Novatac 120 Tactical, reprogrammed to 120P

imgur Is what I use now. Someone here suggested it. Did some looking for the Gold Navatac today. No luck.

Sorry to hear your Goldie is still AWOL
thanks for suggesting Imgur, the pics in this post are from that site

I just received a Black Novatac 120T, on the right,

and did the 250 click and reprogrammed it to 120P settings:
Preset A is Maximum
Preset B is 11 lumens
Preset C is 33 lumens
Preset D is 0.33 lumens

no strobe
no memory
no momentary mode
battery detection is set for 16340

In the process I discovered that it has a battery surround spring that was stretched too long, and was causing the switch to be unreliable. I fixed the problem by swapping in one of the springs from the other two Novatacs I have atm.

here are the 3 Novas, you can see the springs are not all the same

I also ordered a couple new springs from UniqueTitanium , which are also different than the others pictured

Oh, that is nice one. Looks to be older version. Does it have numbers? Bezel down carry? Your scaring me.

No serial numbers, here is the other side

and the clip would not stay in that position if it was for me. I take clips off. The light is promised to a friend overseas, and he likes clips… I would put the clip under the tailcap, or under the Bezel, but what you see in the second pic in post 27 is just how the light arrived, with the clip between the head and body tube… to me that is Wrong for pocket carry. The light would get flipped out and lost way too easily, with that much tail sticking up.

this setup would be less scary with a lanyard :wink:

or in my pocket! without the regalia

or this would be more my style, I like HatClips

About pocket clips
A very kind member sent me this Original Novatac Pocket clip,

as you can see it is a different style than the one on the red hat, in the above post.

not to look a gift horse in the teeth, just comparisons
the clip shown on the red hat is stiffer and does not flex when gripped, it also does not ride on the knurling, is not split on the ring, and is thicker

the clip shown in this post is lighter, springier, holds tighter to the body, is slightly smaller, does not stick out as far from the body, and weighs less than the clip on the red hat

I am fortunate to have choices, and also very grateful that both clips were gifts.


About bezel mounted clips

Ive carried the Gold Novatac with the clips under the bezel for a while and have a couple pro and con reactions.

I like
the option to clip the light to my hat
that the light wont roll off a table
and the option carry clipped

I dont like
pushing on the crenelated bezel, when Im pocketing the light.
the extra bulk when gripping the light


About Titanium Bezel options

A friend ordered these Titanium bezels from RPM and gave me a chance to check them out:

P/N TI-990-350-SP

P/N TI-990-350-SC6-060

I like the smooth one, it is gentler on my hand when pushing on the bezel, and I have less concern about it chewing a hole in my pocket.

I like the crenelated one too, it is not as sharp as the stock bezel, and I like the option to do this:

I checked if I could still fit a clip under the Titanium Bezel, the answer is yes. I note that the clip on the red hat has a much larger hole, and fits easily over the threads, but the ring also sticks out beyond the body of the light more.

The clip with the step on the blade has a tighter hole, and the fit of the ring is closer to flush with the body. the ring is split so it can be forced to thread onto the bezel (I chose not to do that with the Ti Bezel, but I know it works because the fit is the same as on the stock Gold Bezel).


About Lenses

A new bezel and a new lens go well together :slight_smile:

I use these 22.61mm x 1.90mm UCL Lenses on my Novatacs

I recently bought a couple Novatacs
one of them is a very early model, with Gen1 serial number, made in Tucson

it even has the positive nipple (later a spring), and the rubber anti recoil bumper in the tailcap (later discontinued)

the ano is very mismatched, which I find entertaining… it has a nice stainless bezel, and a really solid first gen clip

It reads 60 lumens max on my meter, and greatly outhrows my FWAA set to 200 lumens… fun times!

more pics in this album

fun historical Novatac promotional flyer
Note Sales office is in Tucson.

Jon I always smile when I see you post one of these. The EDC/Ra/NovaTac lights were great lights in their era and definitely ahead of the curve.

