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 - 2020
- The HAWK-800 kit is still available with no plans to stop producing it. We intend to produced and sell the kit for many more years to come because musicians and enthusiasts like you keep buying the kit! The market price of a Poly-800 bottomed out at about $150 USD ten years ago. Since then, the synth has steadily increased in value and now averages somewhere between $250-$300 USD for a good unit. Although the Poly-800 has been criticized as an inferior instrument from the very first day it was released, it seems that the value of these synths is now going up!
- 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 peripherals, 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 - 2020
- The improved AtomaHawk kit has been in production for over two years now. And it has been working in many Poly-800 and EX-800 synthsesizers and with excellent results.
Rack Kit Status - 2020
- We have developed two boards, the keypad board and the display board. These are the absolute minimum needed for a working rack kit. These two boards are now available for sale for those hackers who really want to get a 1RU rack kit built. We plan to develop a 1RU enclosure for the kit and a POT/headphone/power switch board. Both are being designed and developed. Please contact us if you are interested in the 1RU kit because if we get enough interest, we can develop flashy decals for the front and rear. But only if we get enough interest.
Joystick Assembly Status - 2020
- The replacement joystick assembly kit (the HawkyStick) is now available see HERE.
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