Novatac Storm the budget version of HDS light?

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trooplewis
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Novatac Storm the budget version of HDS light?

If you look at the poll on CPF, the "most wanted" light is the HDS, it runs anywere from $139-229 depending on models.

At Battery Junction they sell both, the HDS and the Novatac.  Does anyone here have a Novatac Storm?  I'm curious about it, since the form factor and indestructability of the HDS seems to be very popular.

 

You can see both models here

http://www.batterystation.com/sale.htm

 

If you go to Novatac's site, they want $99 for the same thing batteryjunction is selling for $39

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Edited by: trooplewis on 04/20/2011 - 18:22
Don
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The Novatacs are alleged to have issues. But this may be CPF nonsense.

They certainly did reduce the manufacturing costs (and maybe quality) dramatically. It is probably a personal judgement as to whether the compromises were worth it. IMO they probably are. 120 lumens is not a lot by today's standards but as long as the build quality is not too compromised, it probably is well worth $40.

 

But I'm not about to buy one to find out. If someone else does I'd be very glad to hear what they thought about it.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Foy
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They have a 6P LED for $61, not too bad.  I paid $89 for mine some time ago.

Foy

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mizjif
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That gold limited edition a bit further down for $59 is absolutely gorgeous. It was very tempting until Don luckily scared me out of it/gave me a good reason to not purchase another light lol. 

trooplewis
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I guess I'm used to thinking in terms of $$-to-Lumens, and it just sounds like a lot of money for a 120 lumens light.

 

Oh, and those two Surefires a little farther down the page sure look like fake Solarforce lights to me Laughing

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Foy
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Yep; that's what they are.  And, not a very good copy either. Laughing

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trooplewis
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Looking at prices elsewhere, the $40 price at battery junction is a steal.

But I bet my CR123 Romisen is brighter, and smaller.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Match
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I'm thinking the nitecore's that Boaz is selling are smaller/brighter/cheaper....and probably better built.  Just a hunch, as I've no experience with those.

srfreddy
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Henry, the maker of HDS, used to work for Novatac, but quit after they wouldn't go with his designs-he went and created Ra, and the EDC ultimate 60-the most modernest coolest 60 lumen pocket rocket ever! Cool

Match
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srfreddy wrote:

Henry, the maker of HDS, used to work for Novatac, but quit after they wouldn't go with his designs-he went and created Ra, and the EDC ultimate 60-the most modernest coolest 60 lumen pocket rocket ever! Cool

You used 60 Lumen and "pocket rocket" in the same sentence?  Really???

srfreddy
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Hey, that was back.... lets see.... 2005? That was the best of the best....

srfreddy
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Thats how many start the hobby... but I've realized that I will pay much more for high quality lumens, User interface, and output levels. High quality lumens: Good beam quality, floodiness, neutral, and if I press the switch, I know light will come out. User interface: Is it intuitive? Output levels: are there many useful output levels, without noticable PWM? 

Thats the reason why I will pay $100 for a 720 lumen light, and $55 for a 320 lumen EDC. And probably $60 on a 130/170 lumen zebralight headlamp....I don't need five bazillion cheap lights-I want a variety of high quality lights, with good bang for the buck, that satisfy all my needs. (Yeah right....) 

mizjif
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After purchasing lights like my 4sevens Qmini CR2, stainless steel Maratac AAA, and my Fenix TK35, I can agree with you srfreddy. 

 

However, this website and its members have shown me the joys of these budget lights, especially the modding and diy direction that I can take with it Smile And when you find a nice quality budget light, its extra satisfying. 

srfreddy
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Yep, and the L2m with Manafont XML is pretty....*turn on* *cackles maniacly at light output* for the siz. 

okwchin
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Its the awesome UI and the programmable driver that your buying. I ordered a storm several months ago for $50 from GG, but it was lost in the mail....

I recently bought a 120P second hand, and in the hand its a fat torch, but the electronic switching is awesome. The driver is just really well designed!. The parasitic drain is the lowest I've ever measured! 3.8uA at 3.7V. The low draws 8mA for 0.08 lumens, 11mA for 0.5 lumens. 700mA on max for 120 lumens. All at 3.9V, which is what I think I measured it at. The main feature is the proportionately reducing draw down to 1 lumen, with a small overhead noticable below this. The V10R goes lower, but it still draws 30 mA doing so.

Im currently running mine off 18650s, and with a trustyfire 2200mA, I can expect 10 days straight running on moonlight, and on a (low) maximum of 120 lumens, I can still get 3 clean hours of runtime. This is all on a old seoul emitter.

Mechanically the led sits in a large block of aluminium, which has a very large flat thermal contact area against the head of the torch. I.E. thermal pathway is very close to perfect. When I get my XM-Ls this will be modded. I would like to see how many lumens I can get, hopefully pushing the 250 lumen mark.

UI is equally awesome, 4 brightness modes each of which have shortcuts straight to them, each level programmable in brightness, and as a strobe/beacon/sos. With all the other extras in the programming menu, such as quick access strobe/beacon/sos, momentary function on the switch, battery cutoff, low level background flash locator to help find the torch at night, and maybe a couple more. Importantly the programming feels quite intuitive.

The storm can be cracked into a 120P with a 250 click sequence. There are documented cases where this has been done.

The 17670 tubes can be had for under $5 from light hound. I just machined out the inside by a mm or two and with some paper as an insulator I got my 18650s to work.

I think some members of CPF dont like the novatacs, especially the newer "consumer" run (the storm, classic, special ops, wichita), becasue they were outsourced to china for production to keep the cost down for their while the 120P, E, T, are still made in the US. The price reflects the costs of manufacturing, but the default opinion is that china must be worse.... 

