Plate Solve Setup


Here you select the method CCD Commander should use to Plate Solve images.


Note: The MaxIm/PinPoint LE selection uses the MaxIm GUI interface to execute a plate solve.  This method works, but is very sensitive to other programs running at the same time.  Also it will not work if you are manually using the computer to perform other tasks.  The other plate solve choices are much more robust and should be used if possible.  Try the other choices and use this combination only if the others do not work.


Unbinned Pixel Scale is passed by CCD Commander to the Plate Solve program.  CCD Commander will pull the image coordinates from mount.  Perform a Plate Solve function manually to get an accurate value for Pixel Scale.  Enter the reported number into this field.


North Angle is used by CCD Commander to help in determining if the Plate Solve was successful.  Even though the Plate Solve program thinks a solution was found, knowing the correct North Angle is a final check to confirm the result.  CCD Commander will compare the entered value for North Angle with that reported after the Plate Solve.  If the results are significantly different, CCD Commander will abort the action and move on to the next action in the list.  To determine a correct value for the North Angle, perform a Plate Solve manually.  Enter the value reported into the North Angle field.  Be sure to use the same program you specified for CCD Commander to use as different programs report the North Angle differently.


The Get button is available only when using CCDSoft/TheSky for Plate Solves.  CCDSoft reports a different value for North Angle to the user than it does over the programmable interface.  As a result it is difficult to get the proper value into CCD Commander.  The Get allows CCD Commander to automatically get the Unbinned Pixel Scale and North Angle from a manually solved image in CCDSoft.  To use this feature, first manually take an image in CCDSoft and execute an Insert WCS function on it.  When complete, be sure to confirm your that your result is correct.  With the image still open in CCDSoft, click the Get button in CCD Commander to retrieve the parameters.


Disable North Angle Verification  will turn off CCD Commander's checks for the North Angle.  It is not recommended to disable this verification.  However if you are running a portable setup and do not have an accurate polar alignment it may be necessary as your actual North Angle may drift over the night.


Pin Point (full) Setup

The full version of Pin Point requires that CCD Commander know some information about the star catalog you are using.  You can specify that information here.


Catalog selects the star catalog you want Pin Point to use.


Path specifies the location of the catalog.  Click the "..." button to browse to the location of the catalog.  See the Pin Point documentation for full details.


Catalog Stellar Magnitudes specifies the star magnitude range to use from the catalog.  NOTE: This is an advanced parameter that should be used only if you have problems plate solving.  The default value should work in most cases.


Search Area (% of image) tells PinPoint how large an area to search when trying to match your image.  100% means that PinPoint will only search an area equal to the size of your image.  If your mount continuously places the target near the center of your sensor, you can set this value to 100%.  If your target often lies near the edge of your sesnor or off the sensor, you should increase this value appropriately.  A larger Search Area will increase the amount of time required for a plate solve.


Maximum # of stars used specifies the total number of stars used from your image to perform the plate solve.  If you have a very wide field image and/or a large sensor, setting this to a small number may decrease the time required to perform the plate solve.  A value of 0 will use all the stars in the image (this can cause long plate solve times for large sensors).


Standard Deviation above Background specifies the standard deviation threshold above which a star must be above in order to be detected by the PinPoint algorithm.  Noisier images should increase this value to help discern the stars from the noise.


Pin Point Full & LE Setup

Maximum Time specifies the amount of time CCD Commander should wait for PinPoint to return a solution.  If no solution is found within the time-out limit, CCD Commander aborts the plate solve attempt.


Retry timed out attempts if checked will allow CCD Commander to retry one time a failed plate solve attempt.


Dark subtract all plate solve images when enabled will cause CCD Commander to take a dark frame for the plate solve exposure and do a dark frame subtraction.