I carried a 120T in Iraq for awhile before gifting before I came back to the US.

thank you for your service
great little tac lights imo
makes me smile too

Nice find! Where’d you pick up that oldie? Rounds out your NovaTac collection. I don’t use mine much anymore these days, as the FW3A edged it out. Comparatively, the programming is difficult. I definitely need a code image handy to go through it. I like how it has a few capabilities not found in Anduril.

Nice collection!
Is this one of the “real” gold plated Novatac, or one of the late yellow anodized (I’d say the later based on the clip)?

Edit : interesting flyer too! I noticed it says “constant power regulation”…must be a very early/pre launch flyer, or they just never bothered to update it…

I think that your mismatched one could be an HDS tailcap. If ‘’NOVATAC’’ is not etched on it, then it’s an HDS tailcap.

its just a Gold anodised Novatac Storm… but it has an SW45k now :slight_smile:

Im not sure the flyer is accurate about constant power… I think Henry has a list of things the Nova is lacking… and that might be one of them… I get confused, the term constant current, instead of constant power, is spinning in my head, but have not verified.

In any case, the light does not flicker, I feel very fortunate to have caught an Oldie but Goodie :slight_smile:

The Gold Spa clip is original to that model, a gift from another member here.

I was mistaken, it is not an HDS tail, though the light was built by Henry/Hogo in Tucson… The tailcap does say Novatac… and Hogo informs the color difference and lack of depth of the Natural Ha3 anodising on the head, is “normal”, for that run.

Im tickled pink by my Nova Family, thank you all for the kind words

Yes, the Novatac are “only” constant current regulated. You got lucky with a non flickering one! All mine eventually flicker at one moment or another, randomly.
Also Henry wasn’t involved in the Novatac building as he left just before they started production, I think?

I really like these old HDS/Novatac, the old HDS particularly have a definite appeal, despite their (now) outdated UI (the programming part)…but all mine are gone now.

I also see flicker on my novatacs, in a couple of different battery conditions

Ive seen flicker pretty consistently when the battery is at about 3.6v. I take that as a low battery warning… If I just draw the cell down a little, for example by using maximum for a moment, that trigger voltage passes, and the flicker goes away. I speculate the flicker is due to the step down circuit being triggered, but happens when the light is on less than maximum.

I also have seen flicker on the lowest mode, usually when the battery goes below 3v. I again take that as a low voltage warning.

And, we know that HDS lights had a flicker issue with the lowest modes, and that is why Henry set them to about level 5, of 0.33 lumens

Despite all that, I still really enjoy the basic 4 mode clicky design of the HDS UI. The tight throwy beam is very efficient. Much brighter in Lux, than the Lumens would suggest.

afaik the First Gen Novas with serial numbers starting with 1xxxx were built in Tucson… I believe Hogo worked for Novatac at that time, And that is how he met Henry, who it seems was still involved… That is also where all the calibration tools were. Henry lives in Tucson, still.

I wish I knew what generation is my NovaTac. It’s one of the SPA Defense engraved ones. No serial #. But it does have the battery shock cushion (gray foam ring). I kept going back & forth on modifying mine, but after the FW3A I’ve decided against sending it off to someone to do (it would cost about two FW3A’s worth!). I’d rather keep it stock, as a reference. At least until the day comes where I’m confident on doing emitter swaps. Then I may go head and replace the original emitter. I’m hoping that at least by then there will be something efficient enough to install that’ll not only have a warm leaning neutral tint, but able to put out at least 500 lumens on turbo with a single emitter. What’s the max right now, about 300?

Henry Schneiker is an interesting guy. Did you see the whole history write-up by Hondo over on CPF? LINK.

> I wish I knew what generation is my NovaTac. It’s one of the SPA Defense engraved ones.

the Novatacs with Serial numbers are before the move to Spa Defense models

there are several generations of Spa also

the ones I look for, have the black bezel, that is actually stainless…
after that,
they went to an aluminium bezel, anodized the color of the light…

The metal changed too, the lights w anodised alum bezels are less heavy, and the knurling is much more agreessive. Neither to my liking.

thats interesting that your Spa has the rubber bumper… Ive never seen that on a Spa, only on the serial numbered Novatacs

the history is twisted, Im just glad the light still works :slight_smile:

One of my steel bezel Spa Novas, modded to sw45k, makes 250 lumens now.

