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Mytek Controls was created back in 1994, as a product development and consulting company. The main focus initially was in the area of embedded processing and control devices for industrial markets. As a one person company, it never fully took the place of my other employment, but it did give me a better outlet for some of my creativity.

During the early years I landed a consulting gig with a former employer, and helped them develop a new modernized version of one of their existing product lines. I also quickly realized my limitations in various areas, including PID control via embedded system software. But true to my nature, I worked out a Plan "B" in order to make things work in spite of this. And I also made a note to myself to avoid any future projects involving such a requirement, or at least until I felt better able to execute it properly.

As the years passed I delved into video overlay, servo motor control, heat load controllers, and then eventually got back into developing autocascade refrigeration systems (something that I had learned by working for Polycold Systems in the 70's through the 90's).

Simple AM Vacuum Tube Transmitter
In my early teenage years I was quite the tinkerer on mechanical and electronic stuff ranging from trying to build an electric bicycle, to the creation of a vacuum tube AM radio transmitter which I went on the air almost daily for several weeks, broadcasting my own music radio show. Later I got into designing and building vacuum tube audio amplifiers, and then eventually this led into learning about transistors, integrated circuits, and computers as the years passed by. But what I really developed an intuitive sense for, was autocascade refrigeration and blending of the various refrigerant gases that made them work. This all started in 1977, when I first went to work for a company called Marin Tek based in San Rafael, CA.

Marin Tek as it turned out, was the manufacturing arm of Polycold Systems, a company dedicated to making products that replaced liquid nitrogen in various vacuum coating applications. Specifically to do what is called water vapor cryopumping (to hold water in frozen suspension within a vacuum environment). They had only been in business for about 2 years when I joined them as their fifth employee. Marin Tek was formed by 3 individuals; Dale Missimer (Product Design, Marketing & Sales), Rod Sutliff (President & Service Manager), Dave Edwards (Mechanical Engineering & Shop Foreman).

Dale J. Missimer
Dale was the creative genius behind the original Polycold refrigeration units. He had formally been a part of a company called Conrad/Missimer which was later acquired by Bemco. Conrad/Missimer a subdivision of Gulf & Western, specialized in cascade refrigeration environmental test chamber production and development.

In the later years while continuing to work for Gulf & Western, Dale began work on a brand new concept for elimination of LN2 for water vapor cryopumping in some of the new vacuum coating applications that had appeared on the scene. And it was during this time that the name Polycold was created, and the first product bearing this name was born as the model PCT-015 (Polycold Cold Trap 1.5 HP chiller).

Unfortunately by 1974 Gulf & Western decided to pull the plug on PCT unit production. However this also created the opportunity for Dale and his other two partners (Rod & Dave) to launch off on their own. Polycold Systems and Marin Tek were born!

Rod Sutliff
I first came on board with Marin Tek starting at the ground floor so to speak in the Spring of 1977, and learned how to fabricate heat exchanger coils, assemble these into stacks, braze, solder, and wire up the very basic electrical systems at the time. Later I moved into leak test, refrigerant charging, and then eventually into testing. As the years passed, I began to learn more and more about how the autocascade refrigeration system ticked, which under the tutelage of Dale Missimer and his partners Rod Sutliff and Dave Edwards, grew into a deeply ingrained intuitive sense. By 1984 I became the R&D Manager of what had now become Polycold Systems International, a position I held for the next 5 years, and during which time I played a major role in many of the product designs that came out of the company during that period.

By the year 2000, I had parted ways with Polycold, and went off in an entirely different direction, working with industrial electronic control systems. It wasn't until 2006 that I once again got back to my earlier roots, specifically autocascade refrigeration. However this time around I decided to work small, that is to work at making very tiny autocascade systems. My smallest yet being what I call CryoBUG, a unit designed to produce a temperature of -150 °C.

Note: an even smaller unit is in the works, based on a DC inverter variable speed compressor. This newest member of the Mini-Me club has been code named CryoSPRITE.

My current and future plans for Mytek Controls, is to be a design and development company specializing in ultracold refrigeration applications.

Michael St. Pierre
Owner: Mytek Controls