Having a timer that can handle tenths of a second is handy. I use an analog timer that only goes down to 1 second. Dilute dektol works, I like Ethol LPD. Either way.. You can watch the positive and negative 'come up' in the tray.
Get a nice thick piece of glass for contacting the film and keep it meticulously clean.. Allow yourself about an inch for a border as you'll inevitably get fingerprints somewhere, if not on the glass on the positive or the negative.
I feel like I kill every post I reply to. Sorry.