@astronerd: Solving, in general, should work near Polaris--people wouldn't be able to polar-align near the northern pole if this was not the case.
I both just successfully tried with the simulator, and also polar aligned on my telescope the other night. In both cased I was able to solve repeatedly.
I tested with ASTAP and internal Solver on the simulator, and used ASTAP with my scope the other night. [All that said, yes, solving is one of those
magic technologies that also frequently causes headaches.]
Debugging with the simulator can be tricky, for sure, and there are many parameters. I know I had issues when debugging my polar-alignment code with it.
In this case, make sure your focal lengths are consistent (simulator and align need to be using the same--simulator focal length is set in the
Indi Telescope Simulator --> Options tab) and that the gain is high enough (I set the gain to 100 in the align tab and exposure to 4s).
Orion Atlas Pro, William Optics ZS105, Moonlight V2 focuser
ZWO ASI1600, OAG & Filterwheel, Astronomik Filters, QHY 5L-IIm guidecam.
KStars/Ekos/Indi on RPi4 w/SSD
Ekos Projects: Terrain Backgrounds, Polar Alignment, Analyze, Linear Focuser, SEP MultiStar & GPG Guiding, FITS autostretch.
When setting the Telescope focal length on the Mount Tab, you must click on the Save Telescope Info button for it to be applied. Verify it is correct with expected FOV in the alignment tab. It should update the telescope info in the INDI driver at the same time, so save the INDI driver configuration for next time.
Simulators aren't particularly useful for testing the polar align assistant either because by default they don't have much, if any, error.
Do, take the time to get your real mount, camera and guide camera connected and working and try it with real stars. 90% of the time, failed solves have to do with missing indexes, incorrect telescope and camera information, wrong scope/camera combo selected, underexposed frames or bad focus. There are also different solver profile defaults, try them all to see which works best for your equipment.
Sometimes it helps to uncheck Use Scale in the options. This will be slower, but more reliable if your telescope info is inaccurate. Once it tells you what the focal length truly is, you can save the updated telescope info and re-enable Use Scale.
INDI/KStars on Raspberry Pi 4, 4gb
Raspbian Buster with AstroPi3 script configuration
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount
Canon 600D Camera
Orion SSAG/ASI120mm @280mm Guide Scope
Waveshare Stepper Motor Board - DIY Focuser
Adafruit GPS Module
Generic Bluetooth Joystick.
Startech 7 port powered USB Hub.
Hi, Thanks for the info. Yes, I thought it should be possible to solve near Polaris. I have an iOptron iPolar system which does plate solving near Polaris and that works really well. Of course I suspected that part of the problem is that the simulated mount is already pretty close to perfect alignment and, I think, Andrew in the next post has confirmed that.
Thanks for the suggestions. I suspect you may have worked out some of the things I didn't do properly. I was hoping to get started using the simulators so that I had some idea of what to do before I started blundering around in the dark. Of course we have had a couple of weeks of cloud. I did suspect, and I think you have confirmed, that one of the difficulties will be trying to do polar alignment with the simulated devices won't work too well as the simulated mount will already be aligned. I did wonder at first why the correction lines were so small when they are much bigger on Youtube videos. I guess they are using a real telescope which is several degrees out of alignment when they start.
Anyway, progress is being made and thanks for info.