Here's a loooong post, but it should contain a lot of useful information if you're looking for a bare-bones setup.
Take this as a few words of advice from someone who has been through all of this. It's not gospel, but it's a method and attitude that works for me in getting what I need.
It's a good idea when you're just starting out to write down your setup steps and use it as a checklist.
This was my first attempt at a Deep Space Object. You might be able to make out that it's M42, the Great Orion Nebula... the core of it at least.
There are a lot of bits and pieces of information out there that you have to piece together yourself to figure out how all of this stuff works together. As soon as you figure out how one piece works, there's another piece of the puzzle. Hopefully I can put this into perspective and outline all the pieces.