Novatac: Legends Never Die

ten5three

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Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
68
Novatac 120 gutted and brought into the modern age.

Custom half-hard brass internals and McClicky adapter
H17Fx Driver with lucidrv2 UI
80+ CRI 3000K Domeless XP-L HI
Sapphire Ultra-clear Lens
McClicky Switch with Hard-press boot
Darksucks Ti Clip
Custom mixed Gray/Green Cerakote

Lowest low barely lights the emitter. High is around 600lms (estimated via ceiling bounce compared with other 500-600lm lights).

No more Novatac retaining ring issues, no more lube issues, and no more contact spring. Runs on primaries, 16340, or 18350 (protected or unprotected).

Beam pattern is still that great smooth transition ringless spot/spill that was always great about Novatac’s, but now throw is around 150-200 yards.

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zeroair

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Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
130
Excellent mod. I love it.
Novatac 120 gutted and brought into the modern age.
Custom half-hard brass internals and McClicky adapter
Where'd you get this bit ^ ?

Would you do this as a service, or could you do the parts and send them out? I would love to have any of my novatacs "fixed".
 

sqelch

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Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
1
Very nice. wish I could find one of these or someone would make a clone of them. One 60mm longer to take 18650s would be sweet too.
 

Stress_Test

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
1,031
Dang, now THAT'S an upgrade! The bezel-mounted clip looks interesting, but if I carried it in my pocket like that, I'd always be putting a big fingerprint on the lens everytime I reached for it.
 

ten5three

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
68
Excellent mod. I love it.

Where'd you get this bit ^ ?

Would you do this as a service, or could you do the parts and send them out? I would love to have any of my novatacs "fixed".

Thanks! I don’t offer any kind of service, but I could definitely reproduce it. I machined the brass parts to make it work. I was actually trying to come up with a way to make a few parts that you can just drop a new driver and emitter into with no soldering so anyone could do it. Shouldn’t be hard. No other modification to the body is needed. I turned off the little lip on the tailcap side of the body, but it’s not needed. Really a simple swap if you have the brass parts.
 

zeroair

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Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
130
Thanks! I don’t offer any kind of service, but I could definitely reproduce it. I machined the brass parts to make it work. I was actually trying to come up with a way to make a few parts that you can just drop a new driver and emitter into with no soldering so anyone could do it. Shouldn’t be hard. No other modification to the body is needed. I turned off the little lip on the tailcap side of the body, but it’s not needed. Really a simple swap if you have the brass parts.

I would be exceptionally interested in some drop in parts like you have described here. One set at the least.
 

elzilcho

Enlightened
CPF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
334
Same. I would love to update my Novatac.

When you say it runs on primaries, what does that mean? I've yet to find a version of the H17Fx driver that outputs more than about 10 lumens. Not looking for hundreds but 60 or so would be enough for true usability in a pinch.
 

ten5three

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Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
68
Same. I would love to update my Novatac.

When you say it runs on primaries, what does that mean? I've yet to find a version of the H17Fx driver that outputs more than about 10 lumens. Not looking for hundreds but 60 or so would be enough for true usability in a pinch.

It won’t run the first three lowest levels, or anything above level 12, but will run up to around level 11 or 12. Just depends on the driver. Some of them like a little more ground than others. A lot depends heavily on the cell too. At 3V battery monitoring kicks everything down and keeps kicking down brightness as the primary depletes until you get to the lowest brightness levels.

Another great driver option is the Copper and Current 15VP v5 (if you can manage to grab one before they sell out). I managed to pick a few up about a week ago. Input voltage is 0.9-4.2V. It will run on just about anything you can fit in the tube. Great UI with current regulation across all 24 of its brightness levels. I’ll be sticking one in an old Nova as well.
 
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ten5three

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Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
68
I would be exceptionally interested in some drop in parts like you have described here. One set at the least.

Same here!


Sent from Tapatalk

Please put my name on the listing if there is any.


I’m going to try to come up with a plug and play option. Have no idea on timeframe, but if it happens I’ll post it. For now, if you want to just use your nova again, I can’t stress enough how much of a difference just a simple emitter swap helps. It’s night and day, especially with a 319A/T or XP-L Hi (even better). Amazing difference and the same great HDS type UI. It’s a good option until if/when a full on easy driver/emitter swap option is out there.
 

ten5three

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Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
68
A little Prometheus FDE clicky boot action:

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Dang, now THAT'S an upgrade! The bezel-mounted clip looks interesting, but if I carried it in my pocket like that, I'd always be putting a big fingerprint on the lens everytime I reached for it.

You can always run the clip the other direction:

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ten5three

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Nov 15, 2011
Messages
68
I think I’ve figured out a way to make the parts easily installed by anyone. But, that would still require the end user to take the light all the way apart (removing the bezel ring, removing the battery tube from the head, and removing the head retaining ring, and tailcap retaining ring). It’s not impossible, or even hard, depending on the model you have. All the original Novatac 120’s come apart pretty easily and the only tools required are small needle-nose pliers, or a retaining ring tool. But, if you have any of the Novatac/SPA models, the head/battery tube has red loctite holding it together. Same with the retaining rings and bezel ring. Again, not impossible, I take them apart all the time, at least 10-15 of them. It can be challenging though. At the very minimum you’d need two strap wrenches, a pair of vise grips, a little oil, and a lot of elbow grease.

