Apex Buggy gets some funding, looking for advice

We’ve mentioned the guys from Apex Buggy a couple of times in the rolls reports.  They are a group of mostly freshmen, mostly living in a new dorm called “The Residence on 5th” or “The Rez” for short.  Despite being on campus for only a few months, they’ve done an impressive amount of work towards starting a team including soliciting design and build advice from anyone that will talk, and doggedly seeking funding from private donations, and the various official channels.  They are also the organization that recently inspired us to once again consider making seed grants to new orgs (see the New Org Grants thread in our project zone), a discussion we haven’t yet concluded.

Anyhow, they’ve secured enough funding to get going and they’re currently planning their first build for the winter months.  Now’s our chance to help out.  Apex front-man Connor e-mailed me asking some specific questions, but I’d like to use the opportunity to generally improve our informational resources for new teams. If you’re reading this, you know a thing or two that could help a new team.  Take a moment and either:

  • Edit one of the Reference pages below to share generally-useful buggy info with the community
  • Email info@cmubuggy.org with tips or suggestions and we’ll do the ground work of sharing them with Apex and adding them to the Reference section
  • Email Apex’s front-man Connor directly (cmhayes@andrew.cmu.edu) if you want to get your advice straight to the customer
  • Post a comment on this post with your favorite tip or trick for building a buggy or getting to raceday with limited funds.
Specific Questions from Apex
  • “At the moment we need carbon fiber, a vacuum pump, and a vacuum bag. Those are the big 3
    things to get started.  Do you know any alumni specifically who could help us get those materials for good prices?”
  • “If there is anyone out there who wants to talk to us about carbon fiber, lay-up schedules, directional weaknesses, twill vs straight weave and all of that stuff it would be greatly appreciated.”

Reference Section pages to work on

These pages are just beginning.  Anything you can add in terms of which tools and materials are most important, good suppliers for critical materials, or cheap and clever substitutes for expensive specialty tools and materials would be super helpful!

Good luck Apex, hope to see you out in February.

End of the Semester Rolls Report: Nov 21

Last rolls of the semester, temps close to 60, and plans to do another live broadcast from the chute … I was excited for rolls this Sunday.  And then I woke up at 10:30.  Oops.  My sincere apologies to anyone who tried to watch the live stream.  After working out the technical details last week, we uncovered and even larger weakness: the human factor.  For what it’s worth, I paid my penance with a solid hangover.  Luckily Zack Waldman has my back so we’ve got a rolls report.

In attendance

Org Sunday
CIA Ascension, Firebird, Freyja, Renaissance
DeltaForce Moby Dick
Fringe Bonsai, Borealis, Banyan, Bedlam
SDC Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage
SigEp Mamba, Peregrine
Spirit Zuke, Seraph, Haraka

Observations (Sunday Gallery) Continue reading

Live Streaming for the last rolls of the year

Rolls on Saturday have been canceled on account of wintery temperatures, but Sunday is still on, and it’ll be the last day of rolls.

Last Sunday’s experiment with live-broadcasting rolls didn’t turn any heads at ESPN, but I’d call it reasonably successful, so we’re going to try it again.  If you don’t want to brave the TSA or the November winds to catch the last day of rolls, just tune in between 7-9am on Sunday at:


I’m planning on trying a different perspective or maybe even moving around a couple of times, so comment if you have any fun ideas.  Suggestions are also welcome for conversation topics to serve as the commentary on the broadcast.

Rolls Report: Nov 12 & 13

13 times through the order in one weekend is enough to wear out fresh, energetic teams in September.  For the teams running a little lower than they’d like on manpower (almost all of them) here in mid-November, this weekend was a real endurance test.  But the drivers got huge amounts of practice and for the most part everyone had their act together.  We also had some fun producing content this weekend with black and white photography on Saturday and a live streaming broadcast from the chute on Sunday.

In attendance

Org Saturday Sunday
AEPi Kamikaze
CIA Ascension, Freyja, Firebird, Quasar Ascension, Firebird, Freyja, Renaissance
DeltaForce (Perun) (Perun)
Fringe Bonsai, Borealis, Banyan, Bedlam Bonsai, Borealis, Banyan, Bedlam
SDC Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage Avarice, Malice, Rage
SigEp Mamba, Pandora Mamba, Barracuda, Pandora
SigNu Bungarus Krait
Spirit Zuke, Seraph Zuke, Seraph, Haraka

Observations (Saturday Gallery in B&W | Sunday Gallery | archived Live Stream from Sunday in the chute) Continue reading

Live streaming rolls coverage Sunday 7-9am

Earlier this week, Barsham posted an idea in the project zone suggesting that live streaming coverage of rolls would be a good project for the BAA.  Well, you say it, we do it!  We’re trying it out for the first time tomorrow (Sunday 11/13) from 7-9am.  If you’re by a computer, check it out and let us know what you think.  Please forgive any technical difficulties on our first run.


