to ask any other questions you might have, never hurts to see if me or someone else might have some information to share that could be relevant.



#10 Rac19

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 04:55 PM

I have noticed another potential issue with the Index Downloader. I was using it to make sure that there were no missing index files. It takes quite a while, even when it just checks the file names, without downloading those that already exist and I will admit to aborting the process a few times.

 

I think that this can not only leave the data folder renamed data.save, causing problems later with Sharpcap, it can also leave the file that was in the process of being downloaded with 0 file size.  I had three 0 size files in my master copy of index files. If the folder is less than 31.4 GB (I had 31.1 GB), there are probably 0 size files. The Index Downloader should check that existing files are not 0 size.

 

I should have clear skies for the next few nights and will test first with just ansvr and attempt to install Astrotortilla only if it seems to necessary.


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#11 Rac19

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 05:34 PM

I found this quote from Robin Glover on the Sharpcap Forum.

 

 

With regards to the settings – AstroTorilla/Ansvr/ASPS are all essentially the same plate solving engine just with different installers, so SharpCap doesn't really distinguish much between them except for the fact that they are installed in different folders.

 

EDIT: My recent experience with Astrotortilla is that it doesn't install properly, despite having has success with it in years past.

 

I am looking forward to testing ansvr (stand alone) tonight. It is Thursday morning here.

 

The other thing that might have given me grief is a lot of messing around with the Index Downloader (in various guises) combined confusion as to where the index files should be located. Aborting the Index Downloader may have caused problems, easily fixed if you know where the files are located and what to fix.

 

I think that the quote in post #8 is significant. The two quotes, taken together, leave you wondering why you would bother to install Astrotortilla.


Edited by Rac19, 12 May 2021 - 06:11 PM.


#12 Astrolamb

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 05:46 PM

Very interesting and very good information for anyone who is deciding what platesolving software to use 



#13 Rac19

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 06:43 AM

Scattered cloud tonight so there have been only occasional chances to plate solve.

 

It does work, without Astrotortilla, but simply reports the solution. It doesn't synchronize the model or recenter the target. This is the original problem that lead me to reinstall Astrotortilla in the first place.

 

The reported RA and Dec values are markedly different to those displayed by CPWI (see image from CPWI status bar). I wonder if the problem is that the error appears to be more than 5 degrees (or whatever) even though it is much closer than that..

 

Looking at the CPWI status, assuming that LST means Local Standard Time it should be UTC + 10 but appears to be actually roughly UTC + 1.5. Perhaps this could be causing the error to be much higher than it actually is but this could be a red herring because CPWI seems to GoTo correctly. When I look at the model settings in CPWI I can only find the latitude, not the longitude. All quite puzzling.

 

 

Solution : RA=07:38:51,Dec=31:23:10S (J2000)
Field of View : 0.19x0.14 degrees
Time : Thu, 13 May 2021 11:13:28 GMT
Orientation : up is 136.0 degrees E of N

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  • Coords.jpg

Edited by Rac19, 13 May 2021 - 08:46 AM.


#14 Rac19

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 07:32 AM

One reason to install AstroTortilla might to get access to the Astrometics.net configuration file.

 

When I did that I found that it was set to JNOW. When I changed it to J2000 and ran plate solving again from SharpCap, the numbers agreed much more closely. There was still no model sync or reentering. Puzzling.

 

Solution : RA=13:26:06,Dec=11:14:08S (J2000)
Field of View : 0.89x0.68 degrees
Time : Thu, 13 May 2021 12:29:32 GMT
Orientation : up is 348.3 degrees E of N

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Edited by Rac19, 13 May 2021 - 08:43 AM.

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#15 Astrolamb

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 08:18 AM

Definitely do that, that actually sounds exactly like what happened with me. I tried a lot to figure out where to change Stellarium, ascom, and AT all to JNow but I kept missing one even though I thought I had them all I guess and it would solve about 5 degrees off. After swapping to J2000 the problem cleared up and I had successful solves on the position I was actually pointed at.

 

Also you should definitely fix the time too that's a huge discrepancy.... if nothing else you can eliminate it as a problem that way.


Edited by Astrolamb, 13 May 2021 - 08:21 AM.


#16 Rac19

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 08:55 AM

Definitely do that, that actually sounds exactly like what happened with me. I tried a lot to figure out where to change Stellarium, ascom, and AT all to JNow but I kept missing one even though I thought I had them all I guess and it would solve about 5 degrees off. After swapping to J2000 the problem cleared up and I had successful solves on the position I was actually pointed at.

 

Also you should definitely fix the time too that's a huge discrepancy.... if nothing else you can eliminate it as a problem that way.

Thanks for all comments and suggestions. The only real remaining question is why model adjustment and recentering isn't happening. I got Astrotortilla working by pointing it the bash.exe in the cugwin_svr folder. It reported solving, synching and recentering,, I think in the wrong direction maybe due to there being a diagonal in the optical path. I have the image flipped horizontally in Sharpcap but AT doesn't have that option.

 

I will look into the time but I am not sure whether or not LST actually means Local Standard Time. I checked the computer time and it seems to correct.



