We've been producing the HAWK-800 and AtomaHawk kits since 2007. We sell about 50 kits every year - that's not many so we don't make a profit - at all. But we keep producing these kits because we love the Poly-800. The synth was ridiculed and scorned by 'professional' musicians back in 1983 when it first hit the market. And the poor old Poly-800 is still being condemned and derided as an inferior instrument even today. We didn't like the criticism back then and we certainly don't like it now. For many of us, the Poly-800 was the first synth we had because it was the only synth we could afford. And it had plenty of limitations because it was cheap. But times have changed (a bit - ya think?) and we created the HAWK-800 and AtomaHawk kits to show the world how great the Poly-800 can be. And oh what a difference these kits make!
HAWK-800 Product Status - 2016
- The HAWK-800 kit is still available with no plans to stop producing it until customers stop buying it. We should be producing and selling the kit for many more years because musicians and enthusiasts like you keep buying the kit!
- We are also working on a high performance CPU replacement design for the Poly-800 that will offer new oscillators for the tone generator. This project is intended to eventually replace the HAWK-800 kit entirely. But the development process is slow so we still recommend obtaining the HAWK-800 - for now.
The benefit of a CPU replacement is obvious when you consider that the Poly-800 uses a 6Mhz 8 bit micro processor (the Intel 80C85 ) and modern embedded CPU designs achieve 80Mhz with 32 bit data words, have numerous built in peripheral, have a ton of memory and other wonderful features that are far beyond the original 80C85 CPU.
We are currently investigating using the ST microelectronics STM32 series processors (probably one of the STM32F1 variants).
AtomaHawk Product Status - 2016
- The original AtomaHawk kit has been redesigned because one of its important chips (the 10Kohm digital potentiometer) sourced from Dallas Semiconductor is no longer available.
Sadly, the chip (the DS1666+ 10K) is out of production and no additional chips can be sourced at low cost.
So the current AtomaHawk version 1.3b has been redesigned and replaced in 2016.
As of (September 2016), we've redesigned the board and used a far superior replacement chip (the Analog Devices AD5290).
UPDATE: As of Februrary 2017, all AtomaHawk back orders have been shipped out. And new software (v2.65) that supports the new hardware is uploaded to sourceforge.
Other Products Status - 2016
- We've been working on a Poly-800 replacement joystick and we'll be announcing its availability soon.
- We're working on a rack mount conversion kit for some time now. You will be able to take your Poly-800, EX-800 or MK2 and fit it into a versatile 1RU unit. Perfect for studio use! We continue to work on the rack kit with the goal of making it available at a low cost kit. We shall post an update here as we progress and when the kit becomes available.
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