Three new 2D coordination polymers (CPs) 2∞[(NiL)2Ni(μ1,5-N(CN)2)2]n (1), 2∞[(NiL)2Cd(μ1,5-N(CN)2)2]n (2) and 2∞[(NiL)2Zn(μ1,5-N(CN)2)2]n (3) have been synthesized by reacting a [NiL] "metalloligand" (where H2L = N,N′-bis(salicylidene)-1,3-propanediamine) with three different metal(ii) (Ni, Cd and Zn) perchlorates and sodium dicyanamide, with identical molar ratios of the reactants. All three products have been characterized by IR and UV-Vis spectroscopies, elemental analyses, powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction and variable temperature magnetic measurements. The isomorphous compounds 1 and 2 consist of similar [(NiL)2M(μ1,5-N(CN)2)] (M = Ni for 1 and Cd for 2) angular trinuclear units in which two terminal "metalloligands" [NiL] coordinate to the central nickel(ii) (in 1) or cadmium(ii) (in 2) ion through phenoxido oxygen atoms. The μ1,5-bridging dicyanamido spacers connect the central Ni(ii) or Cd(ii) of one node to terminal Ni(ii) of two different nodes giving rise to 2D CPs. Compound 3 also contains trinuclear units with the same formula as those of 1 and 2: [(NiL)2M(μ1,5-N(CN)2)] (M = Zn in 3). The main differences are that these units are linear in 3 and the dicyanamide spacers link only the nickel atoms of neighbouring nodes. As in 1 and 2, these trinuclear units are connected to four other units via four μ1,5-bridging dicyanamido ligands, giving rise to 2D CP with a similar topology: a uninodal 4-connected underlying net with the sql (Shubnikov tetragonal plane net) topology and (44·62) point symbol. The magnetic properties show the presence of moderate intra-trimer antiferromagnetic interactions in 1 (J = -12.9 cm-1) and weak antiferromagnetic interactions between the terminal Ni(ii) ions in 2 (J = -2.4 cm-1). In 3 the Ni(ii) ions are well isolated by the central Zn(ii) ion and accordingly, only a very weak antiferromagnetic interaction through the single μ1,5-bridging dicyanamido ligands is observed (J = -0.44 cm-1, D = -3.9 cm-1). This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.