Backyard Voyager

Telescope Mount Review: Losmandy HGM Titan
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In the rapidly growing community of amateur astronomers, Florent Poiget has become well known for his astrophotography skills. His images have been published numerous times in astronomy magazines, both in France and the United States. I first became aware of his name through Cloudy Nights, where he is a frequent contributer. To see examples of his work, as well as information about the images and the equipment used, visit his website: Deep Sky CCD Photography

The Losmandy HGM Titan Mount by Florent Poiget

I've purchased my first SCT in December 1996, a Celestron Celestar 8". The following years, I've had a Meade 8" LX50, a Meade 8" & 12" LX200. All these telescopes had a fork mount. For my new setup, I decided to change the type of my mount : an Equatorial German mount. It is new to me and a bit different to use against a fork mount.

I researched a mount to support a 12" SCT OTA with all the CCD accessories, an adequate price for my budget, accurate, with a GOTO system and also portable. We can find several High End mounts on the market : AP-900GTO, AP-1200GTO, Paramount ME, Takahashi NJP........etc.

I stopped my research on the Losmandy mounts. The price were good for my budget and I heard a lot of good things about their products. My first choice was for a G-11 with the Gemini Goto system. But the G-11 is not sufficient for a 12" SCT OTA with all the CCD accessories, too heavy for this mount. The next step after the G-11 was the new heavy Losmandy mount : the HGM TITAN.

The TITAN has a good reputation, the price was adequate for my budget, very portable in several parts, Great for a 12" or a 14" SCT OTA. And the time of delivery is short 4 or 5 months against 1 or 2 years for an AP-900GTO.

I sent several e-mails for Scott Losmandy to have more information and I contacted my Losmandy dealer (Great Guys). After several days, I decided the HGM TITAN would be my mount for my CCD work.

In the following parts of this article you could see several pictures of this beautiful mount with all the parts of it. I began the CCD imaging with the TITAN and I can say It is a Great mount. A Great change with my LX200 fork mount.

            1°) The TITAN Head :

    The Great thing with this mount is when my setup is complete (Meade 12" OTA, CCD accessories........), it weights about 210 lbs (95 Kg). But this setup can be separated in 8 parts : counterweights, OTA, tripod legs, semi-pier, TITAN head in 2 parts.

The TITAN head weights 75 lbs (34 Kg) but can be broken in 2 parts of 37.5 lbs (17 Kg) each : the RA and the DEC parts.

I present you several pictures of TITAN head :

                            - The RA part :

RA section

front view

We can see 2 yellow levels for an accurate adjustment. A big black knob is used for the latitude and 2 average knobs for the azimut. The latitude scale is on the left side.

On the right picture, we have a good view on the Losmandy Polar scope (at left) and on the RA servo motor (at right). The polar scope, not as the other mounts, is in parallel with the RA axis and installed on the side of the RA head with one black screw. The polar scope is supplied by two batteries of 1.5 volts.

You screw a small red LED thanks to the hole at the bottom of the polar scope. We can see the following diagram to realize the polar alignment :

polar alignment reticle

RA

RA and servo motor

Two more pictures with a better view of the RA servo-motor. On the right picture we can see the black box with inside the TITAN worm gear drive. All the adjustments have been made by my dealer to have the best results for the tracking. The big silver tube is to put the DEC head.

serial

My TITAN mount has the serial number : N°30.

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