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Brunswick / Briarwood

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1 Introduction

Brunswick, the large American manufacturer of bowling equipment, had already been making some coin operated amusement equipment such as Air Hockey. In 1976 they decided to venture into the new and growing home pinball machine market. At first they used their Briarwood name on the machines, but as sales started to increase, they switched to using their Brunswick name for better brand recognition. Brunswick made several home pinball machine models between 1976 and 1980 not only under their own name, but also for the Henry W.T. Mali & Company, the world famous manufacturer of pool table cloth and billiard supplies.

2 Games

  • Alive, October 1978, model 55-860224-2 (Sears model 440.26316), four players
  • Aspen, two production runs, October 1977 (55-860200-2) and 1979 (55-860228-2), four players
  • Circus, 1980, four players, model 200-40-000 (in a red cabinet) do not confuse with the single player version as they are different
  • Circus, 1980, single player, yellow cabinet, model 55-860195-7, do not confuse with the four player version
  • Cosmic Pinball, August 1977, single player, made in both EM and SS versions, EM version Sears model # 440.263110
  • Demolition Classic, 1979, single player, woodgrain cabinet, model 55-860196-8
  • Rodeo, 1979, single player, model 55-880196-5
  • Skate King, 1977, single player, yellow cabinet, model 55-860196-2
  • Super Star, 1976, single player, made in both EM and SS versions, 55-860195-21 & 55-860195-2 (SS version, 2 flippers), 55-860160-002 (EM version, 4 flippers)

Made for Henry W.T. Mali and Company:

  • Diamond Jim, 1977, single player, model # 101, yellow cabinet, list price $395 in 1977
  • Big Rig, 1977, single player, electromechanical, model # 102, white cabinet
  • Snow Bird, 1977, single player, model # 103
  • Hotdogger, 1977, single player, model # 104
  • Wheeler Dealer, 1977, single player, model # 105, white cabinet
  • Space Galaxy, 1977, single player, model number unknown

2.1 Machine pictures

Super Star EM version playfield

Super Star EM version backglass

Front cover of EM version manual

The EM version of Super Star has four Gottlieb 2" flippers.

Brunswick made the Mali "Diamond Jim" machine.

Mali / Brunswick Diamond Jim

Brunswick Circus 4 player version

Cabinet of Demolition Classic

Backbox of Demolition Classic

Cabinet and backbox pictures of Demolition Classic.

Cabinet of Circus 1 player version

Cosmic Pinball EM version

The single player version of "Circus" is totally different than the four player version, even though both are made by Brunswick. Here is the electromechanical version of Brunswick's "Cosmic Pinball".

3 Technical Info

The Briarwood/Brunswick/Mali home pinball machines were covered by the now expired patent number 4109916 in which one coil mechanically operates two devices. In this case it is the slingshots and pop bumpers.

Skate King schematic

Aspen model 55-860200-2 manual (with chimebox)

Aspen model 55-860228-2 manual (with electronic sounds)

Alive general schematic

Alive switch matrix chart

Alive 55-860224-2 manual

Aspen 55-860200-2 general schematic

Aspen 55-860200-2 switch matrix chart

Circus 4 player version schematic diagram

Early Brunswick/Briarwood Owner's Manual and Schematics

Coils (28 volt dc):

  • 55-860235-000 or 55-101725 Flipper coil with diode and sleeve
  • 55-860237-000 or 55-101897 Ball Return coil with diode and sleeve
  • 55-860236-000 or 55-101741 or 55-101025 Slingshot/pop bumper coil with diode and sleeve

Marco Specialties stocks brand new Brunswick coils as does Lakeside Pinball Parts.

4 Problems and Solutions

4.1 MPU Board

Aspen 55-860200-2 board front view

Aspen 55-860200-2 board rear view

This is the game CPU board used in the 55-860200-2 version of Aspen. This version had a chimebox in the game cabinet for sounds. Notice the presence of the infamous "spider" chips just like Gottlieb System 1 pinball machines had.

Alive 55-860224-2 board front view

The CPU board in Alive also used the "spider" chips. Brunswick was smart in that they had them in sockets for ease of replacement.

