Elbrus set up tutorial

Hi all,

Sorry for the newb question here. I’ve been using SGP for a couple of years now, but I’ve never installed plate solving. I installed Elbrus, but I’m at a “now what?” phase. The SGP video is a few years old and refers to software settings that have been moved. Can someone please point me to a thread or a tutorial that I can use to work through? Basic stuff–I’m not sure how to load an image for it to plate solve. I haven’t yet tried hooking to my mount yet as I normally control my mount with a handset–I’m going one step at a time.


Hi Stu,

Just a quick reply here – assuming your install went ok and downloaded everything it needed, it should be real simple to try. In SGP’s control panel, Plate Solving tab, just select Elbrus from the interface drop down.

Then, load an image in SGP. Right click, select plate solve. You may need to enter hint data if it’s not already in the FITS file.

Where things often go wrong is if the image scale is incorrect, or the hint location is far off – but give it an initial try. All of the available plate solvers have their pros and cons – for example, Astrometry’s biggest strength (IMHO) is that it can handle blind solves better than the others, but it is also the slowest. That’s why many use it as a blind failover only.

Hope this helps gets you started…

Hi Stu,

Once you have plate solving setup and have SGP connected to your mount, check out the recent thread from Jon for an idea of how SGP can use plate solving to automatically center your targets when you start your sequence and for automatic meridian flips.

A good test to confirm that plate solving is working is to slew to some arbitrary position in the sky, take a 10 second or so Frame and Focus image (make sure you are in focus and have a bunch of stars in the frame), right click the image and click Plate Solve. If the frame solves successfully, you should be good to go with all the SGP automation magic.

I second @Bhwolf’s suggestion of setting up local astrometry.net as a backup for Elbrus (enable blind solve failover in the plate solve tab of the control panel after you install ansvr.)


Thanks guys. Imaging now so I don’t want to disturb the rig but I’ll give it a go tomorrow.

Things with the integration of PlateSolve2 are looking pretty good now that its been through a couple of betas. I would probably recommend going with the PS2 solver as your primary and using local ANSVR as your backup solver. Elbrus can be finicky and also requires more hints than other solvers (specifically, you must pass in the angle hint). Some folks have very good luck with it… others grow very frustrated. If you are interested in using PS2, it will be out with soon with the release of 2.4.2 (or you can install the beta).

Thanks Ken,
I’ll wait until the new Beta comes out. I’ve gotten by with plate solving
for this long, I can wait a bit longer. What is PS2 stand for? And what
does ANSVR stand for? Sorry for the questions.

Just by way of explanation, I don’t have a remote observatory. I do multi
night imaging, but what I do is just manually match up the prior imaging
run with my current one. I only image one thing a night, and I use my
Astro-Physics hand controller to find and nudge the image.


On my computer now, and not my iphone, so I see that PS2 stand for Plate Solve 2. ANSVR is astronomy.net. No need to answer my prior post.

I’ll be patient and wait for the kinks to work themselves out. I’m not interested in automated imaging. All I want to do is make sure that my current image matches up with a prior night’s image.

As I mentioned, I’ve been doing manual “plate solving” which has worked fine for me, but I had one narrow band imaging run where my S2 image was about 10 arcminutes off, and I had to throw them out. Pissed me off, so now I want to plate solve. I’ll still babysit my mount and do manual meridian flips but I don’t want this to happen again.

I got it to successfully plate solve using the right click (that’s what I was missing) using astrometry.net. I put those coordinates into Elbrus and then it successfully solved.

Now what I need to do is figure out how to do is control the mount with the computer instead of the hand controller, and use the plate solving to nudge the mount into the proper position. But this is a first step.