BUYER/NEW USER TIPS
One of the reasons I purchased the ETX instead of a larger telescope is that I knew I wanted to take it with me on trips. Since I would be traveling the week that the Occultation of Saturn occurred I decided to put the ETX to the travel test. And it came through with flying colors.
I put the ETX in my Meade soft case (see the Accessories - Cases page for information about this case). I also packed all my eyepiece cases, papers, and flashlight into the bag. It was still an easy carry and easily fit under the jet airliner seat as shown this photograph. The only glitch that occurred was that the security person at the Los Angeles airport wanted to verify that it was a telescope. I do not know what the X-ray showed that made them nervous but the security person asked me to unpack the telescope and remove it from the case. She wanted to be able to see straight through it! I told her that she would not be able to do that and that all she would see was herself. She did not seem to believe me. When I removed the objective lens cover and held the ETX up for her to look down the tube, she laughed and said "OK". She also decided she wanted me to open up all the eyepiece cases so that she could see what they contained. She finally agreed that the ETX was not a dangerous piece of contraband and let me repack everything. So, a word of caution: be prepared to unpack everything if you take the ETX flying.
Besides the Saturn Occultation, the only other "observation" I would make is that a dew shield may be needed depending upon the conditions where you go. At home I have not needed one but in Southern Indiana on an early September morning I really did need one. Fortunately, the dew was not heavy until just at the end of my observing session and leaving the scope and lens uncovered inside the house for the rest of the day allowed all the moisture to evaporate cleanly with no residue.
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