Perhaps you saw my 2 recent threads ?
Following them, I continuously improved the tracking of my mount (non-permanent, in our drive way. )
You have your observatory
- but which items DID you move between your last session which ran well and this one which didn't run as smoothly as expected?
Assuming that you "know" all the theory around aligning, how well balanced is the gear each time? How well leveled is the mount? How spot on is the latitude set in your mount head?
My tracking improvement at my next session will go around balancing.
I'll tell you why:
I can see Canopus in the early evening and the mount doesn't have to slew far from park position. With Canopus I adjust my SCP alignment - moving the tripod so that it resolves the east-west slewing error of the controller. (I also used it for correcting my latitude angle but that seems to be really okay, by now.) After correcting for SCP and turning on the controller again, Canopus is (almost) spot on as 1st alignment star.
From there, I choose Antares as 2nd alignment star which is quite a bit of slewing. If all goes reasonably well here, my 3rd star is Arcturus in the north.
And here, my mount gets into trouble. I think I have noticed that the aiming is much better if I have balanced my scope better.
Makes sense to me, given the fact that from Canopus to Arcturus there is a lot of mechanical movement involved.
Possibly, I can also improve the 3 star alignment by choosing stars that do not involve a 180* rotation of the axis.
But I'd rather improve it overall - so I will work on my balancing next time we have good weather in Auckland.
I am of course only a beginner.
I think you might also benefit from doubting everything you configured, so far. Just like I did.
Edit: re-read your post and found the possible culprit:
Mounted the DSLR on the accessory bar
Try doing your initial balancing with ALL the gear mounted that you will be using during your session. Including the eye piece. Amazing how leaving out the eye piece (or the camera battery) changes the balance - let alone a whole camera.