Carnival Plans – Design Competition

Hey guys, it’s been around 2 months since the last post went up, so it’s time to get back into the rhythm before rolls start up. This is a big year as Carnival is celebrating its 100th year, and it’s only 8 weeks away! Because of this, the buggy organizers are working hard on making this year special. There are some special additions as well as a few major changes that we’re looking at.

The design comp chair this year, Connor Hayes (Apex founder), has some pretty awesome ideas to improve design comp and make it a bit more interesting, BUT he’s looking for some feedback from the community and has written the following…

This year we have big plans for design comp.  I want to get them out to the BAA community so that they can start sending ideas and feedback.  Here is a list of what is new.
  • New scoring system:  Consists of a re-definition of the categories buggies are scored on with some being eliminated completely and replaced by new ones.  This is done to better reflect how buggies are designed.
  • The scoring sheet this year is also brand new to hopefully elicit more feedback from judges so teams can know what to improve on.
  • New floor layout for design comp.  This has a couple of different layers to it.  The major one is the inclusion of a stage area where we will have talks, video showings and panels.
  • More interactive events for kids.  “Design your own buggy” tables along with an area where kids can mechanic a buggy
  • More informative signs and posters around the room discussing currently rolling buggies, the history of design comp and important buggies throughout history

Here is what we (sweepstakes & alumni relations) would like to hear from the community:

  • Are there any alumni local or elsewhere holding significant historical buggies that they would be okay with bringing back to Pittsburgh?  We are trying to work out a plan that would allow for easy and safe storage on campus that would also allow buggy to have a bigger presence on campus during carnival.
  • Does anybody have ideas for events in the stage area?  Specifically we have been tossing around the idea of a student or student and alumni Q&A panel.  We want to have an event like this, but are unsure of the exact layout or format.
  • Does anybody have really good old footage that we can play on a projector in between events in the stage area?
  • Any questions, comments or concerns from the Alumni?
Here is the new floor plan that he was looking at:

Proposed new layou

As we move forward, we’ll come out with more posts carnival related to help get you guys hyped and ready. It’s still pretty cold here at the home of buggy, so it’ll be some time before rolls can start up again. In the mean time, we’ll try and come up with some fun things to talk about in lieu of our normal rolls reports.


28 thoughts on “Carnival Plans – Design Competition”

  • What buggies are those posted at the BAA table?
    I’m guessing they’d be from Zatch’s collection of dumpster buggies, but it seems those would go just as well in Old Buggies.

    What buggies are going in the old buggies section?
    You mention historical buggies, but CIA keeps their old non-rolling buggies in their section (IIRC, Fringe does too). Are there buggies held by alumni whose teams no longer exist in the area/Are there teams who don’t want to keep their old buggies in their area?

    • We are currently in the process of finding historical buggies for this location. Being the 100th carnival Alumni relations is emphasizing the history of carnival and more specifically booth and buggy. They are reaching out to alumni that have significant buggies to try and get a selection of notable ones which we have not seen at design comp in recent years.
      Those are the buggies we would like to have in this area, and there may be one or two that we will ask current teams if they would be okay placing in this area to complete a “timeline.” At first we need to hear feedback on this from buggy holding alumni, to see if we can get enough in the first place to require a large area.

      • I just want to commend your attention to detail with the buggy renderings. Notably in the old buggy section. I’m a fan.

  • Spoke to Connor off BAA and he mentioned transport has been an issue for getting buggies.

    If you have a buggy in the area (or within driving distance of the area) that you would like put on display, I have a truck, trailer, straps and padding that I can use to get your buggy safely to and from campus.

    Let Connor know and he’ll pass the information off to me.

  • I think the layout and overall presentation and interactive idea is great. I had wondered a couple times why the design competition didn’t have more to it other than the bare bones of a car show, but hadn’t given much thought to what else it could become.
    If you need any footage from several years ago (specifically Carnival 2010 and its season) feel free to use anything from “1 Year for 2 Minutes” or if you want more specifics contact me. Also, have someone in CMU get in touch with the wonderful ladies at the historical archives section of the library. They have some AMAZING historic images. I have a decent copy of many of them on a harddrive somewhere as well, but I’m technically not supposed to share outside of the film I had used them on. They don’t have much in terms of old videos and footage though, sadly. Perhaps a result of this effort such footage can be donated to them?