Once the light is completely taken apart installing the parts would be as easy as dropping them in, reinstalling the head and tailcap retaining rings, and bezel ring. If you wanted to do it 100% by yourself you’d still have to solder the +\- leads from the driver to the LED MCPCB, or you could specify what driver and LED you’d want and I could pre-solder them for you (then everything would drop in as mentioned above).

I’ve already tested the proof of concept with a 15VP r5 Calypso2 driver and 90+ CRI Nichia 319A/T on a 16mm MCPCB and it’s fully functional. However, I made the parts by hand on a manual lathe, if others wanted the “kit” I would want to have the parts made at a machine shop so I wouldn’t have to make the parts from scratch. If there is enough interest, I would definitely consider it. If there are only a few folks interested, I can probably just make the parts myself. I will post pictures of the final proof of concept as well.
 
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ten5three

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Nov 15, 2011
Messages
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The McClicky tailcap adapter has stayed the same, no change was needed for it to be a direct replacement. The change happened in the head side. The pill holds the driver on one side and emitter MCPCB on the other side. Both are recessed in a shouldered hole that fit them exactly. The recessed hole is just deep enough to expose a couple thou of the emitter and driver. On the emitter side of the pill, the MCPCB is pressed up agains the heads existing internal ring. On the driver side, the exposed part of the driver is pressed up against the bottom shoulder of the spacer ring. That is all held in place by the original head retaining ring. Pretty simple actually. Everything is strong and tight with no solder needed to hold the emitter MCPCB or driver board in place. A spring or button battery contact can be used on the driver, and button or flat top cells can be used. Essentially, there are three main pieces; the emitter/driver pill, the shouldered spacer ring, and the McClicky adapter. The rest are original Novatac parts.

Again, the hardest part of the whole process is getting the light apart if you have a Novatac/SPA version. Once that’s accomplished, it all just drops in, tighten it down, put in a battery, and you’re off.
 
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a1sealbeach

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Jul 9, 2019
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SoCal
I got SPA version and it wasn't that bad to take apart. Thanks for your encouragements. I got some help from strap wrench and solvent too. So I think I am ready for next level. Let me know what is available choice on emitters and drivers. And my old shacking hand always gave me a trouble on soldering, I might have to ask you if I can get the head as complete drop-in rather than separate pieces. Thanks.
https://imgur.com/3KmeEpE
3KmeEpE

3KmeEpE

3KmeEpE

3KmeEpE
 
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ten5three

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
68
I got SPA version and it wasn't that bad to take apart. Thanks for your encouragements. I got some help from strap wrench and solvent too. So I think I am ready for next level. Let me know what is available choice on emitters and drivers. And my old shacking hand always gave me a trouble on soldering, I might have to ask you if I can get the head as complete drop-in rather than separate pieces. Thanks.
https://imgur.com/3KmeEpE
3KmeEpE

3KmeEpE

3KmeEpE

3KmeEpE

Good to hear about the SPA not giving you problems. They can definitely be a pain sometimes. I’ll make a note of your interest. If we get a few more people that are interested (maybe 5-10) it would be worth having a machine shop make the parts. As for the soldering, it wouldn’t be a whole head that you’d receive. The emitter/driver pill would just come pre-installed with whatever emitter and driver you choose. As for emitter driver options, the only two drivers I would suggest using right now would be the H17FX lucidrv2 or the 15vP v5 Calypso. The H17Fx is a little more user friendly and has more useful features (in my opinion) but the input voltage range for the 15vP is 0.9-4.2V. So with the 15vP you have more battery options. That said, the 15vP is rather hard to come by as it only comes in stock every so often. The H17Fx is readily available. For emitters I’d recommend the Samsung 351D, Nichia 319A/T, Domeless XP-L Hi, or good old Nichia 219B. All produce the same great seamless beam profile. The XP-L Hi offer great spill, but out throws them all, it’s probably my favorite of the bunch for overall usability. The 351D and 319A/T are great for an “EDC” type setup where you’re doing close up work, or don’t need more throw than 100 yards or so.
 

a1sealbeach

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Jul 9, 2019
Messages
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Location
SoCal
I am fine with H17FX driver, since plan to use only 1x16350. And either driver is already sophisticated enough compare to stock. But my choice of emitter is domeless XPL-HI V3 5000k Neutral White.
 

zeroair

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Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
130
Just restating my interest in this! And bumping.... :)

If we get a few more people that are interested (maybe 5-10) it would be worth having a machine shop make the parts.

I wonder what we're up to now? I am interested in probably 2 (but no more than 3) depending on how it lays out.

it wouldn’t be a whole head that you’d receive.

Suits me.

As for emitter driver options, the only two drivers I would suggest using right now would be the H17FX lucidrv2 or the 15vP v5 Calypso.

Love the h17f so that's a hard yes for me. I haven't had a 15vP but I have a feeling it's also great. I would be into that as well.

I’d recommend the Samsung 351D, Nichia 319A/T, Domeless XP-L Hi, or good old Nichia 219B.

Yes to any of those, but particularly yes to warmer-than-4500K Nichia 219b, and also 4000K Cree XP-L HI. But I wouldn't say no to any of those 4. If given my choice I'd likely buy one 219b and one 4000K XP-L HI.
 
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