1U Tiles were born out of a combination of the Rack Unit specification and the Doepfer Eurorack specification. Since Tiles are to designed to be part of a Eurorack system the panel specifications was conceived as a 4U package with 3U for Eurorack and 1U for Tiles. Tile widths are based on the Eurorack HP standard of 0.200” per HP and are available in multiples of 6HP. The most common tile sizes are the single tile 6HP (1.200”) and the dual tile (2.400”). The drawing below shows the nominal dimensions for 1U Tiles. In order to insure that tiles fit nicely in the case the tolerance on the width is +0.000” / -0.020”.
The Tile height is 1.700” which is based on the 1U Rack Unit where one unit is 1.750 inches (44.45 mm). When combined with a 3U Eurorack panel of 5.059” (128.5mm) we get a combination that fits perfectly within a 4U Rack Unit space.
Tiles are mounted to extruded aluminum subrack rails with either m2.5 sliding nuts or tapped strips. Subrack rails are available in many different sizes and shapes and are available from a number of different vendors. In order to allow sufficient space for a printed circuit board and control electronics rails of 0.300” (7.62mm) should be used. The most commonly used rail is the Vector T-Strut but rails like the gie-tec Trägerprofil 2 and others are also used. Rails that are wider than 0.300” will have interference issues and should not be used.
1U Tiles can be Active or Passive. Active tiles require power to operate and must be connected to the power distribution board in your case. Passive tiles do not require power but are limited to basic functions. Most active tiles draw a relatively small amount of current when compared to more sophisticated Eurorack modules. Still it is important to sum up the total power consumption for all the moudules and tiles in your case to ensure that you don’t exceed the power capabilities of your power supply. Tile manufactures will individually specify the maximum current draw of both the +12V and -12V rails. A fantastic utility for checking the total power consumption of your system is modulargrid.net.
Active 1U Tiles run off the standard Eurorack voltages of +/-12Vdc. The Tiles attach to the distribution board using a 3-pin polarized Futaba “J” servo connector. The male “J” connector is directly soldered to the Tile using a 8cm long 22AWG Tile Tail. The female “J” connector is permanently attached to the power distribution on one end and connects to the tile tail on the other.
The Futaba “J” connector was chosen to be the standard for 1U Tiles due to it’s small size, current carrying capabilities and because it is polarized so it is not possible to accidentally connect a tile backwards. Other brands of 3-pin servo connectors are available, but are not polarized and should be avoided. The 3-pin Futaba connectors are commonly available at most hobby stores worldwide allowing for easy repairs while on the road.
Tile Connector Wiring:
GND – black wire
+12V – red wire
-12V – white wire
Cases made for 1U Tiles will typically have one tile power connector for each tile slot (6HP).
Cases without tile power can be easily retrofitted by adding a Euro to Tile Power adapter cable or by adding a Tile power distribution board.
1U Tiles are great for DIY projects. Blank panels are inexpensive ($1ea) and can be ordered pre-drilled in a number of different of configurations. There are no rules as to where the controls and jacks should be placed but a couple of common layouts are shown below.
Tile panels are typically 0.062” thick and can be made from many different types of materials (aluminum, FR4 , acrylic, hardwood). Pulp Logic tiles are fabricated from 2-ply 1/16” Rowmark LaserMAX engraving material.
Mounting 1U Rails
The easiest way to add a row of 1U Tile rails to a custom case is by using prefabricated aluminum end brackets.
If you prefer to mount the rails directly to your case sides or if you want to make your own end brackets here is a 1:1 drill template.
Intellijel 1U Series modules are not compatible with standard 1U Tiles. The “1U” slot in Intellijel cases will only work with Intellijel 1U Series modules.