Suggested  by  Sergeant at Arms  "Oberon" TD124  of  Garrison Carida

Updated  December 8,  2004







Over the years since 1999, these enhancements and reinforcements have allowed the "Old Sarge" using vintage Geraldo Follano Armor, to participate in numerous Charity and Sci-Fi Events along with the completion of two 7-mile charity walks at a 3 mph walking speed without a major failure of the armor during the event.  

ADMONITION !   When securing items with Velcro, place the Velcro with care;  as you do not want to have to pull the Velcro off to reposition it and then not more than once.  Such removal and reattachment will quickly weaken and compromise the final gripping strength of the adhesive.    Also,  do not stress the attachment and its adhesive soon after it is applied.  Allow the adhesive to cure and set for several hours or overnight before engaging and/or disengaging the Velcro parts.   This will result in a much stronger and longer lasting attachment.

The Radio Headset and Voice Amp Mike in the Helmet

Based on an arrangement by Keith Arbeeny TK444, Electronics Guru of the Empire City Garrison

Radio Shack Parts: 

21-1840  Headset 2-way Personal Radio  $50.00

Condensor  Microphone  $20.00

helmfansmikes.jpg (55483 bytes)

Inside "lingual" view of helmet showing the ear piece and mike of the radio headset  which was installed intact without any modification.  The spring-steel head clamp was taped to the sides of the helmet behind the foam padding.    The "push to talk" button is clipped to the helmet edge at the right.  The radio can be "voice activated";  but the "push to talk" option is recommended,   otherwise,  everything you say in the helmet will be transmitted by the radio - not a good idea.   See the first Cooling Fans photo for a close-up view.

The condensor microphone element for the voice amp is tape mounted on the radio mike boom adjacent to the radio mike.


helmradioside.jpg (33169 bytes)

The earpiece is in position at the helmet's left side and the radio mike boom extends from the earpiece toward the right to a position near the lips.   The "push to talk" button is clipped to the left bottom edge.  The wiring is positioned behind the foam padding where possible and taped to the sides of the helmet using duct or gaffer's tape.  The voice-amp dynamic mike shown was later replaced with a condenser microphone which was mounted near the radio mike on the boom.  The male plug lead for the voice amp here extends from the helmet toward the left.  In use it is plugged into the female plug for the voice-amp mounted inside the front top edge of the upper chest armor.


helmfansbatt.jpg (62198 bytes)

The radio is shown secured to the rear wall of the helmet   using sticky-back Velcro to allow for its removal for battery replacement or maintenance.  Note that the aerial is oriented vertically for best performance.   Take care not to place Velcro over the battery compartment door on the radio.   The earpiece and "push to talk" button switch are seen at the left.   The black strips are the gaffer's tape used to secure the headset and wiring to the helmet.

The radio has eight "dip" switches in the battery compartment for channel selection and to adjust for,  or to tune-out interference.   The settings used by the Empire City Garrison are "down, down, down, up" for the "quiet" settings  and "down, down, up, up" for the channel selection.

***  501st  ***  TK124  ***   GARRISON  CARIDA  ***  TD124  ***  501st  ***



Two  NIDEC Gamma26  Model A33998-55  Squirrel Cage Fans ($8.00 each)   Three Radio Shack 9-volt batteries and holders, one On/Off Push button Switch   

helmfans.jpg (60161 bytes)               

The two NIDEC squirrel-cage fans are shown Velcro mounted in the lingual area of the helmet photo above.  The On/Off Push Button Switch is half visible behind the black edging,  just above the fan on the right.  It is mounted into an 90 degree angle of shim  brass and then Velcro mounted in the helmet.   In this position, the button can be reached without taking off the helmet.   Below the fans is the radio mike boom with the speaker-amp mike tape-mounted on it.   The radio "Push to Talk" switch is clipped to the helmet edge at the right and the radio ear piece is at the lower right.  The "On-Off" switch and battary compartment for the voice-amp condensor microphone is shown installed at the left.

