This weekend I had a lot of plate solve failures using PinPoint, so this morning I did some testing to see just how accurate the “hint” needed to be for PinPoint to successfully solve an image. Using images taken with 2.4.1 and solved with Astrometry.net, Visual PinPoint (stand alone version of PinPoint) solved the images quickly. Then I used the FITS header utility in PixInsight to remove the RA and DEC entries (all of the various forms in the header) and then tested PinPoint’s ability to solve the image. Visual PinPoint would prompt for the RA / DEC hint and I found that entering a value with an error as small as 10 arcminutes would cause PinPoint to fail (timeout) even if I set the timeout to 5 minutes. I ran the experiments with both GSC and USNO libraries.
This is making me rethink the usefulness of PinPoint within the SGP environment.