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posticon Freebanding Research for Screenplay


I am new to this board & new to freebanding. I am doing research for a script that I am currently on re-writes on. This film will possibly go into production in 2011.

I have characters communicating over a CB radio, but I know there is an entire world with it's own language in the CB & Freeband world, and I want to do justice to it in the story so those of you who see it would appreciate that I took the time to represent it accurately.



Last edited by Ockam, 23/May/2010, 6:20 pm
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


Hi, good luck with your film emoticon

I cant speak for everyone here, but Freebanding is illegal and although some of the frequencies used and a lot of the radios used are akin to CB, our roots are CB, our language and general use is far removed from the CB you think you know about.

Most of us come from CB backgrounds, we're proud of this and a lot of our guys still use CB radio.

But there is no "secret language" or mystery about what we do, we communicate by radio across the globe depending on ionshpere conditions, much like amateur radio but unlicenced and on illegal frequencies.

Thanks for your interest emoticon



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By all means think yourself big, but never think others small.... R.F.Scott
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


Thanks for the reply yamanx1! emoticon

From my research I did discover that it is illegal - this appealed to me for my character and is why I’m here to learn more about the community.

From what I have learned those who freeband use freq’s directly above or below the standard 40 CB channels (approx 26-28Mhz). For one who is not really ‘in the know’, there is ultimately a ‘romanticized’ idea of freebanding. I like the idea because my character likes to be ‘off the grid’ so to say – she has some unpopular opinions about the government - the way things are run - sort of a ‘Democracy Now’ for the people, by the people mindset. Would this be considered a stereotype? If so, maybe someone can explain why people enjoy broadcasting across unlicensed or illegal frequencies.

But in my mind her show is NOT a two way conversation – it’s a sort of a rant of her own opinions – a broadcast. This is my first uninformed dilemma that I need more insight into: Can someone utilize a CB radio for only one way communication (a broadcast)? With my limited knowledge, I presume it would only take a depressed transmit button to prevent others from chiming in…? That brings up ‘radio etiquette’ and what is it? Whether written or, I would guess, mostly unwritten/learned.

Here’s some of the slang that I discovered in my research I was referring to: [sign in to see URL] I wouldn’t really know where to begin, but I presume most people (uninformed dilemma here) begin a transmission with a code or end a transmission with a code? Like does anyone really use “Over” or “Over & Out” anymore? Or would some terms from the above link such as “Back off the hammer” or “this is a bad scene” realistically translate to “Slow down” or “this is a crowded channel”? Or is the above page just full of crap (there’s just so much of it on the internet, which is why I joined this group to discuss the reality of it).

Lastly (I don’t think I mentioned this little tidbit of important information) this is a post apocalyptic scenario… oh, and the power goes out. emoticon Do certain CB radios use batteries or have batteries? Is there a particular model that I should be using in my script? emoticon

One story element that is very important here (and maybe this too is unrealistic to a CB radio), but I would like to limit the amount of information my characters gain from this radio. Meaning: Having a bunch of people on various channels talking about what’s happening in the world would be too much information. I need to limit that. My simpleminded solution was break the radio so it only receives one or two channels? IS that realistic? You tell me. But if it’s not, I need another alternative. Because the only person that the audience sees actually using the radio does not know how to use it! His neighbor gave it to him without telling him how to use it. And the only transmission he receives is the above mentioned ‘one way’ transmission. But eventually on (I guess on a different freeband channel) he is able to speak with his neighbor who gave him the radio. So it’s a bit of trial an error him toying with it to figure out how to use it.

OK… that seems like enough uneducated blathering for now. This should be enough to get a feel of some opinions. Thank you all in advance all who reply to this. Every little bit helps. emoticon
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


perhaps there is a forum member near to you that would show you the ropes of freebanding first hand so you could get a feel of it, Id say if its a post apocolypic story then the rights and wrongs of how to use a radio wouldnt matter so much. As for the power situation there are radio that have battery packs and a lot will run off a 12v car battery.
[sign in to see URL] here is a link to the Clansman radios which dont look much like cb style but they are ex military radios that are poratable and are freely available on ebay they have battery packs and have back packs for them.
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


I would love it if there was someone nearbye that could show me the ropes! emoticon And thanks for the info about the car battery - that's a great idea! I'll do some research on that model radio.
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


where abouts are you mate?
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


Asheville, NC emoticon
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


Bugger, thats not down the road for most of us. But if you want to fly over, Im sure the guys will help you out.
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


Or, and i think this is a much better idea, you could fly some of us over there emoticon
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Re: Freebanding Research for Screenplay


Thank you for the info on the Clansmen. I've done a bit a research and determined that I'm going to leave the decision of 'the model' up to the props department. Let them do that research. But now I know we can go battery operated.

Ok, so since we've pretty much ruled out "Hands On training", let's get back on topic and the questions that remain unanswered.

"ONE WAY COMMUNICATION: A BROADCAST": Can one do this? I have a character who sort of rants with her own opinions, not utilizing the airwaves for two way communication. Can someone do this? I presume it would only take a depressed transmit button to prevent others from chiming in…? That brings up ‘radio etiquette’ and what is it? Whether written or, I would guess, mostly unwritten/learned.

"SLANG:
In my research I discovered this: [sign in to see URL]

Do people begin & end a transmission with a with a code? Like does anyone really use “Over” or “Over & Out” anymore? Or would some terms from the above link such as “Back off the hammer” or “this is a bad scene” realistically translate to “Slow down” or “this is a crowded channel”? Or is the above page just full of crap (there’s just so much of it on the internet, which is why I joined this group to discuss the reality of it).

One inconsistency I don't like about movie's in this genre is that everyone knows how to use a gun... and I don't want that to be the case with this radio. From what I can tell, there are so many dials and freq's on these things, how the hell would someone not in the know operate one of these things?

I'm almost done with this version, so chime in!
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