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I originally bought this instrument to lend out at the local cub group. I was looking for something fairly inexpensive, but that would give good views of the easy objects like the Moon, Saturn and M42, but also give the more adventurous a chance to glimps objects like M1.

I settled on the ETX 80AT, with an objective of 80mm and focal length of 400mm. I had some reservations about what the electronics would be like on an instrument in this price range, but over all it seemed like a good starter telescope.

I opted to get the carry case as well to protect it when it was being used by the cubs.

When it arived I took it out to test it and was pleasently surprised by it. It is better than anything that I had at the age of nine! The electronics worked fine at first, however, when the batteries start to go a bit flat or they get cold, the electronics can start to do some very unexpected things. The telescope could do with some sort of battery power level indicator to show how well they are working. It does take a lot of batteries, 6 AA size, and you can get through them.

Optically it performed as I had hoped for, the rings of Saturn can be seen, star fields look good as does M42, and you can just glimps M1 with averted vision from a not particularly dark site. With new batteries it also places objects fairly close to centre in a 26mm eye piece after the "Easy Alignment" proceedure.

All in all, it is a good little scope to introduce people to astronomy with, but you do have to watch the batteries.