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Mav359

Plate Solving Demo

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Hey guys

I haven't bothered with plate solving yet, anyone willing to give me a quick demo at some point during the week so i have a better idea of how & why.

Cheers

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Which software are you using for plate solving Alan?

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On 07/02/2016 at 22:12, Mav359 said:

Hey guys

I haven't bothered with plate solving yet, anyone willing to give me a quick demo at some point during the week so i have a better idea of how & why.

Cheers

You and me both Alan, I've been thinking about whether it's worth the hassle or one more thing to go wrong and waste more imaging time especially on a rig you need to take down every time.

Managed all right without it so far so it would have to offer something worth while.

Dave

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On 15/02/2016 at 17:35, RikM said:

Which software are you using for plate solving Alan?

I'm not really i had a go at setting up astro tortilla but haven't had a chance to see it in use or have a go myself. I've had limited oppertunity to ry it recently and if i'm going to SGLXI then i figured there'd be enough people using that i could stand and watch for a bit.

I generally find that all the reading in the world is no match for seeing something working in action, i think i get it but theres nothing like a live demo

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

You and me both Alan, I've been thinking about whether it's worth the hassle or one more thing to go wrong and waste more imaging time especially on a rig you need to take down every time.

Managed all right without it so far so it would have to offer something worth while.

Dave

I'm all about reducing the setup time of any aspect of AP down to a minimum, i have had less and less time recently to get out and whilst thats mostly work related and will get better once my current project is over i have found i just want to turn on pick a target or go back to a target and crack on.  Plate solving may help that

I have managed fine too but my best results inevetibly come with good setup & and time spent on it, if like the QHY Polemaster there is another tool that let me get to my best results quicker, more often with less wasted nights & data then for me its another tool in arsenal worth having.

A good demo would allow me to decide whether its will help me in my setup and methods.

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I use Pinpoint with Maxim DL. Only because I have them. Dead easy so far...

Well worth going for it Alan and Dave.

But you need to give a start point as close as possible in RA and Dec. Or you can be waiting some considerable time for the solve. If the software needs to access the web and it can OK, but a spiral search can take for ever otherwise. So say on M42 use the astro prog to get the rough central point and input to your solving software as its starting point. I use Model Maker and as it slews around to points and instructs Maxim to take a picture, the solve can be done in under a second. I have never used MaxPoint so cannot comment, Astro Tortilla worked as well but  I never tried it in the field, only as a test on images I had taken.

Derek

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1 minute ago, Physopto said:

I use Pinpoint with Maxim DL. Only because I have them. Dead easy so far...

Well worth going for it Alan and Dave.

But you need to give a start point as close as possible in RA and Dec. Or you can be waiting some considerable time for the solve. If the software needs to access the web and it can OK, but a spiral search can take for ever otherwise. So say on M42 use the astro prog to get the rough central point and input to your solving software as its starting point. I use Model Maker and as it slews around to points and instructs Maxim to take a picture, the solve can be done in under a second. I have never used MaxPoint so cannot comment, Astro Tortilla worked as well but  I never tried it in the field, only as a test on images I had taken.

Derek

So are you saying for at home with internet access its worth having but out in the field might be another kettle of fish? I generally find with my current methods that by the time i have setup when i slew to a target its always in shot and i just center by the image in the screen. My motorhome has 15gb 3G hotspot on board and i have 20gb of 4G off my phone so internet access wouldn't be an issue.

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14 minutes ago, Mav359 said:

So are you saying for at home with internet access its worth having but out in the field might be another kettle of fish? I generally find with my current methods that by the time i have setup when i slew to a target its always in shot and i just center by the image in the screen. My motorhome has 15gb 3G hotspot on board and i have 20gb of 4G off my phone so internet access wouldn't be an issue.

Hi Alan,

Yes I remember your van from Galloway, glad you got it sorted.

If Pinpoint needs the internet it depends upon internet speed but also if it is slowed by the area you are in. Once the image is uploaded the server takes over I suppose. The solve is fast and your information downloaded to you as to position etc,. If you do not have the internet then your computer does it all. If it has a start point a way off it goes about a spiral search and it can take ages. If you specify a good close start point it can be very fast. I have not tried at Galloway on my phone connection! Kielder has no phone signals and if I had tried over the Kielder WiFi it would be too big an upload and download for the connection. It would just shut down for every one as there is a bandwidth limit/day (BT). I don't think Steve or any body else would thank you.

Try it with a known image at home not using any internet connection. Just specify a roughly central point RA and Dec to get started. You will see how quick it can be. Your FIT file will have the positions in  it if it has been solved before usually.

Derek

 

 

Edited by Physopto

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2 hours ago, Physopto said:

Hi Alan,

Yes I remember your van from Galloway, glad you got it sorted.

If Pinpoint needs the internet it depends upon internet speed but also if it is slowed by the area you are in. Once the image is uploaded the server takes over I suppose. The solve is fast and your information downloaded to you as to position etc,. If you do not have the internet then your computer does it all. If it has a start point a way off it goes about a spiral search and it can take ages. If you specify a good close start point it can be very fast. I have not tried at Galloway on my phone connection! Kielder has no phone signals and if I had tried over the Kielder WiFi it would be too big an upload and download for the connection. It would just shut down for every one as there is a bandwidth limit/day (BT). I don't think Steve or any body else would thank you.

Try it with a known image at home not using any internet connection. Just specify a roughly central point RA and Dec to get started. You will see how quick it can be. Your FIT file will have the positions in  it if it has been solved before usually.