Circus MPU board front view
Circus MPU board rear view

The 4 player Circus MPU board is similar to the Alive board except that the Game Over light has been removed and a jumper wire run to the edge connector. This allows the Target #1 lamp to be addressed by the board. Notice the socketed "spider chips" and other chips.

4.2 Power Problems

The power supply assembly of Aspen, Alive, and the 4 player Circus contains power transformer, 4 circuit breakers (3 in Circus), 2 bridge rectifiers (one powers the solenoids, the other powers the gameboard and lights), and a 24VDC relay that cuts off power to the solenoids.

Power box and transformer in 4 player Circus

Replacement and original bridge rectifiers

The original bridge rectifiers are type BR-62 (6 amperes @ 200 volts). You can step up to the better NTE 5314 or Radio Shack 276-1181 which are both rated at 8 amperes @ 400 volts or type KBPC806. Even the 25 and 35 amp bridge rectifiers used in the later Williams pinball machines (such as the System 11 and WPC series) can be used. With the "wire lead" style rectifiers, form a loop at the end of the leads with needle nose pliers to make it easier to attach the machine's wires to the rectifier. Be sure to apply silicone heat sink grease to the base of the new rectifier before bolting it down. The original rectifiers were underpowered for the job and failed alot. The early Briarwood/Brunswick/Mali single player machines used this same bridge rectifier and should be upgraded to the 8 amp version.

4.3 Solenoid Problems

All coils operate on 24 to 28 volts DC.

4.4 Lamp Problems

Lamp sockets on the Aspen, Alive, and Circus 4 player gameboards are the same black twist-in ones that Williams used on their lamp boards for # 555 bulbs.

4.5 Switch Problems

Circus 4 player tilt assembly

The tilt assembly in the 4 player Circus is a conventional plumb bob tilt.

4.6 Display Problems

Check the pins of the display assembly closely for signs of cold solder joints and resolder any if found.

Score display in the Circus single player version machine

4.7 Sound Problems

Early Brunswick machines used a bell unit and a single bar chimebox for sounds. Later machines such as Alive and the 4 player Circus used electronic sounds and a speaker. The 4 player version of Circus uses a 4" round 8 ohm 1 watt speaker.

Bell and chime units

4.8 Flipper Problems

The flipper assemblies in Alive, Aspen, and the 4 player Circus are classic Stern Generation 1 units with a Brunswick 55-101725 flipper coil installed. The flipper assemblies in earlier Brunswick/Briarwood and Mali machines are classic Stern Generation 1 units, but with an ordinary momentary duty coil (55-101025) with a 20 ohm, 25 watt resistor connected to it via the end-of-stroke switch. This makes an ordinary coil work like a real flipper coil, but it gets hot quickly and the coil can be noisy in operation. It is suggested to convert the old 55-101025 coil & resistor setup over to a regular flipper coil such as Brunswick # 55-101725 or Gottlieb A-20095 for better operation.

Early Brunswick flipper assembly and resistor

In the early Brunswick machines like Super Star or Rodeo, only one flipper unit was installed. It had a linkage attached to it so that one flipper coil could drive 2 or 4 flipper bats. This was not very good as the slightest wear or slop in any part of the linkage would make the flippers weak or sloppy feeling. The cabinet flipper buttons are both wired in parallel with each other. Pushing either flipper button operates the flipper assembly to move both flipper bats at the same time.

Early Brunswick flipper bats

The early Brunswick flipper bats are actually Gottlieb blue flat top 2" units # A11242-3A Blue plus # A6888E Thin Shoe & Shaft plus Screw # HDW-632-1-1/4.

Flipper assembly

The flipper assembly on a Circus 4 player machine is a clasic Stern Generation 1 unit. Replacement coil is a Brunswick 55-860235-000 or 55-101725.

