Can you provide HMC835 external VCO input (EXT_VCO_P/N) nominal and absolute maximum input power (or swing) for frequencies from 0.5GHz to 4.1GHz.
The EXT_VCO input on the HMC835 must be differentially driven with a signal level between -10dBm and +6dBm.
Please see Figure 36 of the datasheet for the S21 response between EXT_VCO and LO output. Note for frequencies above 2800MHz there will be some attenuation through the device.
Is +6dBm the absolute maximum (component destruction)?
It seems that Figure 36 does not fit the curve provided here: HMC835 external VCO port gain figure up to 4.1GHz
The -10dBm to +6dBm are operating signal levels.
The referenced curve is simulated data with log frequency scale compared to Figure 36 which was measured and plotted with a linear frequency scale. The simulation is a bit high at lower frequencies but matches reasonably well at frequencies above 1GHz. At 3GHz both plots show the gain is around 2dB.
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