The open source FEZ Hydra is arguably one of the most complex open source designs made with EAGLE! From the start, we made sure everything was designed with tools that are easily accessible to the open source community. Not only was the hardware designed using EAGLE, but the software can be compiled with an open source GCC compiler.
Today, we are announcing an update to the FEZ Hydra. The new FEZ Hydra+ is 100% backward compatible with the original FEZ Hydra but it exposes all signals on 0.1"-spaced-pads allowing users to use these signals through NETMF directly and easily, without going through Gadgeteer. Of course, the sockets are still available for those wanting to use .NET Gadgeteer. The new 100% compatible FEZ Hydra+ replaces the original FEZ Hydra; however, the original FEZ Hydra will be available for purchase until the end of this year.
At $30, the board sells at near cost, as a “thank you” from us to the open source community. However, a clarification is needed here, especially to our commercial customers. FEZ Hydra was designed using simple tools that are easily accessible to the open source community. These tools do not provide signal integrity checks and the board did not go though FCC/CE testing, like we do with our System on Modules. The noise on the original FEZ Hydra and FEZ Hydra+ can interfere with the system, such as in networking, and cause random, but very rare, failures. We would also like reiterate that the boards sell at near cost to help developers and the open source community get into NETMF at lower cost and it is not meant to be used commercially. There is no guarantee we will continue on developing the FEZ Hydra software.
Due to the reasons above, we will be adding a “for non-commercial use” wording in the device name in the software. However, this does not prohibit you from using the FEZ Hydra commercially, but it is not recommended that you do so. Please contact us directly with any related questions or concerns.
FEZ Hydra will continue to be open source and all the sources are freely provided for commercial and non commercial use, as highlighted by the Apache2 and creative commons licenses. The links to the design files and source code repository are available on the product page.