#17 Astrolamb

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 09:34 AM

I thought AT would correct for a diagonal after realizing it was going further away from the target but I could be wrong on that. 

I cant remember for sure but if you type -h in the custom options I believe it brings up all the custom options possible in the log viewer as long as you have it open. 

I did realize it slightly mixes up the line order on the -h list too so be careful of that while you read through it 



#18 Rac19

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 05:47 AM

I feel a little sheepish, having fixed the problem tonight. I was selecting Plate Solve from the Tools Menu not the "Solve and sync" button in the scope controlsconfused1.gif.

 

I have learned a lot about Sharpcap plate solving along the way...

 

1. The core engine to install is Astrometric.Net/ansvr. Astrotortilla (et al) are not required unless you want to use it as a stand alone front end. Sharpcap is an adequate front end to centre a DSO for an image capture session.

 

2. Astrometric.Net appears to be an http hosted plate solving engine. The configuration can be accessed at http://127.0.0.1:8080/api/config. You can also access access the config via Astrotortilla. I am not sure whether or not the configuration parameters are common across applications. I assume that the parameters exposed in the Sharpcap Plate Solve settings are the only ones to worry about. The ansvr server has to be started to access the config via http, using Internet Explorer as some of the more recent web browsers don't seem to work. I don't think that it needs to be started for Sharpcap. I believe that it accesses the Astrometry.Net engine directly.

 

3. When you install Astrotortilla is supposed install Cygwin (at C:\\Cywin), Astrometry.Net and the index files. It all worked for my a few years but my recent attempts all failed. I eventually installed Astrometry.Net only, it's what Sharpcap actually uses. It installs Cygwin in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr\bin (bash.exe etc). The index files are stored in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\cygwin_ansvr\usr\share\astrometry\data. Not ideal, in my mind, but fighting it can lead you to a world of pain. When I later installed Astrotortilla, I installed only Astrotortilla itself and configured it to use the cygwin_ansvr bash.exe, which seems to work. This avoids having multiple copies of Cygwin and index files saving much confusion if you reinstall.

 

4. If the Index Downloader is aborted, it can leave the Data folder (containing the index files) renamed Data.Save, causing things to no longer work. The file that was being downloaded will exist in the Data folder with 0 file length. The Downloader only checks for existing file names, not sizes, so the incomplete file won't be replaced until the 0 length file deleted.


Edited by Rac19, 14 May 2021 - 06:36 PM.

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#19 Astrolamb

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 08:31 AM

LOL I really thought about asking that first in the other post just to be sure but I didnt want to come across as a smart alec. Just goes to show I should still as the simple questions first if I am helping someone troubleshoot!

 

Glad you got it all figured out!

 

Awesome job documenting everything by the way hopefully this will come in handy for some others who end up having issues with platesolving in the future whether its Astrotortilla, ASTAP, Ansvr, or anything else! 

 

Clear skies!



#20 Rac19

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 06:20 PM

Somehow, I unthinkingly switched from the Scope Controls button to the Tools menu. In my opinion, no question is too silly to ask. A simple example being "Did you switch the power on?".

 

Reflecting on it, the http://127.0.0.1:8080/api/config link may be just a curiosity. I suspect that Sharpcap does its own thing with parameters.

 

I did think it worthwhile while to document everything (as I see it), because it gets quite confusing if you ever mess around with it. Also, Astrotortilla doesn't seem to install correctly at the moment.


Edited by Rac19, 14 May 2021 - 08:45 PM.

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#21 Rac19

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 05:49 AM

Just when I thought all was working, plate solving was unable to solve tonight. After repeated failures, and in desperation, I uninstalled Astrotortilla. It didn't seem to help at first, until I stopped and started Sharpcap. Now it works well. Go figure.



#22 Astrolamb

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 03:04 PM

Just when I thought all was working, plate solving was unable to solve tonight. After repeated failures, and in desperation, I uninstalled Astrotortilla. It didn't seem to help at first, until I stopped and started Sharpcap. Now it works well. Go figure.

 

Very weird, it still makes me wonder if there was conflict/competition between the platesolving programs somehow.  

 

Like for internal ports being used or something..


Edited by Astrolamb, 15 May 2021 - 03:05 PM.

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#23 Rac19

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 04:32 PM

The odd thing is that it was working through the index files, without solving. It all started working again after I removed Astrotortilla and restarted Sharpcap. I only installed AT out of curiosity, so I am happy to do without it.


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#24 Rac19

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 05:28 PM

I asked about this on the Sharpcap forum and Robin Glover (founder) indicated that, in version 4.0, there would be a way to test the plate solver installation and that the Tools menu would be more explicit about the solve only option. Last night, I noticed that I kept being drawn to the Tools menu , for some reason.

 

Sharpcap 4.0 is early beta at the moment.

 

 

Ansvr, Astrotortilla and ASPS are all basically the same code with different installers. Once you have one working, no need to worry about the others. SharpCap 4.0 has more code to test installed plate solving applications in the settings and to run a test plate solve too as getting the application set up right can be a problem.

 

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#25 Astrolamb

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 07:19 PM

That will be pretty nice..




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