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VMEbus Passive backplane for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP


I have originally designed this backplane for a few of my projects (Rubidium frequency standard and Z80 Micro Computer), but this turned out so well that I have now posted all schematic, gerber files and documentation to fellow enthusiasts such as yourself. Perhaps (and I hope) content in this obscured corner of the interwebs will inspire you to start your own projects.

Eurocard is a European standard format for printed circuit board (PCB) cards that can be plugged together into a standard chassis sub-rack which, in turn, can be mounted in a 19-inch rack. The chassis consists of a series of slotted card guides on the top and bottom, into which the cards are slid so they stand on end, like books on a shelf. At the spine of each card is one or more connectors which plug into mating connectors on a backplane that closes the rear of the chassis.

Eurocards system in general is an enormously versatile and convenient way to create any kind of project where high functionality, reliability and ruggedness are required. System uses standardized mechanical dimensions and quality connectors. Eurocards PCB's come in many sizes (wikipedia article). This is a single height, most common size 3U single height card. I have also designed other 3U passive backplanes if you require different sizes tailored to your project. More about VMEbus (wikipedia article).

Design of my backplane PCB was inspired by ECB Backplane-8 167mm from RetroBrew Computers Wiki. I definitely recommend going through their webpage!

Design overview

You can fit this card in industry standard 3U DIN subrack or Eurorack without Z rail (however the card will also work with Z rail to a limited extent). Backplane PCB was designed according to standard mechanical dimensions, therefore connectors' mechanical positions will match perfectly with PCB guide rails with front panel Eurorack should you decide to use this solution. Standardized card size is 3U height with 8 slots for 4HP cards (32HP 3U) and will fit into a half width 19" 40TE 3HE standardized subrack. I'm using this PCB with standard 160mm depth cards, but you can use whatever fits in your rack (100,160,240mm).

Main design features:

Backplane PCB has been designed to be very flexible and can be used with large variety of industry standard power and signal connections:
Signal traces - - (passive termination) are not terminated nor have determined pinouts apart from PWR and GND connectors allowing you to configure the backplane to exactly match the requirements of the system. Each pin is bussed across the board, allowing you using row B as GND guard rails thus minimizing crosstalk on rows A and C.
Power connectors - 2x 4pin power (Molex) connector with 5.08mm pitch, M4 screw terminal or cable with blade receptacle pushed onto 6.3mm Faston terminals. Footprint silkscreen on front and back side allowing connectors to be fitted on both sides. All M4 screw terminal footprints are also accepting 6.3mm faston terminals.

Two separate power rails and one single ground plane available. (Vcc, GND, GND, Vdd).
Supply voltages provided via dedicated power connectors facilities: - 2x 4pin Molex power connector 5.08mm pitch (up to 5A), M4 screw terminal or 6.3mm faston terminals for very high loads (for example if you using TTL logic)
Capacitor footprint 7.62mm for the silky smooth DC line and outstanding high-frequency noise suppression
Linking/separation of digital and chassis GNDs by means of 0 Ohm / R / C link (Footprint R7)
Rack mounting holes can be electrically connected
Utility for load resistor, polarity diode and capacitor (for old power supplies that require minimal load) and polarity diode.
Footprint for R and LED power status on board and dupont connectors to connect chassis power status LED's.
Footprint supports off the shelf standard DIN 41612C 96/64pin Eurocard connectors or 2x32, 64pin PCB edge connectors.
Multiple backplanes can be placed side by side without loss of slot space

Backplane can also be extended with 2 slot bridge connector card to create a daisy chain array of backplanes if required. You can literally make any kind of project and scale it up as much as you wish.

These boards look absolutely gorgeous in standard green solder mask if you go for that standard industrial look. I can advise you where to buy connectors. however you can use any standard off shelf connectors which you can pretty puch purchase anywhere.

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. CC-BY-4.0
I have created content on this website free to use for personal, educational and commercial purposes. If you like or use my work, please mention me or perhaps consider a donation.


... but if you feel like getting something for nothing isn't your cup of tea (completely understandable) (ಥ﹏ಥ) and a prefer to support me and get something back in return, then you can purchase directly on my eBay or Tindie shop. However if you are still up for an adventure */in very positive way/* (and are happy to have PCB's made yourself in your favourite PCB house - PCBWay is highly recommended), then carry on, download gerber files and have fun! ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

I sell on Tindie

EDA preview

click on pictures to enlarge
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP

3d render v1.4
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
PCB design layout
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP


Board Type: Backplane
Board Material: FR4-Standard Tg 130-140C Epoxy Glass Composite
Layers: Double sided
PCB Colour: Green colour solder mask, white silk screen lettering
Surface Finish: Lead free HASL-RoHS
External size: 160.02 x 128.60 mm
Board Thickness: standard 1.6mm
Pitch: 2.54mm connectors (100.00 mils)
Connector hole matrix: 96 DIN 41612C compatible / PCB edge card connector 2x32 / 64pin compatible
Hole size: 1.00mm
Mounting holes: Standard pitch 3U subrack mount
Board Connector / Footprint: DIN 41612 8 slot x 96pin or 2x32pin 64 / 96 Pin connector, you can also fit 64pin edge connector in. Power connector is via standard 4pin MOLEX 5.08mm / 200mil connector. Card is double voltage ready. (Vcc, GND, GND, Vdd).
Copper Thickness: 35um
Card weight: 70g