Another with a anodized alum bezel, only makes 90 lumens w sw45k

the original 1st gen Novatac I just got, makes 70 lumens (it is supposed to be a 120 lumen model). I consistently find that Spa novas, and also serialized novas, dont actually make 120 lumens at all, mostly they make about 70 lumens

however, those 70 lumens, focused into the tiny hotspot are brighter on a wall, than 200 floody lumens from my FWAA


I did the 250 clic unlock, and the 120T is now set up as a 120P

the 120P config turns on at 11 lumens instead of maximum output,
and press-hold gives maximum instead of strobe.

love the clever ways the HDS UI can be programmed for different use case scenarios…

thanks for the link, thats a great HDS history writeup

I collected some Novatac History here

I have an early SPA Defense 120P. It’s not the sand/beige color, but the traditional early NovaTac unsaturated olive drab. Knurling looks to match pretty much what you see on original NovaTac 120P’s, not very aggressive but good enough to grip. Yes, it has the stainless steel bezel anodized in black. I also have a spare one in polished stainless steel. I weighed both… 0.17 oz. I weighed the black anodized bezel from my NovaTac Classic, and it came in at 0.076 oz. Yep, that’s aluminum.

The tailcap has “” on it. I think this was from one of the initial batches NovaTac shipped to SPA Defense. It has their logo on it. Also, have the OEM tactical O-ring. It’s not flattened on one side (as is typically done for a tac-ring), but it was selected for a specific size and thickness. I’ve checked with o-ring suppliers and haven’t been able to find an exact match. My spare one is now installed on my FW3A.

Thanks for pointing out about the lower lumens issue. I don’t have a spectrometer or photometer, but using my Thrunite Ti3 V2 with 120 lumens output… looks like mine is around 120 lumens. In fact, it has a noticeably more intense though smaller hotspot than the Thrunite Ti3.

Thanks for the NovaTac history link. I’d read up on Hogokansatsukan’s posts before, but had forgotten about this one. Yeah, pretty cool to get a 1st hand account of NovaTac history. Sad what happened… Just goes to show you how management is more important than the product. They lost a valuable edge. Can you imagine if they’d gotten someone trained to do the programming? Under proper direction, we might’ve ended up seeing something like Anduril back in 2010, rather than 10 years later.

Henry’s UI idea was so leading edge for its time. And so it has a special place. But TBT, I prefer Anduril, as it’s more “intuitive” to my mind. Still, I enjoy the fact that we’ve got a choice. I’ve got a couple of Astrolux S43’s and sort of got the hang of NarsilM. But Anduril is more my speed. Never got a light with Biscotti. Or Eclair. :wink: I did have a Liteflux LFT2x, though. And that has an interesting programmable UI. But I still prefered my NovaTac to it. And got out while the going was good. A light I bought for $40 ended up sold for $150 to a CPF flashaholic that was desperate to have an LFT2x. A month later, someone sold theirs for even more, I think like $190. And it didn’t have the box (mine did, plus papers).

> The tailcap has “”(link is external) on it. I think this was from one of the initial batches NovaTac shipped to SPA Defense.

I invite you to post some pics of your Novatacs…

tailcaps vary a bit, some say made in USA, some do not

some say, others say

still says Novatac on the Head in all cases, but the early serialized models list the model number on the head also, such as 120T and 120P… The spa are all 120T programming… but they can all be unlocked with the 250 click.

HDS still sells the tactical ring btw:

Yes, my tail cap also has “Made in USA” on it, nothing “SPA Defense” at all. Looks like yours on the far left, but with a flat button. I have just one vintage NovaTac. Mine did not come with 120T programming. It came fully as a 120P, no 250 clicks required.

Interesting about the HDS tactical ring. That’s different than what I have, looks wider. And they want… gulp… $16 for it?? OMG.

state of the union

all unlocked and with the same programming: