My first encounter with a Novatac Spa Defense 120T

Hondo

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I don't know who's sicker, I've lost count how many times I've read those, not counting the time through when fixing the links!
 

Hondo

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Haha, I remember is as if it was yesterday :)

I had to retire this light maybe 6-7 months ago ? The threads in the head are so worn out I'm afraid the battery compartment will pop out every time I change the battery. I should Loctite a battery compartment that opens in the bottom (like the Novatac) to the head, and only change the batteries from the bottom, but I chose to retire it and keep it as it. Actually I don't have a matching ano battery compartment that opens in the bottom, so it's a souvenir light :) Whatever floats your boat !


I can't suggest strongly enough not giving up on this light. PLEASE try this:

Get some plumbers teflon tape. Wrap the threads with this, start with 6 -8 laps around, it is extremely thin stuff. It will form to the remaining thread and fill in for the worn material. Not only will it fit tightly again, but any additional wear will be virtually eliminated, as it runs on teflon now. Also good for adding resistance to lights that tend to unscrew in your pocket, like keychain twisties.

A new lease on life!
 

Lithium466

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Oh, I did try this, it works :) But I'm still not comfortable...I guess I'd rather keep it as a nice decorative object that can emit light in case of emergency, a new battered shelf queen!
To me it reached a status over collectible, more like a piece of history. Sometimes I turn it on and plays a bit with it, and it makes me happy for a while 😊
 

Hondo

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Ah, fair enough. Well a good reminder for anyone else experiencing thread wear or just loose threads.

Interesting fact, Henry once wrote that the old fine thread lights were only good for about 50 battery changes until the threads wore out. I always tried to figure out if he rated that based on changing batteries while submerged in coarse grinding paste or something. Sure, the ACME threads are vastly more durable, but kept clean and lubed, the fine threads last a lot longer than that. I add another layer of protection, as I try to press the halves together a bit while turning, to relieve the preload on the thread from the battery spring compression. No noticeable wear yet on any of mine. Wouldn't want to test how they hold up for a tour with a Marine using one, though.
 

Lithium466

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If I recall correctly, he was taliking about the difference between Novatac and the new legacy HDS with coarser threads. I think he was implying Novatac wasn't using the best material (aluminum), so maybe it doesn't apply as severly to the old Ultimate/Basic and the Arc? I also thought it was 200 battery changes, but I'm not sure.
Definitely helps to keep them clean and lubed, and, just in case, why not teflon tape!
 

jon_slider

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The Cliff notes version of Unlocking the Programming on a Novatac 120T (or any other non 120P)

Drink Rum (optional but recommended).

1. Turn on the light,
then do 250+ clicks until the light starts flashing,
then hold for one second and stop clicking.
The light will be flashing once per second, this is Option menu 1

2. Click slowly 8 times, which gets you to Option 9,
(the light shows a dim to bright sequence but that does NOT mean the setting is enabled, do NOT Click)

3. HOLD the button down until the light turns off (light turns back on when you release the button)

4. Click off.

Your light is now programmable, pat yourself on the back and drink more Rum.


hints on how to more easily do the 250 click (no need to count)

Turn on light head down on a table, in a dark enough room so you can see the light coming out from the bezel scallops. Press button repeatedly without pause, with index finger, (the light stays ON)
keep clicking until the light starts flashing
it is not necessary to count to 250 and it is not necessary to hold-release the button after the 250 clicks, once you pass 250 instead of the light staying ON, it will be flashing, even if you keep clicking, it keeps flashing)



Next test your ability to

Program Brightness, levels of individual presets.
This includes turning Tactical STROBE OFF or on, also turning bicycle flasher on or off, and also SOS. These blinkies are reached the say way brightness is changed, just keep holding the button past the brightness setting and you get to the blinkies.

1. Turn the light on to whatever preset you want to modify.

2. Do double click HOLD.
Do NOT let go of the button, you MUST HOLD. The light will then step up in brightness while you HOLD the button.

