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Thread: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Ok so I've been reading here and there for the right kind of rechargeable battery to use in my 120p, and I just can't find any information other than to use a li-ion rechargeable 4.2 v battery.
    I see there are lots of NovaTac owners out there. So, what is everybody using in their lights.
    Primarys are fine except that my 120p drops down to a lower power level after the battery gets a little discharged.
    I mostly use it on a lower setting but I'd like full power when I want to use the brightest setting.

    With li-ion's I could just charge it up every couple of days and always have max brightness when I need it.

    Should I use 14650 non protected since the 120p has a proection circut?
    I believe this is the one to use.

    That say you NovaTac owners.
    Last edited by dmonay; 01-23-2009 at 02:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* tx101's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    I just use AW's RCR123 cells

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Howdy dmonay,
    As tx101 said, you want to get a good quality lithium-ion cell. Buy ONLY cells with the protection circuit built in. While the NovaTac does indeed have a low voltage detection/stepdown/ and cutoff circuit built in, that will only protect against low voltage, not short circuit or over charging, so it's VERY important to buy only the protected cells.

    Here is a link to CPF member AW's thread where he sells both the cells AND the charger:
    http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...d.php?t=187951

    This is what you want: - Protected R123A ( 750 mAH ) ----- $ 6.00 each

    You will also need a charger. The WF-139 Ultrafire model that AW sells is probably fine for your use. It requires the use of spacers to fit in the slots with the short batteries, and those spacers are included with the charger.

    However, if you have the cash, here is an even better charger:
    http://www.flashlightz.com/product.php?product=171829

    It is available for a bit less through a CPF group buy, but the cutoff date is 1-25-09 so you would have to hurry to get in on that:
    http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...d.php?t=188693

    And finally, if you are not familiar with lithium-ion battery technology, you might want to read up on it first as it can be somewhat dangerous if not used with care:
    http://www.batteryuniversity.com/

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Derek Dean, thanks for the info on the battery for the NovaTac. I thought because the 120p had a protection circuit it would problematic with a protected battery (I thought I read that here on CPF once) in some flashlight models with a built in protection circuit.
    But the overcharge and short circuit protection makes perfect sense!
    Thank you for that good info

    And yes I was planning to buy an AW battery and charger. I've looked at the AW139 and the Pila IBC among others trying to figure out which is best for the money. And I did see the group buy on the Pila. Also Lighthound has a good tutorial on battery's on his web site.
    I've seen the thread on the exploding batteries here and I'v read MANY threads on the +/-'s of Li-ion batteries. I work around automotive batteries so I understand the dangers of batteries venting explosive gasses. I've seen a few explode due to negligence (not mine) and some minor injuries.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by dmonay View Post
    Primarys are fine except that my 120p drops down to a lower power level after the battery gets a little discharged.
    This has nothing to do with the battery. This is the thermal protection circuit stepping down the brightness in order to cool the light. This will happen with rechargeables too.

    This is my main beef with the NovaTac, won't go for more than 5 minutes on high without a thermal step-down.

    You might want to look at the Ra Clicky. The Clicky will stay on full brightness for over an hour with no thermal step-down even if you are not holding on to the light to cool it. The features and UI are very similar to the NT, so you'll feel right at home.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    I;ve been using AW's RCR123's for about a year now, and just got a WF139 charger. The nano charger worked fine but took a lot longer. I just bought 2 batteries, and when i wanna charge, i just put the other one in the light, keeps them nicely rotated. I'd say I charge every week or 2 and haven't had any problems yet.
    List of flashlights that used to be here has been removed (by me) to save our search function. NOW USE IT.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by LLCoolBeans View Post
    This has nothing to do with the battery. This is the thermal protection circuit stepping down the brightness in order to cool the light. This will happen with rechargeables too.

    This is my main beef with the NovaTac, won't go for more than 5 minutes on high without a thermal step-down.
    Hmmmmm...... while the NovaTac does indeed include a thermal protection circuit (a nice feature), I've never seen it activate on my 120P.

    More than likely what dmonay is seeing when his light steps down is the low voltage circuit kicking in. This is one of the many wonderful features this light has, and it's designed to make sure you are not left in a situation where your light suddenly goes dark because the battery is depleted.

    On my light this kicks in at about 3.3 volts (after about 28 minutes at 120 lumens max output) with an RCR123 rechargeable cell. I'll then get between 15-20 more minutes of flat regulated runtime before it begins gradually stepping down to lower levels, finally going into a slow pulsing strobe feature at the end that will last for quite a while......... making sure that even in an extreme situation I will still have at least a bit of light.

