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Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar

Item # HN-MEAD132
4.5/5
Sale Price
$238.55
List Price: $299.00
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Dimensions & Specifications

Brand
Meade
Weight Complete
13 lbs.
Warranty
1 Year
Power Source
Battery
Usage
For the Enthusiast
Suggested Age
12 Years & Up
Battery Included
No
Optical Design
Refractor
Highest Useful Magnification
160X
Object Database
1400 object library
Component
1.45 Resolution, SP26mm Eyepiece 2, 1.45 Resolving Power, 12 Limiting Magnitude
Lens Coating
multi-coated
Focal Ratio
f/5
GoTo
Yes
Mount Design
Dual Fork Arm
Recommended Usage
Viewing the Planets, Astrophotography, Viewing the Moon
Configuration
7 lbs. Weight Optical Tube
Features
Alt-Az Mount, GoTo
Good for Astrophotography
Yes
Focal Length
400mm
Battery
8xAA
Star Diagonal
1.25 Inches
Eyepiece 1
SP9.7mm
GPS
No
User Level
For the Enthusiast
Aperture
80mm
Telescopes Series
Meade ETX Telescopes

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Manufacturer Warranty

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  • Automatic locating and tracking of thousands of objects
  • AutoStar Suite Astronomer Edition Software on DVD
  • Includes Super Plössl eyepieces (SP9.7mm, SP26mm)
  • Compact, portable, and easy to use
Full Description
Images
Specifications
Guarantee & Returns
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar
 
4.3

(based on 249 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (117)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (105)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (10)

90%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Quality lenses (147)
  • Accurate (129)
  • Strong construction (123)
  • Compact (108)
  • Comfortable eyepiece (54)

Cons

  • Difficult to use (24)
  • Difficult to focus (19)
  • Unstable (11)
  • Poor lens quality (6)
  • Sticky zoom (3)

Best Uses

  • Astronomy (186)
  • Bird watching (57)
  • Travel (46)
  • Bright conditions (18)
  • Hiking (16)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual/ recreational (173), Avid adventurer (27)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (48), Yes (29)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Good first scope.

This is my first telescope used for both a spotting scope for target shooting and as a go-to scope to explore the heavens. Excellent introduction to the stars and planets as the pointing computer has...Read complete review

This is my first telescope used for both a spotting scope for target shooting and as a go-to scope to explore the heavens. Excellent introduction to the stars and planets as the pointing computer has a built-in facts on each heavenly body. Calibration couldn't be easier - point the tube north and level and center the suggested stars. The "night's best tour" is a fun start but soon you'll find yourself drawn into exploring on your own.

Using the 25mm eye piece the eye relief is very kind and the image is bright. The more powerful 9.6mm lens is a bit tougher to use as it's eye relief is less but it's still very bright. The telescope isn't the most powerful but the smaller size makes it easy to pack and take out to better sites. I took the scope out to the desert on a night without a moon and was able to see an amazing amount of stars. On another night the view of the moon was stunning.

The tripod feels really light and that's a bit of a concern for long term durability. There are two small screws that connect the scope's base to the tripod that look like they'd get lost in the grass if dropped. I bought and recommend the matching Meade case to house the scope it as it's not made to roll around in the back seat.

Overall a lot of scope for the money.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointing

1. The Autostar is not difficult to set up or use. Just remember to calibrate the motor and train the drive. After you get it set up, it's fun to use.2. In ...Read complete review

1. The Autostar is not difficult to set up or use. Just remember to calibrate the motor and train the drive. After you get it set up, it's fun to use.2. In your alignment, don't use the included compass to find north, try to eyeball Polaris. If you live in an area where the magnetic variation is significant, you can be off 10-15 degrees.3. If you decide to purchase it, invest in a power adapter. [$] They say the batteries will run for about 20 hours....yeah, right. After one night out it will become sluggish and slow.4. The chromatic aberration on bright objects is horrible.5. The focus knob/mechanism is very frustrating. The entire objective lens moves to get the target in focus. It will take 20-30 turns of the knob to get into focus. Change lenses, and another 20-30 turns will be required. Add a barlow, and another 20-30 turns will be required...you get the picture. If you get impatient and turn the focus knob too fast, you will induce backlash in the mechanism and the target will move halfway across the field of view, if not out of it completely.