3. When you let go of the button, the light stays on at the new level.

4. Click off, this saves the new brightness setting.

Note this is not the same as modern HDS, where advancing brightness levels requires clicking. With Novatac, HOLD is your friend for selecting brightness, and Hold is also your friend for enabling Option 9.

Hint, if you want to ramp down in brightness, at step 2 of ramping instructions, let go of the button, but DO NOT CLICK. Do double click hold, and keep holding as the light ramps down, then release at desired level, and click off to save.



Customizing the Options Menu

example turning on Last Mode Memory (turns off Force Preset), option 4:

1. Triple click hold release, the light will be flashing on Option 1

2. click 3 times slowly to reach Option 4

3. Press and HOLD until the light turns off (light turns on again when you release the button, this is normal)

4. Click off.

your light now turns on in the last mode used, pat yourself on the back again, and drink more Rum


here is a cheat sheet for all the operation inputs, and what each of the 9 Options Menu choices do:
44240025471_32ea6568a0_b.jpg



Lastly, for now, here is a list of programming presets for a 120T and what to change to make it into a 120P:

stock 120 T configuration:
click = 120 (maximum) lumens
double click = 10 lumens
tripple click = .33
from ON, press = Strobe
from OFF, press = maximum lumens (press uses the Primary mode and momentary)
from OFF, click press = Momentary Strobe
from ON, click press release = Strobe
Momentary, mode 7, ON
Ramping, Mode9, OFF

stock 120 P Presets
click = 11 lumens (set by using double click hold, to ramp up, cycles through strobe and SOS and minimum)
double click = 30 lumens (set by using double click hold, to ramp up, cycles through strobe and SOS and minimum)
tripple click = .33 (set by using double click hold, to ramp up, cycles through strobe and SOS and minimum)
from ON, press = 120 maximum (this is set from click press from on, then double clic hold rising ramp until maximum, indicated by double flash. release at desired level, click turn off.. press level is saved)
from OFF, press = 11 lumens (this is set by Primary mode)
click press = maximum (set by using double click hold, to ramp up, cycles through strobe and SOS and minimum)
Momentary, mode 7, OFF (triple click hold to get to the 9 step option menu, release, click 6 times, hold till light turns off to toggle setting)
Ramping, Mode9, ON (triple click hold to get to the 9 step option menu, release, click 6 times, hold till light turns off to toggle setting)
 
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Lithium466

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I realize I wouldn't be able to program my Novatac by heart anymore...certainly don't want to go through the 250clicks again though! The current HDS are probably more practical.

Off topic, how long is the automatic turn off on a Novatac, 5 or 10 minutes ?
 

jon_slider

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How long is the automatic turn off on a Novatac, 5 or 10 minutes ?

5 minutes, I timed it.

it is controlled by Option 6 (I had to check the cheat sheet ;-) )

Warning, IF anybody has successfully done the 250 click and enabled Programming (option 9), do NOT go back into Option 9 and DISable it, unless you are SURE you dont want to do any more programming. Or you will be locked out of programming, neither double click hold, nor tripple click hold will work anymore, and the 250 clicks wont work either. Your custom presets will be saved at the stage they were at if you DISable Option 9.

If later you change your mind and want to change any presets again, to get the 250 clicks to work again requires a factory reset first.

If you try to do the 250 clicks on a light that you have DISabled Option 9 on, at about click #60 the light just turns off and laughs at you for poking at it.
 
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peter yetman

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Warning, IF anybody has successfully done the 250 click and enabled Programming (option 9), do NOT turn it off unless you are SURE you dont want to do any more programming, or you will be locked out of programming, neither double click hold, nor tripple click hold will work anymore, and the 250 clicks wont work either. To get the 250 clicks to work again requires a factory reset first.
Jon, I'm finding this fascinating, even though i don't have one.
When you say "do NOT turn it off" do you mean the light or Option 9?

Thanks,
Peter
 

jon_slider

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"it" was unclear
I meant Option 9.