    LLCoolBeans, I wonder if you are getting such short runtime on high because you haven't done a battery reset? It's important to tell the light whether you're using a primary or rechargeable cell so it knows when to activate the low voltage step down circuit. I think most owners would agree that your short max runtime is unusual.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Dean View Post
    LLCoolBeans, I wonder if you are getting such short runtime on high because you haven't done a battery reset? It's important to tell the light whether you're using a primary or rechargeable cell so it knows when to activate the low voltage step down circuit. I think most owners would agree that your short max runtime is unusual.
    I am well aware of the battery detect reset. I'm surprised you have not noticed an extremely short runtime before thermal step-down on the 120lm setting. I thought this was a well know drawback of the 120 series. Do you have one of the 85lm models maybe? (EDIT: reread your post, apparently you do have a 120. Huh, maybe you're just lucky.)

    This happened to me the first day I used my NT over a year ago. I tried to take the dogs for a walk and found the NT to be nearly useless as it would not run for more than 5 minutes or so on the 120lm setting before thermal protection would kick in. The setting it drops down to is not bright enough for dog walking (in my opinion).

    Someone else want to back me up on this?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Honestly this is the first I've heard of this problem. I'd be upset too, but I don't think this is typical behavior for these lights.

    Seems to me that somehow the thermal path to the body has been compromised in your light, causing the thermal protection to do it's job and step down. I would certainly contact NovaTac and get it fixed.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* LLCoolBeans's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Dean View Post
    Honestly this is the first I've heard of this problem. I'd be upset too, but I don't think this is typical behavior for these lights.
    Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree for now, until I can ether find a thread where this is mentioned or someone else chimes in. I was under the impression that this is normal, and just a fact of life with the NT 120s.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Dean View Post
    I would certainly contact NovaTac and get it fixed.
    Naa, she's going under surgery this weekend anyway. I'm upgrading her with one of the SSC high-CRI emitters. I guess I'll find out for sure if there is something funky going on, once I get in there.

    I don't think I'm real high on their buddy list anyway.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=213286

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* jimmy1970's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by LLCoolBeans View Post
    Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree for now, until I can ether find a thread where this is mentioned or someone else chimes in. I was under the impression that this is normal, and just a fact of life with the NT 120s.




    Naa, she's going under surgery this weekend anyway. I'm upgrading her with one of the SSC high-CRI emitters. I guess I'll find out for sure if there is something funky going on, once I get in there.

    I don't think I'm real high on their buddy list anyway.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=213286
    I ran my Novatac 120T last night for 15 minutes on 120 lumens on a CR123 and it did not step down output at all (Middle of summer here in Oz). I then turned the light off and back on 5 minutes later for another 10 minutes on the 120 lumens setting and it remained the same brightness for that period of time also.

    Something is not right if your light thermally steps down after only 5 minutes (I agree that would indeed be useless particularly if the thermal step down resulted in so little output as to render it useless for walking the dog).

    I have also never heard of this 'problem' in other Novatacs.

    James....

  12. #12
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    LL COOL BEANS in this case Derek Dean is right, I just tested it and when I access max out put (120 lumens), my light steps down in about 2 seconds. Also I haven't used it in about 9 hours. So the battery is just a little low. I just threw a volt meter across the battery terminals and is sitting at 2.93 volts. Its a cr123a tenergy primary.
    I've only had this light for 3 months and so far I haven't run my light on 120 lumens for more than a minute or so, so this is not an issue yet/if ever for me. But i'd like to have 120 lumens when I need it with out worrying if the battery is too low.
    Btw anybody notice if after battery removal, if you don't tighten the ends down fairly tight it doesn't make contact with the battery and turn on. Mine is like that and I usually have to really tighten it to make it work.

    I really like this light.

    Its a great little edc.

    Thanks for all the comments and great information everybody.
    Any other tips or comments on the NovaTac are welcome.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by dmonay View Post
    Any other tips or comments on the NovaTac are welcome.
    PM sent.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    another vote for AW Cr123 rechargeables
    i have 5 of them - i swap them over once a month (a heavy use month will have it stepped down one level)
    flashlight collector by day
    flashlight user by night

  15. #15
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    In case anyone is wondering why this thread hasn't been moved to the Batteries section, it is because this question is very much to do with the light itself, not just the cell, although the cell type is very relevant too.

    It's one of those threads that is borderline as to where it belongs, but for the time being I think it belongs here in LED Flashlights.
    Resistance is futile...

  16. #16

    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    I don't know if it applies to NovaTac as well but my EDC U60 would step down with recharabale 3.0 protected batteries. I haven't had that happen with unprotected 3.6 batteries. YMMV.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: NovaTac Rechargeable Batteries

    DM51: I pondered where to start this thread. Here on in the battery section, and for the same reasons as you I put it here. I figured if you thought it did not belong here you would move it.
    Either way it's fine by me.

    The people here at CPF have been great with their answers. Thanks!!
    Last edited by dmonay; 01-25-2009 at 03:21 AM.

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