Had trouble with 3 things last night

After my fill of clouds, I was able to visit my observatory last night. Unfortunately, I had some difficulty with SGP:

I’ve set up my Sequences to use PlateSolve2, and it failed every time last night. My first question: I have my image scale entered in my profile. For plate solving I set it up to bin 3x3, will SGP calculate the proper image scale and tell PlateSolve2?

I haven’t had luck with auto-focusing (there’s a separate thread for that), so when trying to manually focus I’d display the HFD and watch that number as I focused. However, whenever a new frame-and-focus picture was displayed the HFD data would disappear and I’ve have to right-click the image, deselect Show HFD then right-click again and reselect Show HFD. Is there a way to make Show HFD “sticky” so it displays until you tell it not to?

Late last night I wanted to select a different equipment profile, but that profile had disappeared. I have no idea why. This morning when I set up to take flats and darks, that missing equipment profile was available again. Does anyone have any ideas?

As long as you image scale is entered for no binning (1x1) SGPro will take care of the rest for you and allow you to switch freely between any plate solve binning you’d like.

See response in the other thread I responded to.

Not sure off hand. You can check to see if the sgp file that holds your profile’s data is still in place. That’d be the first step. If it is, we’d want to look at why SGPro wont read it. Further guidance to get to the place on your machine where SGPro stores profile data can be found here:



Thank you, Ken (again). That shoots down one theory about why I had trouble with plate solving. A friend of mine took one of my subs from that night and uploaded it to astrometry.net and it plate solved just fine. Perhaps I’ll change programs. One of my other theories is my collimation was off (comatic star images) so maybe PlateSolve2 didn’t recognize the stars as stars, or the centers of mass were off. My image scale is 0.15"/ pixel so it might not take much. It’ll be simple, if frustrating perhaps, to try PlateSolve2 again with better collimation.

I saw your response to my other thread. Thank you for the tips.

I’ll follow the “treasure map” to find my profiles…
[edit] I confirmed my profiles are stored in the default folder, and that all three profiles are still there. I don’t have an explanation for why one of my profiles was not read at night, but was then read the next morning.

While I had the Options dialog open, I looked at the External Files tab. There is no folder defined for the location of PlateSolve2. Is that my problem? I would be confused if it is: PlateSolve2 opened and ran when called on. Maybe it didn’t get any of my profile data (like image scale) because it isn’t properly “connected” to SGP?

It may be. SGPro definitely needs to know where PS2 is located in order to use it. If you need to fiddle with these settings, we highly recommend installing and using PlateSolve3 (also free) instead of PlateSolve 2 (or with v4.4, use both, but place PS3 ahead of PS2 in the solver chain).

Thank you for the recommendations, Ken. I recently installed the SGP update. Perhaps I’ll try a chain of asrtometry.net → PlateSolve3 → PlateSolve2.
[edit] PlateSolve2 appears to have disappeared from my computer, the databases are intact. Very strange. Maybe it went to the same place my wandering profile went, but didn’t come back. Time to download it again.

I downloaded PlateSolve2, got my SGP profile updated and tried it in a “dry run”. I opened one of the subs from my last trip and tried PS2. It didn’t work. I then opened a sub taken later the same night, after I’d improved my collimation. PS2 plate solved that photo in less than a second (my scope was pointing pretty close the the actual target). Software is so finicky: it has to be installed AND your image has to be in focus. Sheesh.

I’m working to understand how to use ANSLV; I downloaded the relevant image files last night (and early this morning, it took a while).

Assuming you mean “ANSVR”. We don’t have extensive guidacne here, but we do have enough to get you started:


I did mean ANSVR, thank you for the link. I searched, but ineffectively.

Some good progress last night. Wish I had at least a partially processed image to post. My biggest problem was guiding, but I’ll post in the PHD forum for that.

Autofocus still fails. I was working on other things last night, so I’ll try some things in the future.

Plate solving, astrometry .net first, then PlateSolve2, worked very well. No troubles. I wasn’t able to get ANSVR to run, when I clicked that Start “button” I got a pop-up dialog which closed so fast I have no idea what it said.

What is the best way to start a Sequence when you plan to autoguide? Should PHD be open, the profile selected and gear connected within PHD? Or should PHD be closed, allowing SGP to open the program, select the profile and connect the equipment? Something in between?

I had some troubles with SGP locking up when plate solving failed. The trouble was the pop-up dialog informing me of the failure always pops up “behind” my Sequence dialog where I didn’t see it for half the night. I wonder what that happens that way?

I need to learn the Auto Flats feature and find out if I can instruct SGP to pause a sequence to recenter the current target and then resume. I think I can, I mean it can be done after a meridian flip.

Purely user preference. If your PHD2 profile is configured in such a way that you can open it and click “Guide” then you can start with nothing and SGPro will open it and connect the gear for you. This requires that you have configured the sequence (and/or profile to use a specific PHD2 profile).

See the bottom section here for additional details:


Thank you, Ken. I have a vague recollection of setting that up.