Reviewed by 249 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-5

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5.0

Not a heat of the moment review ETX 80

By Tony

from Virginia Beach, VA

About Me Casual/ Recreational

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Compact
  • Easy to Use
  • Lightweight
  • Quality Lenses
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Astronomy
    • Travel

    Comments about Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar:

    I got this neat little scope for Christmas and I love it. So now that it has been one month to the day here is my review. At first the alignment was a little difficult but after a handful of trys ALMOST anyone can do it. The scope is very portable and the optics are very good. It does take some turning on the focus knob the very first time you set it up or you use the 2x barlow, not a big issue with me. I do suggest calibrate the motors and train the drive, in that order. If you are thinking about buying a nice scope that travels well, this is your scope. One last thing, my parents said Hayneedle customer service was great!

     
    5.0

    great telescope

    By Tommy

    from VIRGINIA BEACH,VA

    About Me Casual/ Recreational

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Astronomy

      Comments about Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar:

      great telescope and cant beat the price

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes
       
      5.0

      exactly as described

      By Travis

      from INVER GROVE HEIGHTS,MN

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Compact
      • Easy to Use
      • Quality Lenses

      Cons

      • Difficult To Focus

      Best Uses

      • Astronomy
      • Bird Watching

      Comments about Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar:

      By no means is this the best telescope out there, but I felt like i was getting the most for my money. I do not know why some people are saying it is hard to calibrate because I have had no trouble. It is tricky to focus but once you get used to it, it is not that difficult.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great gift!

      By Kenneth M

      from SWEDESBORO,NJ

      About Me Casual/ Recreational

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Compact
      • Easy to Use
      • Lightweight
      • Quality Lenses
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Astronomy

        Comments about Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar:

        Got this for my wife for her birthday. Very easy to set up and use. Really neat piece of equipment!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        total bust

        By Dick

        from OMAHA,NE

        About Me Avid Adventurer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Motor System Failure

        Best Uses

        • Frustration Source

        Comments about Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar:

        Bought as a travel scope, this unit failed each of the two nights I tried it out. The 1st night a battery/motor failure message ended the evening. The 2nd night, running via Meade ETX a/c adapter, the motor quit after the first object and the unit failed to slew, though the controller message indicated that it was slewing. Too bad, and very surprising. In this case, cheap and easy turned out badly.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Displaying reviews 1-5

