Great to read this. I just received a very good used Atlas and am going to be working on the EQMOD thing to see how it compares with the hand controller operation. I love tinkering with stuff so the EQMOD seems like a great application.
My first scope was an Orion 8" Newt and I just sold a C8-XLT. Personally, I liked the views better in the Newt. Yes, ease of setup and use came with the C8 but I have other scopes so having to set up the Newt for me occasionally wouldn't be a big deal. Also, the image shift, the cool down, the focuser was awful to me being used to crayfords...I just really didnt like the C8 that much. I would have had to buy a motofocuser and a reducer for AP... In fact, I'm now going to buy another Orion 8" Newt for AP use with a Baader MPCC. If I could only have ONE scope, I'd get the C8 but OMG...I bought 7 scopes in 6 months..sold most of them, but I just cant have just one scope....the wife of course disagrees!