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I bought this Star Finder for my grandchildren, so I wanted something that would not fall apart easily. I was very pleased to discover that both of the moveable parts are made of plastic, so if they are caught in the rain with it, it won't disintegrate. It was bought for Christmas, so they haven't tried it out yet, but from what I can tell, the operating instructions are both easily understood and found on the front. I like the white background for the star chart. The back of it has a lot of interesting tidbits of stellar data. I will buy this again.
I think this is a great tool for learning the sky. The cartography is very good and easy to read and follow. I don't know if that is because of its size. This is the larger of of the two offered and you may need two hands to hold it a lot of the time you are using it outside.
I had a 12 inch paper Star chart from 1972 when I was a Boy Scout that I have carefully laminated to try to preserve it, as charts of that size have been unavailable in the intervening fifty years. I have plastic charts that are only 8 inches by 8 inches but they are mere substitutes.
This 18 inch plastic chart is not only durable, it is larger, and for my older eyes, very easy to read and use.
Who puts a piece of tape on the clear part of this product, so when you pull it off, it leaves the tape resedue there to get dirty? Amazon, that's who. The guide itself physically dirty as if it was in the floor. That's annoying.
Fortunately, aside from some dirt, it's in good shape. It's a bit of an adjustment to get used to it. I live in a relatively dark area, but one that has a lot of trees. This is a great tool even to help figure out in a partially blocked sky. I bought it to help me find things with my telescope and binoculars for sky viewing, and I suggest it for anyone. I'm just not sure you should buy it from Amazon as I did unless having it be in need of some windex doesn't annoy you as much as it does me.
UPDATE (9/22/12): I have used this now for a few nights, and am finally getting the hang of it. It took a while to line up the stars with what I was seeing, and Google Sky Maps(GSM) was a big help to confirm what was what. I use this to star hop with my 120mm refractor and my 9x63 binoculars. Once I finally got myself aligned, it became easy to find things like Andromeda. Using this guide, it is MUCH easier to find things in the sky. I does take a while, but it is totally worth the investment. To me, I think it's a good companion to GSM, because GSM can help you put the names to what you are seeing. Once I got confident in what I was seeing, then I used the guide more than GSM. GSM is still fantastic to help you find planets. I was able to find Uranus last night as well, but couldn't find Andromeda Galaxy all that well until I figured this guide out. Now, with the guide, it's easy. It really just takes time to orient to the sky as the map shows it. I am new to astronomy; I've had the scope for 6 months, and the binoculars for a few years.