Pinpoint - using different data

I have a licensed version of Pinpoint and it uses the USNO A2 catalogue (although I have more recent catalogues available). The SGPro instructions imply that if you use Pinpoint to solve images, you have to use the (old) GSC file. If Pinpoint is commanded to solve images, surely it does it itself without reference to SGPro - or does SGPro insist on the GSC?
Second ‘plate solving’ query:
When I download an image using SGPro it is not displayed NSEW (so to speak - ie., aligned with the true sky. I had previously used Maxim which allows the display to be downloaded/displayed true to the night sky (north at top, etc). There may be a consequence for plate solving because when I tried solving this displayed image it doesn’t always solve. When I flipped it to match the true sky, it solved. However, I might have misinterpreted this so can someone comment on the display options (if any)? [day 25 - but many cloudy nights.]

Lawrence Harris

Hi Lawrence

The new 2.4 beta and RC2 allow PinPoint to use catalogues other than GSC. I have just upgraded to RC2 and, although I have USNO A2 on my observatory pc, I haven’t tried using it and have remained with the GSC (this is perfectly adequate for the image scales I use). I’m sure one of the developers or moderators will answer in due course and explain how to switch to using a different catalogue.

I have been using PinPoint with SGP for over a year (SGP for longer) and have never had an issue with the orientation of my downloaded image when plate solving. My Atik 460 EX flips my image as well. I’ve only had plate solving failures on a handful of times and that has been because the image was out of focus. Not sure whether you need to toggle an option within PinPoint to help you with your orientation and reliability for solving; wouldn’t each image fail to be solved if it was an orientation problem? I’m sure someone with a more in depth knowledge of PinPoint will help.

I hope your evaluation of SGP is successful - there are many therads on the forum with positive feedback from users who have experience of both Maxim (amongst other capture software) and SGP.


Pinpoint needs us to tell it which catalog to use for the solves. With 2.4 you can use GSC, USNO and UCAC. See the 2.4 help docs for info on how to set up each.

As for orientation pinpoint does not care. It will work with flipped, rotated and mirrored images without issue.


Hmmm. Can I clarify? I use PP with USNO A2. It solves fine. SGP wants PP to run only with GSC - see manual.


Hello Barry

Frankly I don’t use PP full version as such. I used Maxim DL with the limited PP - but I do have the full PP license from a few years back. What perhaps I didn’t make clear was that before connecting SGP to PP I tested PP with A2 on several plates and it works fine. The SGP help file only says to use GSC with PP.

FWIW I will be registering SGP when the trial expires. I am haopy that it will do the job even though I am having problems.

Lawrence :slight_smile:

Hi Lawrence

I’m not sure what you mean by “connecting SGP to PP”. I have PinPoint 6.0 installed and when setting a profile for the first time wiht PinPoint installed, I just set the platesolving tab to PinPoint and then browsed to the catalogue location. When I connect my mount, focuser, filter wheel and ccd to SGP and then select a profile to use, there is no separate connection I have to make to PinPoint for plate solving to work.

It might well make a difference that you are using PinPoint Lite from Maxim rather than the full version - I would suggest you re-activate your licence and use PinPoint 6.0. Alternatively, there is also Elbrus which is free (there are instructions and a link on the SGP site) and also instructions to set up a local astrometry server. I used Elbrus before PinPoint and it is very good but a shade slower than PinPoint, even so, a solve will take only about 10 seconds or so.

The manual for the 2.3 version does say that PinPoint requires the GSC catalogue but this has been changed in 2.4 and other catalogues can be used. Which version of SGP are you using?

There are plenty of folk on this forum who are happy to help. Ken and Jared (the devlopers) respond swiftly. Good luck with trimming the settings for your set up.


I’m using PinPoint 6 with UCAC4 catalog and SGPro 2.4b, the combination works just fine. Possibly not quite as fast as using GSC but the difference is not significant to me.