Live streaming is currently broadcast through USTREAM.tv. Join the cmubuggy Buzz chat room if you’re watching and share your comments. Are the ads super annoying? It would cost about $500 to remove them (and broadcast in HD) for the year. Let us know if you think that would be worthwhile (or any other ideas/improvements) in the Project Zone discussion on live broadcasts.

Congratulations Jake Mohin, Fantasy Buggy Champion!

After a rainout on Céilidh weekend, this past Sunday was designated as our official fantasy buggy showdown.  41 people entered our first ever fantasy buggy game to take  their shot at the $250 “ticket to carnival” grand prize sponsored by NumberFire.com.  Fringe and CIA timers helped out to collect times that could be shared publicly so we also got some of our best data so far of the season.

Jake Mohin (SigEp mechanic, ’10) outfoxed everyone else, taking home the grand prize with a total time of 550.2.  He made the best of his inside info, picking SigEp as a backhill team while the rest of the top 5 picks had them for the freeroll.  Jake adds,

“I knew our chairman was pushing pretty hard for our guys to make a strong showing in terms of pushing so I made a gamble and left us off the free rolls list to give us the #1 Back hills.  In terms of roll number, I banked on 3rd free roll always being fastest. Pushers are usually slow on third first run from being sleepy, fast on their second push, and exhausted on their third.”

There were a number of surprises on the weekend that may have affected the results.  KapSig and SN haven’t made it back out, so we only had 7 teams.  Because it ended up happening after daylight savings time, most teams got 5 rolls, but we had restricted it to the first 3.  For what it’s worth 14 of the top 20 overall times were in rolls 1-3.  Picking the right Spirit roll was probably critical as Fuko wasn’t out, Haraka never finished a roll, and Seraph.   I was surprised to see that the winning strategy was to pick most of the fastest teams for the downhill as I thought the spread on the backhills would be larger.  I guess pushers were giving it their all across the board.

Top Fantasy Buggy Picks

Continue reading

Rolls Report: Nov 5&6

The end of daylight savings meant Saturday was a super short day while Sunday was nice and long, leaving time for a full mini-raceday-esque event.  Weather was in the low 30s but nice and sunny which is better than we might expect for November.  Zach Waldman and Ben Matzke covered the rolls report while I was out of town so thanks to them, and no thanks to me for taking this long to get it posted!  Fantasy buggy times were collected on Sunday and the winner will be announced very soon.

In Attendance

Org Saturday Sunday
AEPi  Kamikaze
CIA Ascension, Freyja, Firebird  Ascension, Firebird, Freyja, Renaissance
DeltaForce (Perun) (Perun)
Fringe Bonsai, Borealis, Bedlam  Bonsai, Borealis, Banyan, Bedlam
SDC Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage  Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage
SigEp Peregrine, Pandora Mamba, Peregrine, Barracuda
Spirit Zuke, Seraph, Haraka Zuke, Seraph, Haraka

Observations (Saturday Gallery | Sunday Gallery) Continue reading

Fantasy Buggy ON for this weekend

An unexpected dose of rain/snow hit Pittsburgh Saturday morning and put the kibosh on most of our fun Céilidh plans, but not all was lost.  We were still in the mix of events in the UC with our table full of info and popular “Future Buggy Pusher” shirts for the kids.  Tom Wood’s fall 2011 edition of the History of Buggy was well attended and featured the 2011 winning buggy, Bonsai next to PiKA’s T-2 from 1968.  Thanks to everyone who came out for the talk or to chat with us at the table.

We were very sorry to miss out on rolls because we had donuts and coffee ordered and quite a few folks were planning on coming out, but also because we were excited to find out who took home the $250 prize for Fantasy Buggy.  Don’t worry, we’ll get a winner no matter how many times the weather screws with us.  Here are some new details:

  • Times for Fantasy Buggy will now be taken this Sunday, Nov 6th.
  • Sunday was picked instead of Saturday because daylight savings ends Sunday morning, meaning rolls on Sunday will be 1 hour longer, starting around 7am.
  • New entries will continue to be accepted until 11:59pm this Friday, Nov 4th.
  • If you entered previously and something about the change of date/start time/weather/moon phase affects your meticulously calculated predictions (or if you’ve just changed your mind), you may submit a new entry.  Make sure you use the same name and e-mail as your original entry.  Submitting a second entry completely replaces your first entry.  No take-backs.


Also, FYI aspiring journalists on the buggy beat, I’ll be missing rolls one last time this semester, so leave a comment or send an e-mail if you would like to help put together the rolls report and I’ll hook you up with the google doc on which you can collaborate.