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Old 25-10-2017, 03:50 PM
Imme (Jon)
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APT v SGP plate solving

I just thought I'd throw my 10 cents worth in on software for imaging.

I've been playing with SGP for weeks trying to get plate solving sorted. Everything else works ok but a key element of my usage and one that is extremely important to me is the plate solve feature. It's obviously a great package and automates everything really well......except in my experience the remote plate solving feature (no network access) is an absolute nightmare to get working. I've read forum after forum and changed every setting I possibly could to get it to work. I've spent 40+ hours just on this one frustrating issue. I'd say I have success with it plate solving less than 5% of the time.....and this often took 300 seconds+ to do......definitely not good enough or able to be relied upon.
Coming up to the end of my 45 day trial I wasn't willing to buy a license based on my experience with it.

A couple of nights ago I loaded up APT. Using the same remote astronomy.net image index's, same camera/scope setup and the ASPS engine I was surprised to find I solved my first image in 13 seconds, every subsequent image I threw at it was solved as well......and all within 30 seconds of requesting a blind solve.

Some say SGP is better package than APT as it has more features......but in my opinion unless all package features work flawlessly then they are a waste of time including.

I'm an APT convert and am now a financial supporter of them based on my recent experience.

Last edited by Imme; 25-10-2017 at 04:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 25-10-2017, 04:01 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Jon,
I share your pain.....
I'm a AstroArt user (over 15 years!) and although I love it and it works 110% for my spectroscopy needs, the in-built plate solving routine has always been a bit hit and miss..]
I was introduced to ASPS earlier this year as an alternative - and I've got to say it seems to work 100% for me - when using raw camera images, it does also work on other jpeg images (someone said if you had a Xmas card with stars on it, it would also solve them!!) I never found it that good....
http://www.astrogb.com/astrogb/All_S...te_Solver.html
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Old 26-10-2017, 09:51 AM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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I am new and i just ordered SGP few months ago and starting to learn with it, but i never reached the level of plate solving yet, but from your post it sounds i should start to look or use APT as soon as possible before i go much deeper with SGP so i can have both for best job in astrophotography for me.

If APT is a one-time payment then i will do, it is cheap, so it won't be an issue to have it, but my question is, can i use each software separately? what do i mean is, can i have both on my PC but use one of them at time or i must uninstall/remove one to have the other?
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Old 26-10-2017, 09:54 AM
Imme (Jon)
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You can use each one independently Tareq
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Old 26-10-2017, 04:07 PM
Imme (Jon)
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I hear what you're saying Glenn however if I spend 2 minutes with a plate solver rather than 10 minutes doing it manually then that gives me an extra 8 minutes of exposure time.

.....that's wha I'm after
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  #6  
Old 26-10-2017, 04:20 PM
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trent_julie
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Hi Jon,
I havenít had much success with SGP. If you canít get it going out of the box with a reasonable amount of effort. You simply are not going to enjoy it. Possibly check up on it down the track. SGP has potential but despite buying in 2015 I have not yet completed a full imaging run with it. The forum is active and try to be as helpful as they can to assist. My old copy of maximal 5.18 is the most reliable imaging software I own. Iím even thinking of upgrading to version 6. At the end of the day, unless you have a distinct goal in mind, you need to be able to enjoy the journey knowing that it is possible to get to where you are going.

Trent


Quote:
Originally Posted by Imme View Post
I just thought I'd throw my 10 cents worth in on software for imaging.

I've been playing with SGP for weeks trying to get plate solving sorted. Everything else works ok but a key element of my usage and one that is extremely important to me is the plate solve feature. It's obviously a great package and automates everything really well......except in my experience the remote plate solving feature (no network access) is an absolute nightmare to get working. I've read forum after forum and changed every setting I possibly could to get it to work. I've spent 40+ hours just on this one frustrating issue. I'd say I have success with it plate solving less than 5% of the time.....and this often took 300 seconds+ to do......definitely not good enough or able to be relied upon.
Coming up to the end of my 45 day trial I wasn't willing to buy a license based on my experience with it.

A couple of nights ago I loaded up APT. Using the same remote astronomy.net image index's, same camera/scope setup and the ASPS engine I was surprised to find I solved my first image in 13 seconds, every subsequent image I threw at it was solved as well......and all within 30 seconds of requesting a blind solve.

Some say SGP is better package than APT as it has more features......but in my opinion unless all package features work flawlessly then they are a waste of time including.

I'm an APT convert and am now a financial supporter of them based on my recent experience.
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  #7  
Old 26-10-2017, 04:23 PM
Imme (Jon)
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Stick with what you know works and does what it needs to do Trent....that's my view
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  #8  
Old 27-10-2017, 03:52 AM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imme View Post
You can use each one independently Tareq
Ok cool, i may get APT later one day too.

Thank you very much!
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  #9  
Old 27-10-2017, 11:04 AM
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Camelopardalis (Dunk)
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APT is great value, I use it a lot. Nice chunky buttons so easy to poke when using remote desktop from a tablet

Plate solving works well in both for me - they both use Planewave’s Platesolve program.
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  #10  
Old 27-10-2017, 03:14 PM
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RickS (Rick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
You can do a lot of fine imaging without any plate solving. Learning to get your camera onto the same spot in the sky night after night is a useful skill and does not take much time to frame up at all. Plate solving is over-rated in my opinion. It's one of those apps that people get convinced that they have to have.
IMO, plate solving is the best thing since sliced bread and I can't imagine why anybody wouldn't want to use it.

It enables automated image capture, offers a new way to do accurate polar alignment, measures your exact focal length and FOV (probably not the same as the specs), allows you to identify objects in your images, gives you the ability to do photometric colour calibration, determines the coordinates of cool objects in random images, and more...
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Old 27-10-2017, 08:47 PM
chuckywiz (Ben)
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My 2 cents,

i must be one of the odd ones out maybe but i find once setup SGP works flawlessly.

Platesolves using planewaves plate solve including blind solves work within seconds everytime.

auto slewing and centring work flawlessly everytime.

Auto PHD guiding on imaging etc works perfect

as i say once setup properly... when one things out it can all fall in a hole.

if anyone wants a hand setting up SGP im happy to help out.

Ben
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