Setting Up Shop

Now that you have all this equipment together, please remember one thing. A fitness instructor gave me this advice about joining a gym a long time ago and it applies to astronomy or any other hobby as well. If it is frustrating or time consuming to get yourself and your equipment to the site, be it a gym for a workout or to your observing site with your telescope and equipment, you're not going to do it very often. It needs to be easy. For me, my eyepieces, CCD equipment and adapters are in one carrying case; my tripod is in a second box and the telescope in a third. I can get all of my equipment out of the house in only three trips consuming less that ten minutes. Setting up the Celestron is even easier. The tripod assembly requires only a few seconds and mounting and aligning the telescope is a breeze using my polar alignment finder, a feature that no decent telescope is sold without these days. From the time I first began moving to set up to observe to the time the telescope points at the first target is about fifteen minutes. If I am going to do serious photography, then a fourth trip will be required to bring out the power supply and the laptop. I will take more time to carefully polar align because precision will be critical. From first motion off the couch to first trip of the shutter consumes about thirty minutes. We'll discuss some of the finer details of getting organized, assembled and aligned in Chapter 4.

Make certain that you always have a flashlight that has both red and clear lenses. Use the red while observing to minimize degradation of your night vision and keep white light available as an option in case you need to fix a flat tire. Speaking of such emergencies two other great things to have are a cell phone and someone who knows where you are in case you get stuck someplace.

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

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