I edited my post, please review the edited version, for clarity

thanks for the proofreading and editing feedback ;-)

this page needs more pics!;-)
44333492521_d0a40ae940_h.jpg
 
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bigburly912

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Just wanted to give an update. I had my Novatac programmed again. And after a few days of non use the light is no longer in programming mode. Not sure what's up with it but to me it's not worth the headache getting it set up how you want it. Great light regardless!!
 

jon_slider

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Just wanted to give an update. I had my Novatac programmed again. And after a few days of non use the light is no longer in programming mode. Not sure what's up with it but to me it's not worth the headache getting it set up how you want it. Great light regardless!!

Sorry to hear your Novatac lost its Programming option. I understand and respect, that it is not worth the trouble to you. Novatacs are a gateway to HDS, it seems yours has served its purpose. If you want to part with it, please PM me.


For the sake of others considering a Novatac Unlock, here is my guess as to what might have gone wrong:

I wonder if you meant to do Battery Detect Reset, so you could use CR123 Primaries, and maybe held the button too long, so it did a Factory Reset instead?


I can only think of 2 ways to make a Novatac (non P) revert to Not Programmable, after a successful 250 click unlock.
1. Going into the Options menu and disabling Option 9 (I doubt you did that), or
2. Doing a Factory Reset.



Here is the manual: https://www.hdssystems.com/Products/Legacy/NovaTac/NovaTacUsersGuide.pdf

Battery-Detect-Reset – required to detect battery configuration changes. Perform a soft-reset but while the dim light is on, press and hold the button for 5 seconds until your light dims. Release the button when your light dims. Identified by 5 seconds of bright light followed by dim light. Does not change your settings.

Factory-Reset - restores your light to factory settings, including disabling Tactical Momentary, enabling brightness level ramping, enabling the Option menu and detecting the type of batteries installed. Perform a soft-reset but while the dim light is on, press and hold the button for 10 seconds until your light turns off. Identified by 5 seconds of bright light, 3 seconds of dim light and 2 more seconds of bright light. The settings are now restored to the factory defaults.
——


Note that the Novatac Battery Detect is a 5 second procedure, and a Factory Reset is a 10 second procedure.


I wanted to see if my Novatac SPA 120T would forget its Unlocked status if stored with no battery inside, so I tested one of mine.

1. I have an Unlocked Novatac SPA 120T that has been sitting with No Battery installed for the past week. I just installed a 16340 and the Unlock is still good, the light is still Programmable.

2. I also have an Unlocked Novatac SPA 120T that is my "user", it has had a 16340 battery installed continuously for the past week. It has not forgotten its unlock either.
 

bigburly912

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Considering mine sat in a drawer for three days unused I doubt I did anything to change the programming. It has a tenergy primary in it which is all I use. I don't know what's wrong with it. Appreciate all the help and info you've thrown out there!
 

thermal guy

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Yes it's unfortunate. But Novatac lights are NOT. HDS lights.without Henry at the wheel they never really stood a chance.i had 3-4 of them at one point and all got returned to Henry for replacement. Funny thing about them is not that they broke down but the very weird way/things would go wrong with them.had one that would turn on by itself. I kid you not. Had another one that would not keep ANY setting I put in it.
 

Lithium466

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Not keeping settings (or loosing them after a few days) could be an eeprom problem. Happened in some Audi radios (Bose ?), the radio station was written in an eeprom then read by the microprocessor to adjust accordingly, but with time the eeprom was unable to keep the information stored...so no radio anymore. I think these memory chips have a definite number of write/read cycles.

So far no problem with my Novatacs, but it's true I don't use them much. Had a HDS that was turning on by itself though, very annoying !
 

bigburly912

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Ahh, i have 3 hds lights now i have no need for the novatac, as aggravating as it was I enjoyed the challenge of actually being able to get it into programming mode, and actually programming it to my liking. I just have no idea what I could have done to lose the settings multiple times. It had to have been me, on once occasion i blamed a low battery. It seems when the batteries get low those lights just absolutely hate it.
 
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