HAWK-800 Technical Support
Welcome to the technical support pages for the HAWK-800 and associated components and softwares. Below you will find various sections with explanations and links to help you get the most out of your upgraded Poly-800. Troubleshooting information is also provided and hints and tips too.
Software and Documentation Packages
Each new version of the HAWK-800 software is packaged into a ZIP file along with the corresponding documentation, release notes and other associated files. Those ZIP files are then made available for download on the 'hawk800' project sourceforge site.
The latest version of the software is also available direct from: HERE
The lastest and previous software versions can be downloaded from: HERE.
Below are links to documentation, technical support and utilities.
HAWK-800 - Post Installation Quick Start
- If you just arrived here because you got to the end of your HAWK-800 installation. Then this section might be for you!
- Does your HAWK-800 display "HA-800", "Error 4", "Error 5", "Error 6"? If it does, then you need to obtain the latest software and flash the software into your synth.
- Does your HAWK-800 display nothing at all? Then you need to read and follow the troubleshooting section that is in the installation instructions. Take you time, be patient, but do thoroughly follow the troubleshooting instructions. Most problems can be fixed by very carefully following those instructions.
- Did you check that the power supply (wall wart) is the right one for your Poly800? It needs to be 9V DC 300mA. The voltage and type is most important. 9 Volts DC! A higher current rating (say 500mA does not matter).
- Did you check to see that you have all of the cables in the Poly hooked up correctly? Do check that because it is very easy to miss one or plug something in slightly off line (such as the ribbon cable header plugs).
- Did you check that the ribbon cable headers and all chips in the HAWK-800 board are installed correctly? Do check that too.
- Still no good? Get support at our support forums and get help from Mike (the creator of the HAWK) and other HAWK users.
- Want to talk to tech support (aka Mike)? Click HERE to send an email.
HAWK-800 - Question and Answers with Mike
- Q: Which parameters are your favourite?
Mike: My personal favorites are the sustain pedal and the velocity operators. I also enjoy unison mode where you can use portamento in chord mode. I also get alot of fun out of sequencer follow mode just doing some real time jamming. But there are really so many great features, it is hard trying to choose the best! :-)
- Q: How long should I test a HAWK'd Poly-800 before installing the AtomaHawk kit?
Mike: Make sure that the HAWK is installed and working flawlessly for at least 5 to 10 hours of continuous operation before installing the AtomaHawk.
- Q: There is a problem with my Poly-800. Will installing the HAWK fix the problem?
Mike: Most likely it won't and it might makes things worse or harder to troubleshoot and fix. So NEVER try to install the HAWK or the AtomaHawk or even the new joystick kit without fixing your Poly-800 first. You should never try to install something new to fix a pre-existing problem.
- Q: When sending sysex to a HAWK'd EX800, will it accept a standard EX800 SYSEX file from the prior state before the upgrade?
Mike: You can send an EX800 sysex to the HAWK while it is in normal operation mode but you have to send the sysex V..E..R..Y.. V..E..R..Y.. S..L..O..W..L..Y... or otherwise, the HAWK will "Crash". Since most MIDI sysex editors won't let you slow the transmission down, the best and most reliable way is to use "Tools" mode 8. Tools mode 8 can receive EX800, MK2 and HAWK sysex bulk dumps as fast as you can send MIDI sysex data to the HAWK. So it won't ever crash when receiving a SYSEX dump message when it is in tools mode 8. So for reliable operations, use tools mode 8 whenever you can.
- Q: Does the HAWK have to be in tools mode 8 to accept a sysex dump?
Mike: See above, it can receive an EX800 bulk dump if it is sent to the HAWK very slowly. But the most reliable method is to use Tools mode 8 because it can receive MIDI data very fast. When the HAWK is in normal operation mode, it just can't keep up with the data being sent to it. So use tools mode 8 for receiving bulk sysex dump messages.
- Q: Where can I find the memory allocation map of addresses so I that can send single parameters via sysex?
Mike: If you really want to get the memory map of the software you can subscribe to the developers mailing list and ask there. But you don't need the memory map for changing parameters. What you can use is the SYSEX patch parameter change message type F0 42 21 0F xx yy F7. That SYSEX message changes the current operating patch parameter where xx is the parameter number (P1 11-88 corresponds to values 0-63 and P2 11-88 corresponds to values 64-127) and yy is the parameter data value. Data values are scaled or absolute dependent upon global parameter 47 (where 0 is scaled and 1 is absolute). So you can use the Owners Manual to get the parameter numbers and data values and change them as you wish using the sysex message. You can also change any parameter data value using MIDI CC messages. And MIDI CC inc and dec messages too. All of that is documented in the owners manual and the MIDI implementation document. Make sure the documents that you reference are for the version of the software that your HAWK is running because there are differences between the different versions (over the years).
- Q: So what is the purpose of those memory SYSEX messages then?
Mike: When I develop software features for the HAWK, it is very handy to have a method to test the values of memory locations. So those SYSEX messages are there for developing and testing purposes.
- Q: Are more features being added to the software?
Mike: Yes, I continue to add more features when they are practically possible. Some features cannot be implemented because of the hardware limitations of the original design. But there is still plenty of room for new features when the hardware limits don't get in the way. Time is precious so features requests are not always implemented as fast as some owners would prefer. Some features are easier than others too.
- Q: May I request a new feature?
Mike: Yes, please do! You can request features by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org but it is better if you post the feature request using the sourceforge hawk800 feature request feature because that makes it much easier to track each feature request. You can submit a feature request on our forums HERE
- Q: When is the arpeggiator feature going to be available?
Mike: The arpeggiator is completed and is under going testing (Jan 2020). Releasing the software is expected for early 2020.
- Q: When is the 1RU rack kit going to be ready?
Mike: I have developed and tested (as of 2018) the keypad board and display board for the kit. I've also developed the volume, speed and tune POT board. But I am unhappy with the design of the POT board so that is being redone. Once I get the POT board figured out, then I have to figure out which rack kit enclosure to use and figure out how to punch holes for the front and rear and label it. That could take a while yet.
- Q: When is the CPU upgrade going to be available?
Mike: As of late 2019, the design for the CPU upgrade is completed and boards have been successfully pre-tested. Once the hardware is fully tested and working the real fun begins. Which will be to convert the original software into 32 bit code. Hopefully, 2020 is the year that we get the code going. The HAWK kit will remain available anyway. The CPU upgrade will replace the HAWK entirely. There won't be any offering of trade ins on the HAWK board. But the CPU upgrade should really make the Poly-800 an amazing beast. So I am really looking forward to getting the hardware to begin testing and development.
- There are several forum discussions available. You can join a forum of your choice HERE.
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