  • My biggest challenge for brining buggies is where to store them. I’m guessing I can’t just leave a buggy laying around and expect it to remain unmolested. (I’m looking at you, Carl) I may have to ship a buggy or two and need some storage plans too.

    Also, isn’t ROTC rolling this year? Don’t see them in the floor plan.


    • I imagine ROTC could fit in that space by Pike, but from what I remember they haven’t come to much yet. We’ll only know for sure when rolls start.

  • Hi all, Alumni Relations here. We are exploring storage options for the weekend for those willing to bring in buggies. We should know more in the very near future and will provide an update as soon as we have one.

  • A radical idea: either use an old old buggy, or build a quick’n’dirty demo buggy that almost anyone get into an drive around a short course of cones with someone pushing them indoors, to get the driver-eye view and experience of steering a buggy.

    The only buggy in existence I know of that could be used for that is the old SAE “Limo,” which was built out of wood as a push practice buggy, and as I recall, someone rescued it from a dumpster. Just strip off the stupid bodywork, and virtually ANYONE will fit in it, and the bicycle brakes are foolproof.

    • Zatch is the one who rescued limo from a dumpster, and he brought it out and gave buggy rides last year. I’ll imagine he’ll do the same this year (although cleaning it and filing down some of the sharp edges would be a good idea before this design comp)

      • Elmo Zoneball says:

        In it’s original incarnation, circa 1973-74, it had bicycle caliper brakes mounted in front of the rear wheels, on a stout crosswise wood board that protruded just in front of the rear wheels, that grabbed the Derby wheel.

        I’ll see if I can find a photo…. also, the original configuration had no metal structure at all, other than the heavy angle iron the formed the crash protection/roll cage at the very front of the vehicle, and of course, the push bar. The only other metal structure was the stock Derby axles, front and rear. It was built in a single weekend, weighed about 30 lbs more than a regular buggy, and was immensely useful for push practice, ans was essentially indestructible, adn wickedly inexpensive to make.

        FWIW, I was occasionally used a a push practice driver when I wasn’t pushing, and drove Limo in push practice on several occasions. There was a bicycle brake lever on the steering handle; steering was arms-at-your-side style, which was the normal driver configuration in the 1970s, with the exception of CIA’s Street Car Named Desire, and the bikes, of course.

        The drop-down drag brakes were an innovation that SAE started using on their regular buggies in the mid ’70s. It must have been retro fitted to Limo some time in the 1980s or later (after I left.)

  • I’ll volunteer a basement for buggy storage if needed.

    All the old CIA buggies have had some important part cannibalized for newer buggies, some of which are by now also retired. So it should be possible to put together one complete enough to roll around in.

  • A bit more specific of a question for all alums and current students. In the stage area, what type of events would you like to see happening during the day. The current plan is to have cmuTV play videos for the 1st hour followed by a 1 hour presentation. From there on out we have 2 hours to fill to make the cost of renting the seats and stage with the investment. Right now the potential options are a q&a panel of current buggy members or alums or both and playing the CIA made documentary 1 year for 2 minutes. I am really curious if anybody else has ideas regarding potential stage area events.
    Thank you all for the support nd great suggestions so far.

    • I feel the need to point out that CIA did not make the documentary, however there was significant involvement from the organization.

      Just for the record… for what it’s worth.

  • Elmo Zoneball says:

    Thinking out loud…. some “evolutionary trees” (cladograms?) of buggies based on structure and/or materials might make for some interesting poster-size displays, along with some samples of the different materials used to build buggies in different eras, with emphasis on some of the more radical, if not successful, design approaches.

