New Guy Help

I’m running sequences now on my trial SGP but I have some questions about what I am doing. So far, I start a sequence with an equipment profile already set. I have been slewing to my target area manually, then using the frame and focus feature in SGP to get my target where I want it. I also focus manually at this point. Then, I go into the Control Panel and go to the Plate Solve tab and plate solve from where my scope is pointing since that is the shot I want to use to keep my scope aligned on and for future imaging of that target. The Plate Solve works but, I don’t know how to save that particular image and solve for future use. Then, I go to the target in the sequencer and give the image a name. I do see the coordinates of the plate solved image on the left side of the Target box but, when I try use the “export” option on the right side of the window, I get a message that I don’t have a valid plate solve!. So, now I get PHD up and running, set up my sequence and start imaging which initiates my auto-focus routine. All seems to work as advertised except I don’t know if I will be able to make SGP slew my scope to the exact same spot on another night. Olease advise on that.

I also need to know what to do to get the scope back on the image after a meridian flip if I can not save the current plate solve?

Thanks for any help.


Hi Jon,

Welcome to SGP. It sounds like you may be trying to do manually what SGP will do for you automatically.

There are several ways to select your target coordinates, but I think the Framing an Mosaic Wizard (FMW) is the easiest way to do it. You can use the FMW to frame your target during the day so your sequence will be setup and ready to go when you are ready to start imaging.

Here’s a sample of how it works. First, open the FMW:

Type in the name of the object you want to image, then click Fetch (internet connection required).

Drag a small rectangle around your target, then drag the frame around until it is framed exactly how you like.

Click Create Sequence when you are done. Select “Slew to target and then center” and click OK.

Now your sequence will have a target with exact the coordinates you need. These are the coordinates that SGP will use to center the scope from night to night whenever you run the sequence.

When you run the sequence SGP will slew the scope to the target, then center the target precisely. The same coordinates are used to re-center the target after a meridian flip.

Even if you don’t use the FMW, you can plate solve one of your Frame and Focus images, and use the solved coordinates as the target coordinates:


Thanks for all of that. Very powerful capability and I can’t wait to try it out. I can see how you frame up the target using that wizard but, what about camera orientation? How do you know if you need to rotate you camera and how much? I do not have an automatic camera rotator.
Also, after you plate solve an image and designate it as a reference image, where is that image saved. Do you then input that image into the target ref data box in order to use it on a second night?
I was able to do an auto meridian flip last night and SGP recentered on the target I was shooting and continued with my sequence. Very cool and auto focus worked well too. I am slowly getting used to this program but I get confused with how to put a list of targets for the same equipment in a profile that can be called up and then just select one of the targets from the list. I’m getting sequences and profiles confused, I guess.

Once you do a plate solve SGP sets your camera angle, and that is what is used as the starting point in the FMW. You can use the camera angle slider in the FMW to rotate the frame to your liking. You can use the Manual Rotator as your rotator and PHD2 will guide you through rotating the camera manually when it centers the target. Check the option “Auto rotate or validate rotation on mosaic start” when the FMW prompts for target options.

The target coordinates (and camera angle) are saved as part of the Sequence, that’s all you need. You open the Sequence from night to night and when you run it SGP automatically centers the target.

A profile is just a template describing the equipment and associated settings. You create a sequence based on the profile, then you add one or more targets to the sequence.

This is described very well in the help files, you really should take a look if you haven’t already.

Good luck and have fun!