Plate solve

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bmorrelltx
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Plate solve

Post by bmorrelltx »

I am new tot he forum, and did not find any discussion on Platesolve2 a free platesolve application. I would like to request that support for Platesolve2 a free application available on the Planewave found here http://planewave.com/downloads/software/

This software works very well and is supported by Maxim and Sequence Generator Pro. SGPro is probably the prime software of choice for many US amateurs. Thanks for considering... Bruceb
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admin
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Re: Plate solve

Post by admin »

Hi,

I looked at this program a while back - as far as I could tell it's a stand-alone plate solving application but I can't see any way to let another program (like SharpCap) drive the PlateSolve2 application and tell it to solve a frame. The fact that there doesn't seem to be any documentation doesn't help :(

If someone does know how to make the program run automatically rather than having to control it with the UI then I'd be happy to take a further look.

cheers,

Robin
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turfpit
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Re: Plate solve

Post by turfpit »

From this search result, it looks like the SGP developers had direct communication with Plane wave to achieve the integration.

SGP-Planewave.PNG
SGP-Planewave.PNG (16.7 KiB) Viewed 2214 times

Dave
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Re: Plate solve

Post by admin »

Ah, so that makes it look like the freely downloadable plate solving application is a separate thing (commercially) to the 'get a license from us and use our plate solving in your program' option.

thanks for the info,

Robin
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oopfan
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Re: Plate solve

Post by oopfan »

I downloaded the product but could not get it to work with the UCAC3 catalog that I have on my hard drive. It complained that "Catalog Files Not Found" when I tried to plate solve. Funny that my UCAC3 works great with C2A planetarium software. That's a separate problem from the issue that I would like to bring to your attention:

If you are interested in benchmarking this software against others, including SharpCap which uses astrometry.net, please view the attached image from PlaneWave's website.

I highlighted in red the Starting Parameters. The RA and Dec parameters are key to the efficiency of the software. This is where the algorithm begins. You are helping it get started by giving it this hint. If you leave it blank then it will perform a "blind" plate solve which is the least efficient.

I would suggest to anyone interested in comparing products that you force a blind plate solve.

Also note that if the RA and Dec fields are populated immediately after you load an image then the FITS file that you specified has OBJCTRA and OBJTDEC already included in the FITS header. These coordinates may be a guess made by the acquisition software or this file was already plate solved. In either case you need to erase these fields in PlateSolve in order to force a blind plate solve.

Brian
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bmorrelltx
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Re: Plate solve

Post by bmorrelltx »

First platesolve reads the location parameters from the ascom mount and it does blind plate solving when it fails.

Second it is licensed only because it it integrated with and distributed with Sequence Generator Pro.

An email to the author would probably yield the api calls.

Lots of good things can be said about all plate solve solutions. I have astrometry.net, PinPoint and Platesolve2 on my computer. Platesolve 2 performs the most reliably of the three, followed by PinPoint. The trouble with astronomy.net is that you have to tune it, for your scope camera combo, and you have to load it with the correct parameters. As a camera vendor, I am often called upon to advise people on what software to use. SharpCap is very high on my list. Over the years I have found, that if you are going to get people to use your product and software it has to be both bullet proof and and easy to learn. Again SharpCap passes that test. astrometry.net is far from bullet proof although I used it for many years successfully. Now try explaining astrometry.net to a newbie and see how successful you are. You may personally find it easy, but my experience is that most amateurs need a lot of hand holding. This is all about probability of success, not about which one works the best. Bruce Morrell US QHY distributer Astrofactors.
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Re: Plate solve

Post by admin »

Hi,

thanks for the further feedback - I will keep an eye on this area and follow up with the makers of the plate solve applications to see what API functionality they may have.

cheers,

Robin
hhakozaki
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Re: Plate solve

Post by hhakozaki »

Hello,
I also like PlateSolve2. I used SGP with it and it is very fast compare to Astrometry.net.

I will purchase pro version soon and I really like to see SharpCap uses PlateSolve2.

Following forum discuss how to use it.
https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/2968 ... mand-line/

You need to save image and tell PlateSolve2 to solve that image. It will create .apm file which contain results.

Just execute command line with parameters. Since it is command line, you can test it manually.

Here is my test with M31 image.

Image Condition
Pixel Size : 1.3arcsec
Image Size : 4656x3520
Field Size : 0.02939 radian x 0.02222 radian
M33 RA and DEC
RA : 01h 33m 50.02s -> 5630.02sec -> 0.4094266 rad
DEC : +30 39 36.7 -> 30.6602 degree -> 0.535121 rad

Platesolve2 command

platesolve2.exe 0.409,0.535,0.02939,0.02222,999,test.fit,0


Result in test.apm file.
0.40931214,0.53507565,1
1.30114,165.66,-1.00011,0.00005,387
Valid plate solution

Description of contents
Fist line is RA and DEC
1.30114 is pixel size in arcsec
165.66 is angle

not sure rest of it
-1.00011
0.00005
387

Hope this will help.

Hiro
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Re: Plate solve

Post by admin »

Hi,

thanks for taking the time to put this information together. It will certainly make it easier for me to integrate was SharpCap. The remaining problem is that it looks like PlateSolve2 needs to know the field of view in order to perform its calculations. Currently SharpCap doesn't keep track of the field of view (or equivalent lead the focal length), so somewhere to configure that information would also need to be added.

Cheers, Robin
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