I have erratic performance with plate solving but I've spent almost an hour and a half at it tonight and it's just not working at all. It takes about 10 minutes before it gives up and says there aren't enough stars but I can clearly see there are. I've tried slewing around, focusing, changing a few settings but nothing is having any effect. Is there anything I can do to diagnose this issue?
The usual recommendation is to disable the 'use position' and 'use scale' settings.
Definitely set your timeouts shorter too.
If the position/scale unsetting doesn't work, please show more details about how plate solving is setup
e.g. click options and screenshot the "StellarSolver Options" tab, and the "scale and position" tab,
and perhaps also the stellar solver params (e.g. clicking on the pencil and screenshot).
A lot of crazy just happened so I wrote it all down as it happened:
Changing the solving method from 'internal solver' to 'local astrometry' seems to have made it plate solve finally but very slowly
I put 'use scale' and 'use position' on to see if that would help
I started solving again and I caught sight of an error writing log file (screenshot attached) which caused kstars to lock up. I guess this must have been what happened last time too?
I managed to reboot the pi and, when it started back up again, I went straight to plate solve and it died again in the same way. I then went outside to see if the sky was clear and the mount was driving the telescope into the side of the observatory for some unknown reason.
I reset the park position after the strike then slewed to my target (IC63) before plate solving yet again. It appeared to plate solve like it normally would BUT when it slewed to correct, it fired the scope to a crazy position nowhere near the target.
I parked the scope, unparked it, slewed to IC63 and it pointed to a different random part of the sky. I decided that it was not going to recover so powered everything down to start again.
After a power cycle, I unparked it, slewed to IC63 (correctly), plate solved again then it fired off towards the floor again. I checked the sky map and it knew that it was pointing at a random place.
I parked the mount, unparked, slewed to IC63, it went to another random position pointing at the observatory.
I then set the park position to default again, clicked write data, it moved the scope to the correct position but the star map showed it in a completely different place (third picture). I closed kstars, reopened it and it moved to the right place (4th pic)?! There's a bug somewhere, I don't know know what but it's causing me some trouble!!
Sorry things aren't going well. I'm not sure what your issue is, but why don't you try ASTAP just in case it falls into place easier for you. You need to install it first, and can get it here, www.hnsky.org/astap.htm and use the H18 star database since you have a long focal length. You'd then change the StellarSolver solving method setting to ASTAP, and definitely uncheck both use position and use scale. (Somethings definitely wrong with scale somehow, giving you those crazy focal lengths).
Thanks for the suggestion, if it plays up again I'll do exactly that. The confusion is why it suddenly started going wrong as I've used it dozens of times without issue, will keep you posted if I have more issues
Believe it or not this is the first clear night I have been able to get out since the last post. I fired everything up and it plate solved once, corrected, solved again, corrected and then failed and repeated failures similar to all the above. I reset everything to default settings, turned off 'use scale' and it has now started solving again. I haven't resorted to ASTAP yet but hopefully I am running for now!