Platesolve2 Setup Tips

Hi Folks,
This is just some information I discovered while getting Platesolve2 to work with Voyager. I have been using Pinpoint for years but it is not as reliable I as I would like with my current scope after a meridian flip. I image at 2500mm on a 20" Planewave and the mirror flops enough for pinpoint to fail now and then after a meridian flip.

My typical way of doing things is a mix of scanning the help docs and trial and error. I have not seen a post that just gives some tips to save time with setting up Platesove2.

If anything I say is not quite right, feel free to correct and comment.

  1. Voyager seems to be using a copy of Platesolve2 that is inside the Voyager folder. I think that may lead to some confusion with setting it up if you have it installed in other places like I did. (I have a planewave scope and installed it along with the PWI3 software in a different location) SO, if you set configurations for Platesolve2 using the one installed on your start menu, you may be configuring the wrong version. Platesolve2 seems to be a stand alone executable and can be in several places. There may be a copy you dont know about inside your voyager folder.
  2. Use the Setup/Plate Solve tabs and choose Platesolve2 for your PLATE Solve and then hit the setting button. That will start the Platesolve2 that Voyager knows about. From that you can configure the catalogs.
  3. Catalogs: Ugh this was a pain. Download the catalogs from Planewave and install them. The important part is putting them in the right place so Platesolve2 can find them. I ended up placing the folders for the catalogs in the same folder where Platesolve2 was found. (C:\Program Files (x86)\Voyager (Your voyager may be in a different place…)
  1. After doing this, when Voyager started Platesolve2 via dragscript it would run it once and fail because it could not find the APM catalog. (Even though it was found OK in the settings.) Then it would try again and the program would start ok without an error and work to solve an image. But it would throw an error in the dragscript which was a pain because it could affect the running of the script itself. It was like the program was not starting quickly enough. I then read a post here that suggested deleting the Platesolve2.ini file. I did that and reconfigured the settings. I ran the script again, the the APM error appeared the first time I ran it. But the second time it ran the error disappeared and Platesolve2 seemed to work without error. I still dont understand what that was about. I think I have it working now.

It seems to be solving old images just fine now. Will try it under a real sky tonight.


Thanks for sharing Russ. Just a note, I used PS2 for long time before I switched to ASTAP. ASTAP worked way better for me (speed and robustness). Worth giving a try and it’s free anyway.

Hi Yzhzhang,
I also setup ASTAP today and got it working. I am going to try that as well. It seems really fast.

I have platesolve2 running well right now. The real test will be at the meridian flip. I will try ASTAP on my next run.

I noticed tonight the first time Platesolve2 ran there was an error saying the APM file could not be found. But the second time it ran Platesolve2 did not show the error.


Hi Russ,

Platesolve2 executable is inside Voyager installation and is a special edition for automation software with some fix. You dont find in official download (when I get it was not pubblished).

So you dont need to do anything just install the catalog. Opening Voyager and go to setup , plate solve and choose PlateSolve2. Push the button to configure and use the interface to set the dialog. Nothing else.

If you use the manual installed from you the risk is to manage the setting of another instance. The ini setting is on the same directory of Voyager.

When you have really high resolution at change of meridian plate solving might not work because system like Platesolve2 need to stay really near the real position or will fail. Please use the Blind solve failover in voyager setup - Plate solving.

Another solution is to use something more realiable like ASTAP that can work also like blind solver.

All the best