Customer Reviews: Meade Instruments 0805-04-20 ETX-80AT Astro 3.1-Inch 88-Millimeter Refractor Telescope Kit, AutoStar (Blue/Black)
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on October 6, 2009
I got tired of struggling with my cumbersome 5" EQ reflector, so I decided to give this a try. The scope is definitely portable and easy to use. Optical quality is good and the chromatic aberration is generally tolerable, which ain't bad for a fast (f5) achromat. A minus-violet filter isn't a necessity but certainly improves views of the moon and especially Jupiter. The built-in barlow requires a lot of refocusing, so buying a short-tube 3x barlow would be another good upgrade. The Autostar is easy to align and does a decent job of locating objects. Not dead center, but at least in the field of view. The tracking is fairly precise and it's a joy not having to continually re-center objects.

Make sure you read the manual! There are a lot of helpful Autostar features buried in there. And do yourself a favor and don't install the 45 degree diagonal, it just gets in the way when looking near the zenith.
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on August 28, 2007
With this set-up, you have a lot of bells and whistles for a great price. The instructions are very easy, but if you do have some problems, the remote is likely to step you through everything and take the guess work out. If set up properly, it will navigate to any of over 1000 locations with just a touch of a button. You can also plug it into your computer for software updates.
I have had no issues with this telescope and my whole family looks forward to clear nights so we can look at the moon, stars and planets a little closer and share in God's creation. Enjoy!
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on November 20, 2011
This scope has really good optics for what it is. Remember it is an achromatic 80mm F5 with a 400mm focal length. It will not give high magnification powers for a planet to fill the eyepiece. It will not give great color views of deep space objects. The gotos are close but not perfect. The tracking is fine for visual but not good enough as is for taking photographs. For someone who loves astronomy it is a great light scope that gives nice wide views. There is some false color introduced to bright objects (moon)but that is expected at F5. It will help teach one the operation of a computer controlled scope, some of the sky, and how difficult doing astrophotography really is. The scope is not bullet proof and requires careful handleing to get the most out of it. I have taken some pictures using a mallincam through the ETX80 but the results are not typical. See link in comments
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on June 10, 2008
This is a handy little scope for the price and size. It might not look like much or have some of the specs of larger scopes, but it's much easier to handle and assemble. The quality is pretty good - I've had no problems with parts or optics. The alignment is also fairly straight-forward.

It is a tad noisy, but that hasn't been a problem for me.
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on August 26, 2012
I have thoroughly enjoyed using my Meade so far. The tracking works very well and is very easy to use. But the best part is the portability! Unlike my previous telescopes, I can pack this one up and take it with me - in either the hard case or backpack - in just a few minutes. Excellent!
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on March 28, 2012
BUYER BEWARE - Bought this scope for Christmas and it has BEEN nothing but a hassle. The scope itself is not bad for a beginner instrument. The motors work fine and the eyepieces are adequate. However, my first one came with a poorly built and wobbly base and the Autostar hand-box controller is junk. After much difficulty getting it set up and aligned, I realized the tracking system did not work. It was very difficult to keep objects aligned on the highest setting (which is disappointing anyway, not much clarity and the magnification is weak.) Then after 3 or four uses, the computer finally went dark. Meade's customer support is lackluster at best. They asked me to box up the scope and send it back (my expense) and they sent me another. They mailed the wrong package with missing components AND THE COMPUTER DOESN'T WORK IN THE REPLACEMENT PACKAGE. Customer Support refuses to remedy their mistake and send me the missing components and replace the computer (they want me to box the whole thing up and send it back and they'll send me another replacement package which is on back order). Overall, this was a very disappointing purchase and I will never do business with this company again.
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on April 4, 2013
My dad had a 'scope as I was growing up and I always wanted one myself but for some reason or another I never did, until now. This scope is great, I love it. Portable, great optics, but I can see why others recommend an external Barlow eyepiece. The tracking works well, no bad things to say at all.
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on December 7, 2014
Very cool
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on October 14, 2014
Great Product! Very Fast & Secure Shipping! Thanks!
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on November 28, 2015
As advertised and on time.
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