I am confused by one of your statements. DEC compensation inside MaximDL should be turned on. What that does is adjust your calibration for DEC.
When calibrating your autoguider, it is imperative you do so at DEC 0 and close to the meridian. Autoguiding will degrade as DEC increases, MaximDL will
assist you with compensation for that degradation. I believe I have this correct and have done so for many many years with excellent guiding.