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        Customer Q & A

        26 Questions About This Product
        Q: "Does the ETX-80AT-TC come with the pictured tripod?"
        A: Yes, this scope does come with the pictured tripod.
        Q: "What kinds of photography equipment are available with the ETX-80AT-TC ASTRO TELESCOPE?"
        A: All of the photography equipment for the telescope will be sold separately. I would recommend something like the Meade LPI Imager for taking Lunar and Planetary images. If you have a regular camera, we have options available for connecting that directly to the telescope.
        Q: "If I have a digital Nikon D50 camera, is there specific accessories I need to buy to take photos with this telescope other than the LPI Imager?"
        A: The LPI imager is, in itself, a CCD camera. To use your Nikon D50 camera - you would need a Nikon T-ring - and Universal T-Adapter to connect the camera to a telescope.
        Q: "What type of telescope is this? A reflector?"
        A: The ETX 80 is a refractor
        Q: "What is the difference between your XTC-80AT-TC and your EXT 80-BB Telescope?"
        A: We sell the ETX-80AT-TC. The BB is a version of the scope that folds up into a backpack.
        Q: "What planets can be seen with ease and how clear? Can we only use this at night?"
        A: You will be able to see the Moon, Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter through this scope. How large the images will be depends on the focal length of the eyepieces you use with the scope. And, of course, on atmospheric conditions. You can use the ETX-80 for daytime terrestrial observation with the aid of an erecting prism.
        Q: "We are beginners using a telescope, will this be easy to use?"
        A: Yes, it will be very easy to use, compared to big, heavy scopes on equatorial mounts. You'll find setup and object location straightforward and well within a beginner's capabilities.
        Q: "Will I be able to connect this telescope to my computer and view the stars from my computer?"
        A: You'll be able to control your telescope from a computer with the Meade #506 connector cable (sold separately) and Astrofinder software. You'll need an Electronic Eyepiece, though, to view live images on your TV.
        Q: "Can I hook it up to a laptop and if I can what software do I need?"
        A: Yes, you can control the ETX-80 from a PC or laptop. You'll need Meade's #506 AstroFinder Software and Cable Connector Kit.
        Q: "I am looking to purchase a beginner telescope that will give views of the planets that show some surface detail and color. From what I understand, this scope will do it if I purchase the right eyepieces. What are the right eyepieces?"
        A: You'll enjoy the ETX-80; it's a nice starter scope. You'll probably get your best magnification (consistent with aperture) out of the Zhumell 6.3mm Super Plossl Eyepiece. It will give 63.5X magnification used alone and 127X when used with a 2X Barlow lens that doubles the power of any eyepiece used with it.
        Q: "I live in on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan. Is there filters for this scope that will help with pollution levels in the sky?"
        A: Yes, the 1.25-inch Celestron UHC/LPR Filter will help. It works by filtering out the wavelengths produced by artificial lights, such as street lamps. It darkens the background and helps bring out detail in nebulae, galaxies and virtually everything you'd want to view.
        Q: "If I use this Telescope in Southeast Asia would I be able to use the star finder? Is the star finder program in the telescope only work in United States?"
        A: The Autostar controller has the entire sky programmed into its database. That means you'll be able to use it no matter where you are.
        Q: "I bought the Meade ETX-80AT-TC as my first telescope. I love the fact it is portable. What I am wondering is what accessories can I purchase to make things clearer to see? Are there eyepieces that I can purchase that will let me see the planets and galaxies?"
        A: The Meade ETX-80 ships with a 26mm eyepiece that will produce 15.4X magnification with the scope's 400mm focal length and a 9.7mm eyepiece that will yield 41X. That's adequate for wide-angle views of the Moon, but not for up-close viewing, as you've noticed. A couple of good choices for magnification upgrade are the Meade 6.4mm Plossl eyepiece, which will yield 62.5X, when used by itself, and the Meade #126 Short-Focus Barlow lens, which will DOUBLE the magnification of any eyepiece used with it. The combination of the 6.4mm Plossl eyepiece and the #126 Barlow will yield 125X, which is much better for up-close inspection.
        Q: "For the ETX 80 AT-TC telescope, how much additional magnification does the built-in Barlow lens provide and does the Barlow lens alter the image clarity of the eye piece lenses?"
        A: The built-in Barlow lens doubles magnification of the eyepieces used with it. As is the case with all optics, increases in magnification bring some reduction in image brightness and contrast.
        Q: "I have an apartment high in the city. Will I be able to use this telescope for terrestrial viewing during the night? (with just the city lights?"
