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About"PULSAR"

How We Got Started In This Business

We launched our business in 1988 under the name "DynaArt Designs" in the high-desert of California as graphic art design studio...

In 1992, a new client hired me to create a color magazine ad for some real snooty "fancy living" type magazine. When the job was finished, he invited me to tour his facilities, showing me exactly what's involved in doing what I would otherwise call a very boring business. However, to keep relations good, I looked interested in what he was showing me.

Not to bore you, but an important event happened at that time. This guys operation revolved around silk-screening images onto a special type of paper. He showed me how the image is first printed onto the paper via a silk-screen frame and left to dry. Then the paper was put in water. About 1 minute later, the image floated off. All of a sudden a little light went off in side my little pea-brain and all I could do is ask him if I could have a few sheet of this paper, in that I had an experiment I had to try immediately!

I sped home, grabbed an iron and ran it over the paper. As I was hoping, nothing happened. This was a good test because it meant that the paper could be run through a laser printer without the water-soluble "glue" coating being activated. I proceeded to set up the computer to print a test image, crossed my fingers and ran a sheet of this "mystery paper" through the laser printer. It started to jam, but I was able to grab the leading edge and "help" it through the printer.

The printed image looked like it was printed on regular paper. I laid the image over a piece of cleaned copper circuit board, then placed the hot iron over the back of the paper. I was hoping the heat would make the toner re-fuse to the copper surface. After a few minutes of ironing the back of the paper, I put both the copper laminated "circuit board" and the paper into a tray of water and waited with extreme anticipation for the result.

As I stared at the board for what seemed like an eternity, the paper finally slid away from the board and it worked! The black toner image was "fused" to the copper surface!

We in the hobby electronics arena had known for years that toner would make what we call, a great "etch resist" (meaning you can mask off an area of metal with this black toner and it would protect the copper underneath it.) Well, that realization just came to fruition... this was a marketable product!

I started working on developing some "techniques" to make this trick work all of the time. I worked at night writing and designing a product cover, looking for vendors for this special "magic" paper as well as developing an entirely new business shell. One of the big hurdles to get over was to find a company that would believe in me to experiment with some lighter weight papers to be coated. The entire process to formulate this new business took about three months from start to finish.

How The Business Grew:

We discovered the "power of the pen" and was amazed at how well it works. I'm speaking of freelance magazine articles. There aren't many things in life that are a 4-way "win/win/win/win" situation. The most you ever hear about is "win/win". The 4-way win is simply started by sending your product out to as many magazine editors you can find that would be relevant to the product. I was after free publicity for two reasons: 1) they're free and 2) the reader gets automatic "peace of mind" the product is good since it's not an advertisement. The whole process starts with an enclosed letter to the editor asking him to forward this sample product to one of his freelance writers... that's all you have to do to get the ball rolling! Here's how everybody wins. It's great!

1) The freelance WRITER gets paid for his article about something new.
2) The EDITOR wants articles that will make his magazine sell
3) The READER is made aware of a new product that must be purchased
4) The MANUFACTURER, well he gets 3 instead of one:

[a] The phone immediately starts ringing
[b] Instant "credibility of the product" which attracts dealers
[c] Free advertising! You couldn't afford multi-page ads the size of an article!

Another interesting thing we did was to ensure total "customer satisfaction". A trick I learned from Charles Tandy (Radio Shack). He used to say to us young, pimple-faced, store manager kids back in the early 70's, "If a customer knows his money is not at risk, he'll buy with confidence and come back to buy again... always accept refunds and returns!"

Current Business Situation:

Up to just a short time ago, we were strictly an electronics oriented business, catering to hobbyist, the "midnight engineer", prototype PCB professional and higher education. Over the years we've always asked our customers for their ideas for other uses for this paper. We compensated every good idea with free "transfer paper" packs, and we just kept collecting ideas. Finally, in the beginning of 2003, we started a major project to perfect decal making. It's taken almost 2 full years, but we have finally broken the code on how to make white, full color and metallic decals without any permanent "carrier" or overcoat spray... something that has never been done before!

Frank Miller
Owner & CBW "PulsarProFX"