Maximizing Your Time at the Telescope
Now for the final ingredient of the equipment equation: additional things you can do to extract the maximum from your equipment and circumstances. Will everything in this chapter save you time? The answer is both yes and no. Because much of your viewing will probably take place in short sessions, failing to attend to a number of simple things will make it likely that you will spend much of your limited time grappling with avoidable problems. The frustration of dealing with recalcitrant gear can be enough to discourage you from trying to take advantage of such brief observing excursions in the future.
Even having the best, most practical equipment and top-notch observing skills do not complete the picture. Every link in the chain should be optimized for its best performance, which includes capitalizing on viewing conditions. On those rarer times when you are able to take your equipment to a remote site, it is no less significant to be able to take full advantage of those opportunities, too, by ensuring that your telescope can deliver maximum effectiveness and use, along with minimum downtime, tinkering, and hassle!