        A: Yes and no. You'll certainly be able to see objects close to street lamps, and you'll be able to peer into lighted buildings. However, the ETX-80AT-TC is not a night-vision device that will allow you to peer into dark corners. It's subject to the same kind limitation at night that the unaided eye is, even though its 80mm objective lens gathers considerably more light than the 6mm eye pupil does.
        Q: "I have a Meade ETX-80BB. I bought 6.4mm eyepiece and I have 9.7 mm 26mm with 6.4mm. Will I be able to bring in the moon, and other planets closer? Will I be able to see in deep space, galaxy ext?"
        A: You should definitely be able to see objects more closely with the 6.4mm eyepiece than with the others. It will give you 62.5X magnification when used alone or 125X when used with the scope's built-in Barlow lens. Seeing deep-space objects is more a matter of the amount of light a telescope collects than the amount of magnification used. You will be able to see some extra-solar objects, however, like the Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula.
        Q: "I currently have the LPI and T adapters and such for the ETX-80. I was wondering if there are any accessories for SLR piggyback mounting available for this model as well?"
        A: Unfortunately, there is no piggyback mount made especially to fit the ETX-80. All are for larger scopes. You COULD try the TeleVue Piggy-Cam Adapter; however, it may well be too large, as well.
        Q: "I was placing my back lens on the telescope and this small piece broke, but it is a really small piece and now you can't put one of the binoculars on. I was wondering if my warranty covers that or do I have to buy the piece?  And if so where do I get it?"
        A: The piece should be covered by warranty. Your best bet for service is to contact the manufacturer, Meade, directly. Here's the toll-free number so you can make the necessary arrangements: 1-800-626-3233.
        Q: "I have a couple of questions regarding the Meade ETX-80AT-TC and the Celestron Firstscope 90 AT/EQ. What is the "Maximum Practical Visual Power" (Meade) and the Maximum Useful Magnification (Celestron)? What is the difference?"
        A: There's basically no difference between the two terms; they are simply different ways of saying the same thing. Telescopes gather, focus and magnify light, and the greater the diameter of their objective lens (or primary mirror), the more light they can gather and focus. Magnification, however, "eats" light, and the more magnification one piles on, the darker the image in the telescope becomes. Most telescopes are capable of magnifying up to about 50x to 60x per inch (2x to 2.4x per millimeter) of lens or mirror diameter before the image becomes too dark to see much of anything. Thus the "maximum useful magnification" of any optical telescope. Of the two telescopes mentioned, the ETX-80AT-TC will be the more useful for terrestrial viewing. The FirstScope -- though a very nice refractor and capable of more magnification than the ETX-80 -- has an equatorial mount that is very awkward when used for terrestrial observation. There is, however, a version of the FirstScope with an altazimuth mount that is readily adaptable to terrestrial viewing.  Neither of the FirstScopes, however, will give you the computerized object location and tracking that the ETX-80 does. So you will need to decide whether you want the 27% greater light-gathering capability of the FirstScope more than you want the convenience of the ETX-80's GoTo system. The eyepieces in the Eyepiece and Filter Kit will certainly help with land viewing. The eyepieces work with the telescope's optical system to produce the magnification.
        Q: "How do you use the Autostar suite with the autostar controller?"
        A: For questions regarding operation of the ETX-80 your best bet is to contact the manufacturer, Meade. The folks there know the scopes inside and out and are your best source of info. Here's the toll-free number: 1-800-626-3233.
        Q: "What is the maximum useful magnification for this telescope?"
        A: Meade does not list a maximum magnification for the ETX-80. However, it should be approximately 180x.
        Q: "Is there a way to observe sun with this telescope if it is what kind of filter I need to use"
        A: Yes there is.   The filter you want is called a solar filter.   We have glass cut and standard plastic available.   Simply select your filter based on the size of your telescope's aperture and the filter will connect to the end of your telescope.
        Q: "What other eyepieces can you buy to increase the magnifying effects and is there one for solar viewing for this product?"
        A: For solar viewing you would need a solar filter for the end of the telescope that measures 80mm.  When viewing the sun, you should never use any lower size of eyepiece than a 15mm.   For standard viewing at night, this telescope could handle up to a 7mm eyepiece for maximum magnification.
        Q: "Do you always need some sort of power source to operate this telescope? Can it be used without the need of batteries or an AC adapter?"
        A: The Meade ETX80 does require batteries or an AC adapter to operate.
        Q: "Are batteries necessary to use the telescope, or just to have the guided help?"
        A: In order to use this telescope, you must have either batteries or an AC adapter. The mount will not allow you to move the optical barrel without power.
        Q: "What is the total weight of ETX-80AT-TC?"
        A: The total weight of the ETX-80AT is 15lbs.
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