Arnold Frisch

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Arnold (Arnie) Frisch (? - 12 Dec 2019) was a graduate of the stellar Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now part of New York University).

In 1962, Arnie, along with Morris Engelson (1935 - ) and Larry Weiss (1936-2018), started Pentrix Corporation in Brooklyn.

Pentrix made spectrum analyzer plug-ins for Tektronix oscilloscopes initially to get funds to develop a stand alone spectrum analyzer of their own. In the early 1960s, Tektronix made little except oscilloscopes and a few related products. Spectrum analyzers are different from oscilloscopes. They are designed to show the amplitude of a signal versus frequency, as opposed to amplitude versus time.

Tek had almost no experience in the radio frequency world of spectrum analyzers and needed to avoid becoming a one-product company.

Arnie was probably involved in just about every spectrum analyzer at Tektronix until about 1972.


  • In April 1964, Tektronix bought Pentrix for 30,002 shares of Tektronix stock, and the three New Yorkers joined Tektronix at the Sunset South Plant, Building 81 in June 1964. It was a culture jolt for both.
  • The stand alone spectrum analyzer Pentrix had aimed for became the 491 in August 1966.
  • In Sept 1969, Arnie is Program Manager of Spectrum Analyzers & Generators on the third floor of Building 50 (Technical Center)
  • In November 1979, Arnie was in “Staffing Staff” in Building 55 in probably in preparation for starting a new business unit, CBI (Computer Based Instruments).
  • In March 1986, Arnie was listed as CBI Administration in Building 02 [(45.49308 -122.81496)]
  • In July 1987, Arnie was back in Building 50, third floor, in Tek Labs Staff.
  • In Aug 1989, he was in ESL Engineering, still in Building 50. ESL is Electronic Systems Laboratory
  • In Mar 1991, Arnie was listed as being in ESL Engineering.
  • In Jul 1994, Sep 1995, Jan 1996, and Aug 1998 he was listed in Building 50, but the these directories no longer listed responsibilities along with phone numbers.
  • Arnie left Tek after 1998, but did not leave electronics. He went on to work at Intel on advanced ICs in Hillsboro, OR.
  • Arnie Frisch, a legend around Tektronix, died December 12, 2019.