Farm Cove Observatory 

        Pakuranga, Auckland, New Zealand

     Long: E 174 53' 39"  Lat: S 36 53' 43" 

                    IAU Obs Code E85


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Full Picture of scope and pier

LX200 14" ACF

 F/10 UHTC


CCD & Focuser


Optec TCF-S Temp Com


Dew & Light Protection

Kendrick Dew Remover

DewZee Dew/Lightsheild


  Farm Cove Observatory



Real VNC Remote network Computer  Operation


The Sky Software Bisque Telescope Control


MaxIum DL Diffraction Ltd, Camera Control & Data Acquisition
Astrometrica Astrometric data reduction software
Dimension4 Time Server
Muniwin C-Munipac data reduction software for variable star data
CCDInspector CCDWare data & image analysis software

Boltwood Cloud Sensor Diffraction Ltd


Where is FCO?

Auckland, New Zealand


FCO from 500 feet



Farm Cove Observatory (FCO) is a private observatory built in 1999 due to an overwhelming desire to have uninterrupted telescope time on astronomy projects of interest.  It was completed on the 14th of February 2000 at a cost of NZ$12,000.00. This cost did not include the time spent building the observatory or the telescope and equipment currently in use.

At the time, the local city council classified the observatory at Farm Cove as a garden shed due to the easy removal of the dome. Because of this, no building permit was required.

Special thanks to my wonderful friends, especially Fred Velthuis for sharing my desire. Andrew Goodfellow for the observatory design and the many hours spent building it, Marc Bos for his expertise and dedication getting everything working as it should, Grant Christie and Tim Natusch for being on hand when problems occurred and when their expertise was urgently needed - thanks guys.


 Pictures of Interest

Andrew Goodfellow July 99 working on the foundations of the observatory. All the foundations and the pier holes were dug by hand through thick clay and sludgy mud - It was not an easy job especially in heavy rain - July is winter  in New Zealand

Positioning the second concrete pipe.    The telescope pier is constructed from two 30cm diameter reinforced spun concrete pipes sunk into the ground at a depth of 1.2m and packed with newspaper. A half meter thick concrete plug sits at the top of the pier to hold the wedge and scope firmly in place.

The steel dome was a bargain at only NZ$200.00, well so we first thought.

Rust and shutter restoration took many hours not to mention many dollars.

In October 2006 rust treatment and repainting were required due to a recurring rust problem because of an incorrect paint application late in 1999.

Office computer networked to the observatory allowing for telescope and camera control including all data reduction from a warm and comfortable environment.
Farm Cove Observatory looking North East over Pigeon Mountain

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