I have several mounts but my preferred mount is an Orion Atlas Pro EQ/AZ mount. The biggest reason - EQMOD. It is a good but not great mount…it is sort of on the high end of the budget mounts - I have tons of backlash but have figured out how to make that a non issue with PhD2. EQMOD does not interfere with the SGP software’s behavior in any way.
My best performing mount is the IOptron ZEQ25. It is cheaply made budget mount that has a 30 lb max load limit but this little jewel is a guiding miracle. I can carry it with one hand plus tripod. Great to take when traveling. Before I bought the Polemaster by QHY to handle PA, I would use the PA routine in PhD2 and I always got my best results with the ZEQ. I also have a Celestron AVX and consider it as worthless as the Atik camera. The ZEQ can handle a larger payload than the AVX and can out-guide it.
I haven’t used a hand controller in so long I would have to re-read the directions on how to use……the same for star alignments. I stopped doing those when i found Astrotortilla ….and two years ago added SGP.
When I first started out - I used the AVX, I would sometimes spend 2 hours doing a star alignment and PA…..by the time I was ready to image - I had lost so much time - not to mention I would occasionally bump the mount and have to start over. Also, I didn’t know a lot of the alignment stars and I know that I aligned on the wrong star more than once. Making the entire routine a bust. The AVX, when PA and balanced never centered the target on it’s best days..
BTW, I think we will end up really liking the ASI1600MM-C. I haven’t used it much but the results so far are exciting.
Have a great week, for me, it is going to rain every afternoon through Sunday and cloudy skies when not raining. But that is life in the southern US during the summer. The nights are so short, hot and humid, that imaging is a challenge without clouds and rain.