I am back from NM, and had some good results with the mount. I was imaging at no longer than ~570mm though (and some imaging at 200mm and 300mm as well) so perhaps not a very daunting test for the mount's tracking. The results from the trip are here:
2nd click brings up a slightly larger image, or if you prefer the last 5 images posted on my Astrobin site should be the identical shots (but where I think a second click may give you a full resolution view...)
I have some PHD2 logs I could process, but haven't done that yet. In general terms, I still feel like:
- The Pro version definitely performs better than my non-Pro version of the mount in software connections as the new ASCOM driver seems to be both more capable to handle multiple connections to the mount seamlessly and also more robust. And extra info from driver dialog box is very handy too.
- Slewing is faster and much quieter
- Guided tracking for me compared to my previous non-Pro is also better. I think it is better unguided as well, although I never really do that except for characterization purposes. The differences are noticeable but not dramatic. I am still not going to all of a sudden do 5 minute unguided subframes with perfect stars, even with a very careful polar alignment. But it is better than before.
- The 8407+ firmware has some nice features, one of which seems to be a generally peppier experience when using the hand controller. Button presses are more responsive and you virtually never have to hit the button twice to make it respond. Also the new way they are handling the zero position is nicer, and prevents the constant mount power cycling that used to take place during setup. It also 'remembers' where it was if you power cycle it off and on for any reason (intentionally or accidently) but I haven't really needed to count on that feature much just yet.
- I have loaded the very latest firmware that promises some additional improvements in guiding/tracking but have had no chance to try it out, being back in CO where the weather and the temperature have both conspired to allow no chances to do any imaging over the last month.
I will plan on posting again regarding how I get on with the new firmware once I have had a chance to try it out.