Experience with tackling M31 using the fixed tripod and the 50mm lens made me realise that these objects (let’s not forget M31 is one of the most accessible) need longer exposure and longer focal length lenses.
That means using the equatorial mount, and all the issues of polar alignment and motor drives that go with it. The first kit upgrade is therefore a set of motor drives, one for each axis of the EQ3-2 mount.
Polar alignment here was by eye (using the hole where the polar scope would go if I had one), followed by several phases of 2-minute drift alignment using the 500mm reflex lens. The whole process takes just over half an hour. This gives acceptable results with 30 seconds exposure at 200mm.
Made bold by success with 30 seconds, I push the capabilities of the new motor and my skill at aligning to try five minutes per exposure.
After a few tweaks in Photoshop, this stack of 8 frames of 5 minutes each looks pretty good.