 

Well if your after a torch with a very functional and well thought out UI and a very complete programming UI then you should give such a torch a go, but if all you want is just output/$$ and the normal click through UI is sufficient then this isn't the torch for you.

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

srfreddy
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It depends. A guy on CPF mods, I'm not sure what he does, but he usually gets 300-600 lumens. 

okwchin
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srfreddy wrote:

It depends. A guy on CPF mods, I'm not sure what he does, but he usually gets 300-600 lumens. 

 

Its the XM-L mod which some people claim to do 600 lumens, We all know some people like to talk up the numbers, and sometimes its true! But I haven't done the mod myself yet, so im not going to believe it till I see it. The torch draws 700mA at 3.9V on my measurement. Given that the emitter was originally designed to take 700mA max, Im assuming that the driver is also designed to 700mA. I Don't know how the driver will react to a higher Vf of the XM-L, but assuming it still tries to push 700mA, we can only expect 250+ lumens from an XM-L. Maybe the driver will push more than 700mA but im yet to find out, but I don't expect it to be much more than that, I want to be pleasantly surprised Wink

 

( I havent yet read the stuff on CPF mods so im assuming that all ill be doing is an emitter swap)

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

srfreddy
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You mean lower vF? Which means...i have no idea, since all the HDS lights are calibrated for at the exact lumen level (120), and have more than one hour of runtime. Everything else is rejected. 

BlueBeam
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There seems to be a pretty fair review of this torch here http://www.light-reviews.com/novatac_storm/ although he doesn't cover everything...like does this thing have last mode  memory????

I really like the UI, it seems very quick to navigate the modes and will be very nice if it has last mode memory and it is even nicer to know the programming can be unlocked! I will be buying one!!!

I will also say the NiteCore's Boaz is selling are very nice too and a great buy...I love mine!

Budgeteer
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Match wrote:

I'm thinking the nitecore's that Boaz is selling are smaller/brighter/cheaper....and probably better built.  Just a hunch, as I've no experience with those.

Im very inclined to agree with the post above but then again i have absolutely no 1st hand experience with any of those.

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okwchin
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okwchin wrote:

srfreddy wrote:

It depends. A guy on CPF mods, I'm not sure what he does, but he usually gets 300-600 lumens. 

 Its the XM-L mod which some people claim to do 600 lumens, We all know some people like to talk up the numbers, and sometimes its true! But I haven't done the mod myself yet, so im not going to believe it till I see it. The torch draws 700mA at 3.9V on my measurement. Given that the emitter was originally designed to take 700mA max, Im assuming that the driver is also designed to 700mA. I Don't know how the driver will react to a higher Vf of the XM-L, but assuming it still tries to push 700mA, we can only expect 250+ lumens from an XM-L. Maybe the driver will push more than 700mA but im yet to find out, but I don't expect it to be much more than that, I want to be pleasantly surprised Wink

 

Well I just did the mod... And I'm willing to bet I get 600+ lumens.

Old setup with the luxeon emitter had a tailcap measurement of 700mA, Now I get 2.95-3.05A tailcap draw at 3.9V. Should have done this LONG ago!! Its also a Beautifully smooth beam with an AWESOME tint. These photos show quite well the differences in tint, and how things appear. On my screen anyway it shows the tint difference beautifully, and its pretty close to what is seen to my eyes (ymmv... this is my screen vs what I see)

 

Heres some beamshots of the final product, although I havent got any beamshots of the before (luxeon), it was very close to the output beam pattern and output of my GDP EX10.

 

Pictures uploaded - 

*Just noticed that the bathroom light was turned on... so the lights from the windows look alot brighter - making it feel like the exposure settings were changed, but they are all the same still. The improvement was really as significant as the photo suggests! (mouse over for other pic)

 

 

And heres a 4 way comparison

(M60R *800 emitter lumens quoted) - (EX10 GDP *120 lumens (similar to original 120P))

(120P with XM-L 5tint T4 mod) - (R5A3 on 14500 (which other BLF tests have suggested to be in the high 200+ lumen region?)

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

Match
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Excellent upgrade, okwchin...and it looks like a nice improvement to the tint as well!

Foy
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okwchin - Is that mouse-over trick hard?

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Flashlight Foy wrote:

okwchin - Is that mouse-over trick hard?

wouldliketoknowhowtodoitFoy

Quote the message and choose filtered HTML as input format and you can see how it's done. 

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Tas62
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Flashlight Foy wrote:

 Is that mouse-over trick hard?

When you open the "Add Image" window, click 'Advanced' and you'll see the 'Alternative Image' tools. Don't forget to tick the 'Alternative image' box.

Vectrex
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Flashlight Foy wrote:

okwchin - Is that mouse-over trick hard?

wouldliketoknowhowtodoitFoy

I wrote a little how-to back when I discovered the function... maybe it is time to write a full how-to in a separate article.

E1320
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Wow I should tell you guys Amazon has these for $17 plus $5 shipping unless I buy the rest of them...................hmmmmm.

http://www.amazon.com/NovaTac-120ST-Storm-LED-Flashlight/dp/B003GAEZL6

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

okwchin
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Will someone please buy the black one for me and ship it to me in australia???

 

I'm really itching to get another XM-L mod going! Its seriously an awesome flood light with super smooth beam. The neutral XM-Ls from cutter are equally awesome!

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

Match
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I just tried.  Even though amazon showed 2 left in stock, at check-out it said they were all sold out.  Sorry mate.

okwchin
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Awww.... thanks for the thought!

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

E1320
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They are still in stock for $23 plus $5 shipping through amazon at anime_castle.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000PHX4P6/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=...

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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