The fans are 2 inches in diameter and are rated at 12 volts and .13 amps.  Here, however, the two fans are powered by a single 27 volt "series" circuit, supplied by three 9 volt batteries.  This circuit allows the fans to be powered at their full rated voltage using only 9-volt batteries;  as opposed to using a 9-volt battery and 2 AA batteries in "series" or a bulky 8 AA battery holder to supply the full 12 volts to the fans for maximum air flow output.    Although this set-up may have a longer run time; you will have to replace three batteries at one time instead of just one.  This 27 volt circuit works because the fans are connected in "series" so each fan "see's" only 13.5 volts or half the 27 volts generated by the three 9-volt batteries in series with one another ( 3 x 9 = 27);  which is a little above the rated voltage; but should not be a problem.    The circuit is illustrated below:

   fancircuit.jpg (13418 bytes)

NOTICE - That all connections are made "positive" to "negative" and that the current flows "through" each circuit element to "reach" the next element in the circuit.  


helmbattery.jpg (56631 bytes)               

This view shows the three 9-volt batteries secured in Radio Shack 9-volt battery holder clips;  which are mounted vertically and riveted to the rear bottom flange of the helmet.  The rivets are visible just above the black edging.  The radio is at the center with the Push to Talk Switch clipped the the helmet edge at left.  The black patches are gaffer's tape used to secure the wiring.

***  501st  ***  ECG  ***  TK124   ***   ***  TD124  ***  ECG  ***  501st  ***



Click Photo for Tutorial

***  501st  ***  MEPD  ***  TD124  ***  MEPD  ***  TD124  ***  MEPD  ***  501st  ***




A common problem for many troopers is fatigue cracking, failure and breakage of the shoulder straps connecting the upper body armor sections.  These plastic straps are subjected to a lot of stress while wearing the armor and when taking it on and off.  Also, the weight of a back pack places crunching pressure on the shoulder straps.  Being of rather light and thin construction and not all that flexible, they are not up to this kind of abuse and will crack and break over time.  Old Trooper Oberon addressed this problem by reinforcing the plastic straps with industrial Velcro, rivets and leather attachments as shown below.

     ststraptopbot.jpg (15999 bytes)     ststrapside.jpg (12876 bytes) 

On the left is the underside of a shoulder strap with the leather reinforcement applied over the Velcro.  The topside of the other strap is in the middle showing the rivets that will attach it to the front and back halves of the upper armor.  The topside of the other leather reinforcement is on the right showing the attachment of the leather strip that will fasten to the shoulder bell.  The leather is secured to the shoulder strap by the rivets used to attach the strap to the front and back halves of the armor and is not directly attached to the Velcro.  The rivet heads will be painted with "White-Out" correction fluid to make them less visible.   The right hand photo shows a fully reinforced strap and the other strap with just the velcro allied, and illustrates the engineering being used.  The strong adhesive of the Velcro yields a flexible binding force over the surface of the strap, helping to prevent stress cracks and tears from propagating through the plastic.  The  leather (5 to 7 ounce, 1/8 inch thickness) provides a tough and flexible reinforcement that is not subject to cracking and tearing.   The leather also serves as the main support element between the front and back armor halves, relieving the plastic straps of having to bear much of that stress.   Both elements together provide the same basic reinforcement to the plastic strap as "re-bars" do in the concrete floors of a building or a bridge deck. 




Does this look familiar?  An ugly fatigue breakage and failure in the left end of the cartridge section on the waist belt.  This break was temporarily repaired by applying strips of industrial velcro to the back side in an effort to close the gap and tie it together.  The fix, of course, did not last too long, requiring the installation of a new cartridge belt section. 

The new cartridge belt section was reinforced end to end with industrial velcro in an effort to forestall future propagation of fatigue cracks and breakage.  

***  501st  ***  TK124  ***   GARRISON  CARIDA  ***  TD124  ***  501st  ***



          starmorcodfrt.jpg (32172 bytes)   starmorcodbck.jpg (34624 bytes)

How the "Old Sarge" pivoted his cod!  Note the main central support and two side stabilizers, along with the hip-brick supports.   Velcro on the tip of the cod piece engages a spandex strap from the rear butt plate.

