The purpose of this topic is to inform potential buyers of the AVX mount just what they're buying. I'm not entirely sure if its supposed to be here, but here it is.
I bought my AVX used nearly a year ago. The guy who sold it to me said it was basically brand new since he never really used it. For around $700 I considered it a steal. Thus far, it's been my only workhorse loading up to about half capacity (17lbs), it has nonetheless preformed well on some nights and horrible on others (as you will see in example images).
In October of 2020, I bought my first two OTAs (a 6" Newt Astrograph and 6" RC) I immediately tested it for the first clear night. I polar aligned using the polemaster and aimed at NGC 7000, the North American Nebula. My camera (ST-2000XM) did a 3 minute exposure on the Cygnus Wall and I could clearly make it out. While there was star trailing, I wasn't using auto guiding at the time and expected this. It was surprisingly minimal. While I didn't save those images since I captured it on CCDOps, I knew this was going to be a good mount. A few weeks later, I imaged M45 (60s exposure) and M42 (30s exposure) at around 5 AM (on separate nights of course) on the 6" Newt Astrograph.
The same month, I used my 6" RC to capture the Mars Opposition and got Jupiter and Saturn in the same night.
For a while, I couldn't image due to heavy smoke from 2 nearby wildfires (one would be become the 2nd largest in state history and the fastest moving fire in history, growing from 18,000 acres to 180,000 acres in 1 hour). By the time the smoke had cleared there was 1 foot of snow on the ground. The temperatures got colder and my laptop couldn't function in -10F weather. Neither could the mount. At these temps, the grease Celestron had applied at the factory freezes and makes the gears sticky. December turned into Janurary, where more of the same problems persisted as well as heavy snowfall. Then I got a break at the end of February, a week of clear skies to image. For the next four days I imaged B33 on a new widefield refractor I bought, the WO SpaceCat 51. The guiding on the mount stayed around .6/.7 acrmin error, which is considered "good" for the AVX. The nights were cold, but the mount held up thanks to some new grease I applied. No star trailing whatsoever thanks to my auto guiding.
Now it's galaxy season. With confidence, I rearmed my 6" Newt Astrograph and aimed (well, tried) for M101, only, I didn't find M101. I accidentally aimed at a different galaxy NGC 3359, a small barred spiral galaxy near Dubhe. With my night running short, I decided to start imaging that instead. Guiding at first was fine, then it got worse. 2 hours of images reduced to 45 minutes due to bad guiding, and to make matters worse, a majority of the subs I considered good had egg shaped stars, not the perfect round ones you'd hope for. As it turns out, Celestron went cheap for the DEC axis and has a plastic washer there instead of a bearing, making accurate guiding for long focal length telescopes hard. Many people on discord pointed that out as a major flaw in its design and I have to agree. People upgrade and hypertune the mount all the time thankfully and you can find solutions around them.
NGC 3359, 45 minutes exposure time