Meade ETX-80 Observer Telescope with Backpack
Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar is no longer available.
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The ultra-portable Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar is perfect for travel or adventures in your own backyard. It's ideal for camping, hiking, picnics, the beach, vacations, or any other time you want to connect with nature and the Universe.
The smallest Meade ETX has big advantages
If aperture is so important, why buy the Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar? Besides its low cost, this is simply a great telescope. Unlike the rest of the Meade ETX line, it is a refractor. To you, this means an ultra-lightweight, portable telescope with just the right amount of aperture to see hundreds of the brightest astronomy targets in all their glory. It's the perfect scope for daytime birding and nature watching, too.
Large aperture telescopes are awesome, but how likely are you to lug them out to your favorite dark sky location? Remember, more aperture lets you see fainter objects. In a different way, so does getting away from the city lights. You can study craters on the Moon, see the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter, plus a myriad of galaxies, nebulas, double stars, star clusters, you name it.
Meade AutoStar shows you the Universe
Meade's brainy AutoStar computer solves the stargazer’s two biggest challenges in navigating the heavens with a computerized telescope: aligning the telescope with the night sky and finding celestial phenomena in the vast starry firmament. Right out of the box, with a simple initialization, AutoStar makes finding the sky’s elusive jewels virtually as easy as pushing a few buttons.
The AutoStar computer controller automatically guides your telescope to over 1,400 objects. View planets, stars, galaxies, and nebulae all at the push of a button. Don’t know what to see on a particular night? Don’t worry. Just select the Meade's “Tonight’s Best” tour and AutoStar will automatically take you on a guided tour of the best planets, stars, nebulae, and other objects out that particular night. Want to know more about what you’re looking at? The LCD display teaches you about what you’re viewing with details like distance, temperature, mass, and historical information. AutoStar is your guide to the Universe.
The Meade ETX-80 has these advanced features as standard equipment:
- A built-in Barlow lens flips into position when needed. This highly desirable feature provides more power per eyepiece when studying lunar and planetary surface features.
- A bubble-level/compass is provided to make initialization faster and easier.
- A sturdy, adjustable, aluminum tripod keeps the telescope stable.
- You'll get two premium four-element 1.25 inch Super Plössl eyepieces, and with the built-in Barlow, that means you'll have a choice of four magnifications right out of the box.
- Bonus! AutoStar Suite Astronomer Software on DVD for PC, now with instructional DVD.
- Connect the Meade ETX-80 to your camera for more fun with optional accessories.
Meade AutoStar Suite Astronomer Edition Software on DVD + Instructional Video
AutoStar Suite Astronomer Edition software will help you learn the night sky. It displays more than 10,000 celestial objects including planets, stars, galaxies, and nebulae. You can print out star charts and even plan your observing sessions. It operates on any Windows-based PC.
With all of these features, you'll be engaged with the world around and above you in ways you never thought possible. The Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar packs a lot of knowledge into your brain. Don't miss out on seeing your world.
Available for shipment to the USA and Canada only.
Meade ETX-80 Telescope, internal flip Barlow lens, Meade 494 AutoStar Controller, full-height adjustable aluminum tripod, AutoStar Suite Astronomer DVD, 9.7mm 1.25" Super Plossl eyepiece, 26mm 1.25" Super Plossl Eyepiece
Dimensions & Specifications
3.15" or 80mm
9.7mm and 26mm Super Plossl - 1.25”
OTA Outer Diameter:
AutoStar Suite Astronomer Edition
Objects in Database:
Runs on 8 User Supplied AA Batteries
DocumentationDownload Meade ETX-80 Instruction Manual
We stand behind all the products we sell, and your satisfaction is our top priority. If you're not satisfied with the quality of your purchase, simply send the item back to us in its original packaging within 30 days of its delivery.
1-year limited manufacturer's warranty
Return & Exchange Policy
At our site, returns are easy! You may return new, unused, and resalable items for a refund or exchange. Simply ensure that the item is returned in its original product packaging within 30 days of delivery.
Q1: 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.
Q2: 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.
Q3: 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.
Q4: 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.
Q5: 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.
Q6: 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.
Q7: 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.
Q8: 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.
Q9: 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.
Q10: 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.
Q11: 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.
Q12: 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.
Q13: 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.
Q14: What is the total weight of ETX-80AT-TC?
A: The total weight of the ETX-80AT is 15lbs.
Q15: 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.
Q16: 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.
Q17: 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.
Q18: What type of telescope is this? A reflector?
A: The ETX 80 is a refractor
Q19: 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.
Q20: Does the ETX-80AT-TC come with the pictured tripod?
A: Yes, this scope does come with the pictured tripod.
Q21: 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.
Q22: 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.
Q23: 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.
Q24: 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.
Q25: 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.
Q26: 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.