These views show the articulated lower "cod" piece.   The cod section is attached to the torso armor section by a square piece of riveted leather,  with two strips of Velcro at the ends to keep the cod piece in line.   The "thigh bricks" are likewise attached with leather pieces riveted in place.  The rivet heads have been painted with "White-Out" correction fluid to make them less visible.  At the top, are the buckle ends of the 1 3/4 inch harness belts that connect, over the shoulder, between the front and rear torso (lower) armor sections as shown below. The belts are crossed behind the back and provide a very stable support for the lower armor sections.  In general,  all armor connections that do not have to be separated in normal use are riveted together or connected with leather or velcro riveted in place. 

starmorharness.jpg (62329 bytes)

An inside view of the front abdomen plate showing the numerous connections and attachments.  At top, the shoulder harness belts are connected to the ab-plate with double- headed rivets.  The two patches of velcro on the sides are for grabbing the elastic straps coming from the upper back plate to pull it down and close to the body.  In the center, hot-glue has been used to secure the black buttons.  The drop boxes are attached using short leather strips riveted in place.  The pivoted cod-piece is mounted with a piece of leather, also riveted in place.  The two strips of leather on either side of the cod piece are to suspend the thigh leg armor sections.  They have velcro pieces riveted to each end, which are then stuck to patches of velcro on the ab-plate and the thigh sections, making them height adjustable.  The white box on the right is a Radio Shack project box to hold car keys, wallet, trading cards, etc.  It has a velcro hinge at the bottom and is attached to the waist belt with screw rivets.  A Radio Shack black "banana" speaker-amp is mounted vertically next to the box.  It clips onto a section of heavy leather strip screw-riveted to the waist belt.  A layer of industrial velcro (acting like re-bars in a concrete slap) has been applied to the back of the waist belt to reinforce it against stress breaks due to the number of holes required to mount the box and amp.  

***  501st  ***  TK124  ***   GARRISON  CARIDA  ***  TD124  ***  501st  ***


The Voice-Amp  Set-up  in the  Chest Armor

Based on an arrangement by Keith Arbeeny TK444, Electronics Guru of the Empire City Garrison

Radio Shack Parts:

277-1008C  Amplifier / Speaker - $12.00 ea.  One or two units may be used  with a  9 volt battery for each.

42-2158   "Y" Adapter  for connecting two speaker units to microphone output.


chestspeaker1.jpg (32017 bytes)          

The inside of the upper chest armor showing the installation of the twin speaker-amps for more voice power and volume.   The Speaker-Amps have since been moved right and left to the edge of the chest armor for better access to the volume controls.  A "Y" connector is used to feed the microphone output to both speakers.  The excess line cord is bundled and taped above the speakers.  Gaffer's tape is used to secure the line-cord and the plug jack at the neck cut of the armor;  while the speakers are attached with sticky back velcro.  Note that the speakers are oriented in opposite directions,  top to bottom,  to have the input jacks toward one another.   An attenuator is inserted in the microphone feed line to cut-down on feed-back noise.  This however also decreases the microphone output;  hence the use of two speakers to increase voice volume.  Two layers of foam were also glued below the neck cut,  as shown below,  to minimize excess sound reverberations from the helmet and microphone from reaching the speakers and causing feed-back howl.

 chestspeaker2.jpg (34268 bytes)          

The first layer of sound insulation foam is glued in place.   Note the notch cut into the foam for the female plug  just below the neck cut-out.


chestspeaker3.jpg (37879 bytes)          

The second layer of foam has been installed.  Notice that this second layer piece is larger and extends further down over the bundled line cord toward the speakers to provide more sound insulation to minimize feed-back noise.

***  501st  ***  TK124  ***  GARRISON  CARIDA  ***  TD124  ***  501st  ***




tmbftwashtrio.jpg (19706 bytes)

First Century AD Roman Legionary Reenactment Legion


Hit Counter