    Space frames, metal monocoque, plain fiberglas monocoque, cored monocoque, hybrids. To illustrate, “2024” was SAE’s first 4-wheeled buggy after the bike era in the 1960s, and the main body was a aluminum skinned contraption that looked like the fuselage of miniature B-24 bomber. It had dozens of tiny metal ribs that the skin bolted onto with hundreds of the smallest bolts I ever saw. I have no idea how long it took to build, but suffice to say it must have been a labor of love. (The guy who designed it apparently spent a summer working at an aerospace company while he was in school — might have been Grumman.) It was relatively light (for something made entirely out of metal,) and was wickedly stiff. It never performed worth a damned, but it was an amazing design. Alas, it was dumpsterized back in the ’70s. It really should have been saved as an historical relic.

    Another potentially divisive display: “Worst buggies in History!” A photo display of what are perhaps the worst buggies ever raced, with a narrative explaining the reasoning why they were just “bad buggies.”

    • Heh. Poor Volos is a really wonderful example of some very bad practices in carbon fiber monocoques. Probably the only reason to ever display it.

    • I think you’re on to something. Perhaps this could provide some entertainment at design comp – put up a board of buggy pictures and let people move them up or down the ranking if they give the story of why the buggy belongs there.

      Substitute pop rivets for bolts and you’ve exactly described CIA’s Number 9, right down to the performance…

      Matt Wagner used to give a “what I learned from buggy” talk that would be great for current students, except very few of them attended. It might be nice to have a 10-15min version of that, and maybe a couple similar ones from other people of different time periods, and then go into Q&A.

      On the other hand, part of the fun of design is standing around talking to other people, and having too many activities onstage would take away from that.

    • Elmo Zoneball says:

      Another potential idea: organize a display of photos and info about “Paradigm shift buggies” — the buggies that represented a significant departure from what preceded them and which were significantly faster, and whose features were subsequently adopted by other organizations.

      The first modern three wheeler falls into that category (although the Beta Sigma Rho guys could point to the 1960s “Blue Dolphin” as the progenitor,) as does the Spirit pneumatic tire buggies of the 1980’s. I’m sure there are others.

      • I don’t know if you could have a truly accurate display of ‘paradigm shift buggies’ since there was/is so little discussion between teams. Heck, it was/is hard enough figuring out what your own team has done because it was usually a small number of people doing it and most of the time they were half-assing it while drunk. I worry that I could put up something like ‘the first buggy built with such-and-such technology’ and some 70-year-old ATO dude will walk by and say that they we’re doing it in the 60s.

        • Agree. There have only been a few major sea changes and it is hard to call who gets the credit and many of them were not buggy specific. . Modern 3 wheeler is an example of a tough call: PKA had one in 81 that showed the potential but it needed a small 4th wheel on outside edge due to flex and then spun on race day. So not a convincing start. Gary Getz was paying attention though so the next year there were 2 of them (SN and PKA) with SN taking the win. So, tough call:: firsties or first winner? Other cloudy areas: first pneumatic tire? Various models sizes were in use well before the panaracer era on many a buggy or bike. In terms of the panaracer era, I was there and I cannot pin it down as there was a blend of fringe/KDR/Spirit /Phikap/SDC and others all running them in various sizes at roughly the same time. Spirit was first to win on them so they might get the credit but many others showed marked improvement as a result. First xootr (was it fringe or spirit? ) but by then there were at least 2 leading teams running small proprietary wheels in that size or smaller so how big a deal does one make about a specific brand or size?. First to run custom urethane? Hard call there as well. It was on campus for a long time before fringe showed up with the green stuff. . As far as use of materials or structural designs, chances are, it happened way before you thought it did.and there is no way to sort out who did what when. Dropping pushbar,: either pka or cia but that may not really qualify for a positive innovation given how that worked out for pka.

          There are a few topics where the innovator is clear but the innovation might not be assigned to a particular buggy. . Smaller-than-goodyear sized wheels: PKA.. The flying exchange: SN. Heating wheels: ATO Buggy humping dog:: ZBT. I imagine someone could take credit for the first female driver as well. Likely in the 70s. Tom would know.

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