Parts List:

  • Complete Flipper Unit assembly, Stern # B-195-L-1 (left) or B-195-R-1 (right)
  • Flipper Base Plate, Stern # 1B-309-L (left) or 1B-309-R (right)
  • Coil Stop Bracket, Stern # A-186
  • End-of-Stroke switch, Stern # SW-294-BL (left) or SW-294-BR (right)
  • Return Spring, Stern # 5A-151
  • Plunger & Link Assembly, Stern # A-197 (with fiber link) superceeded by A-633 (with plastic link)
  • Flipper Arm (pawl) assembly, Stern # A-191-L (left) or A-191-R (right)
  • Flipper Plastic Bushing, Stern # 4A-111-W-1

4.9 Pop Bumper Problems

In the early Brunswick/Briarwood machines such as Rodeo, there are two pop bumper spoon switch assemblies. Each switch assembly is different, though. One switch assembly has a spoon switch and a scoring switch while the other switch assembly is merely a spoon switch only. The scoring switch is activated by the metal bar pulling down the switch. These early machines used a 55-101025 coil. The coil bracket is Williams # 04-10888 or B-7417. The rod & rings of two pop bumpers were mechanically linked to one coil on the early Brunswick/Briarwood/Mali machines. Alive, Aspen, and the 4 player Circus used the usual individual pop bumper assemblies.

Early Brunswick pop bumper connecting bar
Notice the two different switches

Early Brunswick machines used a metal bar to connect two rod & rings to just one coil.

Circus pop bumper under playfield

Circus pop bumper on top of playfield

Circus 4 player used the same plastic pop bumper assembly as Stern "Flight 2000" did including the same plastic rod & ring. Classic Stern or Data East pop bumper parts will work for replacements. The pop bumper coil used in Circus 4 player is directly operated by the high current spoon switch contacts much like an electromechanical pinball machine. That means if the spoon switch gets stuck closed, the coil will burn up. The other switch on the pop bumper assembly is merely a scoring switch to signal the game board to register a score. Brunswick coil numbers 55-102090 or 55-101025 are replacements. You can also use a Williams AE-23-800-01 coil.

Circus 4 player pop bumper parts list:

  • Complete Pop Bumper Assembly, Stern # B-695
  • Plastic Base Assembly, Stern # B-695-1 or Data East # 545-5100-00
  • Plastic Rod & Ring Assembly, Stern # B-695-3
  • Plastic Yoke Top, Stern # B-695-4
  • Plastic Yoke Bottom, Stern # B-695-5
  • Coil Stop Bracket Assembly, Stern # A-186-1

4.10 Slingshot Problems

Playfield view of slingshots
Early Brunswick slingshot one coil drives 2 kickers

The slingshot kicker coil bracket is a Williams # A-17808 or B-7572-1 "Z" bracket in the Alive and Aspen machines. Earlier Brunswick machines such as Rodeo used Williams # B-7417 or 04-10888 pop bumper bracket as the slingshot kicker coil bracket. Notice in the early Brunswicks they only had one switch to activate each slingshot instead of the usual two switches in normal pinball machines. A person could use a 3/8" Forstner drill bit to drill the second hole and add a second activating switch assembly.

Playfield view slingshot on 4 player Circus
Under playfield of slingshot on 4 player Circus

The slingshot assembly on Circus 4 player is a completely plastic assembly made by Wico. It is very difficult to find these assemblies today so it is best to convert to individual Williams, Bally, or classic Stern parts instead. The slingshot switches on top of the playfield directly operate the slingshot coil the same as on an electromechanical pinball machine. If either of the switches get stuck closed, the coil will burn up. The switch under the playfield is the scoring switch which signals the game board to score points. Replacement coils are 55-102090, 55-101025, 55-101741, or 55-860236-000. A Williams AE-23-800-01 can be used.

4.11 Outhole Problems

Ball trough and ball return kicker
Closer view of ball return kicker assembly

The ball return kicker assembly on Circus 4 player appears to be either a kickback unit or a knocker unit. It is operated from the game board.

5 Repair Logs

6 Where to Find Parts

This is not a typical section relative to most repair guides on PinWiki. However, it is worth mentioning where to find parts in this particular guide. In 2009, the Pinball Resource acquired the remaining stockpiled inventory of Brunswick home model pinball parts. Should a part be needed for your Brunswick / Briarwood pinball game, try contacting them first.

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