Obtained by Father Elijah at Little Yangtze during his investigation of the Big MT, these collars are more advanced than the more commonly seen slave collar due to Elijah's adjustments. He altered and improved them during his stay in the Big MT, so now they can be detonated remotely through a special radio frequency, as well as being programmed to detonate should other slave collars go inactive (due to the wearer's death). Because of these added features, Elijah finds the collars a perfect tool to get unsuspecting wanderers of the wastes to aid him in his efforts to break into the Sierra Madre vault.
Providing a Damage Threshold of 3, this special collar was developed in the Big MT. It can be remotely detonated by Elijah should the wearer try to disobey his order, or attempt to escape the Sierra Madre. Being far from perfect, the collar can be accidentally set off by certain radio frequencies. This makes it a dangerous thing to wear around any of the casino's decayed, yet still active, radios or speakers. Coming within 8 yards of a radio or 12 yards of a speaker will start a 10-second countdown; if the Courier does not leave the radius or disable the radio or speaker within that time the collar explodes, they will die instantly. If the Courier has Christine Royce as a companion, the countdown is extended by 5 seconds.
An additional feature of the collar, installed or activated by Elijah when it became clear that groups tended to fail because of fighting among themselves, is a dead man's switch function. This will detonate all collars within a specified group should one of those members die or be killed. The signal can, however, be blocked by Saturnite alloys.
Despite the radio signals presenting a time limit before the collar explodes, when in close proximity, it is possible to sleep in a bed for many hours while the collar is beeping.
Even with the use of inventory editors, reducing the quality of the Dead Money collar to 0 will only remove the item from the Courier's inventory. They can still be blown up if they stay around a radio too long.
If the radio source cannot be found, throw a grenade into the general area it is suspected to be in. Table radios in particular are very sensitive to blast and easily destroyed.
Red speakers cannot be destroyed, although some have switches and can be turned off.
Radios can either be turned off or easily destroyed with firearms or explosives.
As mentioned by Elijah on his radio frequency, the Courier carries Collar 21.