Picture Gallery

The pictures seen below, besides just being of general interest, should clearly show why one of the carts from a given cartridge family will not plug into any other family's game console. The circuit boards inside are radically different; not even remotely close to being able to work together, even if the ROMs inside are alike.

Picture title




A visual comparison of all four of the different types and style of carts and/or cart families. (See FAQ.)
  • MPT-03 cartridge (upper left)
  • Palladium cartridge (upper right)
  • Emerson family, long style (lower left)
  • Emerson family, short style (lower right)


As is typical for this "system" not long after I thought I had identified all of the "ROM-compatible" Emerson clone families, another one popped up. This is what a normal Ormatu family cartridge looks like. (To help others identify the case style, here is an inside view.)


The insides of a Palladium cartridge. (Chip removed merely for visual purposes.) Back side of cart here. Note that the cartridge has "Polybrain cartridge" etched into it. Every Palladium cart I've seen has this.


A scan of the very rare Grandstand cart "Combat". Here is the back side of the cart, along with the inner circuit board's front side and back side. (This cart was loaned to Ward by a New Zealand collector. It was an MPT-03 cartridge, in a cheaply-made case unlike any other case style we have ever seen.)

Cart comparison


Two cartridge guts (Emerson and MPT-03) sitting side-by-side. I included a machinist's rule as a size reference. This helps to show how radically different the cartridge families are internally, and why they cannot be plugged into each other's game systems. The cartridge circuit board shown on the left side is from an Emerson family game. The circuit board shown on the right side is from a "Grandstand" (pirate?) company game. Its board layout is a simplified version of the MPT-03's; if a wire trace was not really connected, they simply deleted it.


A 150 dpi scan of the other side of the Grandstand cart that is shown in the picture above. ("Crazy  Climber".) You can clearly see that all but two traces are on this rear side. Note also the "Orbit" name etched into the rear of the circuit board.


This is the front view of an official MPT-03 cart. ("Auto Race" if you must know.) Here is the rear view as well. This is a factory-made, unmodified cartridge; those huge jumper wires were not added later on by a hobbyist. You can see some fairly obvious hand-soldering in places, too. Note that although the front view makes it appear like there are many wire traces, that most of them "dead-end" inside the plastic casing of the cartridge itself. Only 2 are really connected on one side.


A 150 dpi scan of the Emerson system's warranty card.


A 300 dpi scan of the logo found on a July 1982 catalog.