Derek

 

 

Cheers Derek

See i didn't know about needing the internet connection, i though that was the point of astro tortilla downloading all that data

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16 minutes ago, Mav359 said:

Cheers Derek

See i didn't know about needing the internet connection, i though that was the point of astro tortilla downloading all that data

I use Pinpoint with Maxim DL. Only because I have them. Dead easy so far...

Well worth going for it Alan and Dave.

But you need to give a start point as close as possible in RA and Dec. Or you can be waiting some considerable time for the solve. If the software needs to access the web and it can OK, but a spiral search can take for ever otherwise. So say on M42 use the astro prog to get the rough central point and input to your solving software as its starting point. I use Model Maker and as it slews around to points and instructs Maxim to take a picture, the solve can be done in under a second. I have never used MaxPoint so cannot comment, Astrotortilla

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Not sure about Astro Tortilla, but Pinpoint does use Astrometry.Net  if it needs too. So accesses it on line.  If I am right Astro Tortilla uses the astrometry.net files it down loaded previously.

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I also use Pinpoint in Maxim but I downloaded the guide star catalog to my hard drive, so no internet connection needed.

Pinpoint has helped me save time getting back on target after skewing away for focussing on a bright star after filter changes, or after meridian flips, and on multi-night projects. If astro tortilla works in a similar way, which is what I have heard, it is well worth learning.

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I have been using Astrotortilla  for quite a while to work out exactly where I am pointing when looking for a faint DSO, although I haven't used it for telescope control directly. A couple of days ago I downloaded the 45 day "on-approval" Sequence Generator Pro, and today I have been testing out SGPro's plate solving and slewing in  warmth and comfort inside the house.  I'll still have that available at SGL11.  Both programs are using local files, not internet (so I now have 2 sets of the Astrometry.net index files installed - aren't hard disks wonderful).

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UniMap isn't bad for identifying objects within an image, but I've not yet tried the telescope aspect of the software, re guiding, targeting, tracking etc. (permanent setup still in the very early stages).

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5 hours ago, Mav359 said:

I'm all about reducing the setup time of any aspect of AP down to a minimum, i have had less and less time recently to get out and whilst thats mostly work related and will get better once my current project is over i have found i just want to turn on pick a target or go back to a target and crack on.  Plate solving may help that

I have managed fine too but my best results inevetibly come with good setup & and time spent on it, if like the QHY Polemaster there is another tool that let me get to my best results quicker, more often with less wasted nights & data then for me its another tool in arsenal worth having.

I find astrotortilla very good, except for directly in the Milky Way.  It uses it's own database but my computer uses a solid state drive so access is quick.  Normally it does it's work in less than 10 seconds. 

I have no possibility of any kind of permanent set-up, which means I have to set up from scratch every time.  Typically, my total set up time takes around 24 minutes.  It involves:

Moving the mount outside

Attaching weights

Attach scope, cameras, focuser, dew heaters, filter wheel, cables

Balance scope

Polar align

Start and connect software (Cartes du Ciel, Astrotortilla, Maxim, Focusmax, Maxpilote, PHD, (having had to establish which com ports actually work)

Align scope roughly at target, taking scope tube caps off

Re-balance 

Focus

Sync scope wherever the scope is pointing using Astrotortilla

Aligned scope precisely to target either using Cartes du Ciel for framing a new image or Astrotortilla to get further subs of an existing image

Check one 30 second binned shot to make sure everything correct

Get PHD calibrated, during which time  set up sequence using Maxpilote

Start PHD and then start Maxpilote.

Go to the pub.

So it can be done, and practice makes it easier to remember things like taking off the tube caps....

 

Chris

 

 

 
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After all this time, I finally discovered today that to use Astrotortilla together with Cartes du Ciel via Ascom you have to run both programs either Run as Administrator or neither. Took the first option and it works like a charm (indoors), so I'll be expecting to use this to align/sync the scope and hit targets from now on. Hopefully.

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I'd definitely be interested in learning how to use a plate solving program myself, I were thinking about getting Sequence Generator Pro but I won't until the observatory gets built. Although I wouldn't mind taking a look at Astro Tortilla too just to see how that works & whether it cuts down setting up time or not as anything to help speed things up has got to be a good thing.

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I'll be happy to demonstrate APT and Planewave plate solving is anyone's interested (weather permitting of course).

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I've got Astro tortilla working well on my kit. It does benefit from having a good internet connection when setting up as I tend to use astrometry.net to solve the first ever sub so I know what indexes to download & bung on the drive.

After that its works pretty quickly if using the same camera, once I've polar aligned I just set it off on a target and it does the rest, centres it in the FOV and then I can start whatever plan I've made to image. 

It's so good you'll be kicking yourself as to why you didn't use it earlier. SGP is very good as well - unbeatable for the price !

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I downloaded Astro Tortilla last night although haven't installed it yet, as it will be used in the obsy when it gets built could it be used offline as I doubt I'd receive the wireless signal from there plus my internet is slooooooow anyway.

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9 hours ago, tich said:

I downloaded Astro Tortilla last night although haven't installed it yet, as it will be used in the obsy when it gets built could it be used offline as I doubt I'd receive the wireless signal from there plus my internet is slooooooow anyway.

Yes it's fine offline. It's only for downloading the indexes that you need an internet connection - unless you just whack them all in the system :icon_biggrin:

It solves faster if you get the correct indexes for your image scale.

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Downloading the astrometry.net index files used by Astrotortilla and Sequence Generator Pro is a fairly slow process, but once they are on board the plate solving can be pretty quick. I did a blind solve using both programs - Astrotortilla was faster on that particular run - but that was a sample of one.

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