Bill of materials

Identifier Value Qty Notes
Printed Circuit Board 160.02 x 128.60 mm 8 slot VMEbus backplane 1 v1.2
Hardware M2.5 x 10 mm screw 16
Hardware M2.5 nut 16
Connector E1-E8 Female DIN 41612 96pin 3x32pin right angle connector 8 DIN41612_C_3x32_Female_Vertical_THT Documentation (20 MB)
TE Connectivity 5535043-5 (Mouser order code 571-5535043-5), or 535090 which has shorter pins
Connector E1-E8 Female DIN 41612 64pin 2x32pin right angle connector 8 2nd alternative use
Connector E1-E8 2x32pin 64pin PCB edge right angle connector 0.1" pitch 8 3rd alternative use
Connector U1, U2 Molex 15-24-4745 THD male 4pin (5.08mm) 0.2" pitch 1 Farnell order code 1391827
Connector, power M4 Screw terminal 4
Connector, power 6.3mm Faston terminal 4
Capacitor C1-C14 Capacitor_THT:C_Disc_D3.0mm_W1.6mm_P2.50mm 14
Resistor R1, R2 1k THD 0.5W 2 VCC rail
Resistor R3, R4 3.3k THD 0.5W 2 VDD rail
LED LED1,LED2 RED THD Dia 3.0mm_P2.50mm 2
Connector PinHeader_2.54mm:PinHeader_2x02_P2.54mm_Vertical 1 THT

Assembly instructions and notes

Gerber files contain " WayWayWay" to the silk layer. You can specify a location of the order number, select the "Specify a location" option when you place an order. Only if you order via PCBWay.
Please note that PCB is connected via ground chassis plane on Z rail. If you don't desire to connect ground chassis and prefer to connect via molex connectors, then cut little GND xxx trace on the top left corner on the back side of PCB.
If you will use PCB backplane as rack mount: - install molex connectors, resistors, LED's and pin headers to the back side, otherwise components won't fit due to Z rails.
If you will use PCB backplane as table top or custom mount: - install all components to front side. Use standoffs or rubber feet to electrically isolate from surface.
Use M2.5 screws and nuts to hold DIN connectors in place, these don't need to be fitted to achieve strong mechanical connection however
Use a temperature-controlled soldering station and quality solder. Take care not to leave solder bridges as any short circuit will most likely lead to failures


File type File name File size Last modified
PCB schematic for 8 slot backplane v1.0 schematic_backplane_8-10-12.pdf 687 kB 03/01/2022
PCB schematic for 8,10,12 slot backplane v1.4 schematic_backplane_8-10-12_v14.pdf 368 kB 25/08/2022
PCB schematic for 8,10,12 slot backplane v1.41 schematic_backplane_8-10-12_v141.jpg 1373 kB 19/01/2024
VMEbus backplane pinout, v1.0 vmebus_pinout_v10.jpg 383 kB 19/01/2024

Design Files

File type File name File size Last modified
PCB layers v1.2 pcblayers_backplane8_v12.pdf 397 kB 19/01/2022
PCB layers v1.4 pcblayers_backplane8_v14.pdf 338 kB 27/08/2022
Gerbers 168 x 128 mm, 2 Layer FR4, v1.2 483 kB 19/01/2022
Gerbers 162 x 129 mm, 2 Layer FR4, v1.4 394 kB 27/08/2022
Gerbers 162 x 129 mm, 2 Layer FR4, v1.41 * 389 kB 14/01/2023
Solder paste stencil Not available for this project - -
* gerber file is generated for PCBWay fabrication, but should work with other manufacturers.


click on pictures to enlarge
gerber files and photographs may vary, v1.41 pictured
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
v1.0 (rev.0) pictured
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP
VMEbus Backplane PCB for Eurocards DIN41612 8 slot 3U 32HP

Versions and revisions

This section lists the project version and revision history.


■ Fixed molex connector positions
■ Minor silkscreen updates


■ Amended connector positions and hole sizes
■ Footprint for 0 Ohm / R / C link
■ Added mounting holes for ground link
■ Various silkscreen and cosmetic updates
■ Various design layout updates

v1.2, v1.3, v1.31

■ Added molex connector, screw faston terminals
■ Revised VDD, VCC power and GND planes
■ Capacitor footprint changed
■ Revised bigger plane for VDD and VCC
■ Added load resistor, polarity diode and capacitor


■ Various cosmetic updates
■ Various silkscreen updates.
■ Added margin about border of PCB
■ Redesigned LED and resistors to fit better


■ Prototype

Last page update: 19 January 2024

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