I've put various pulsed CW signals of different pulsewidths and duty cycles, up to and including 100% duty CWs into the ADFMCOMMS8 at power levels up to +18 dBm and I have not been able to observe any obvious damage or degradation of the device. We did not expect this to be the case based on the datasheet and some other forum posts.
I believe I have the device in manual gain control and at its max sensitivity settings (no losses in the input attenuator). Other than concluding my results are valid, my only other hypothesis is that something under the hood is intervening and setting the input attenuator when it sees the large signal to protect the device without my knowledge. I've read back the gain control mode and the gain table setting while applying the large CW signal and they come back as manual and "30 dB" which I understand to be the no attenuation setting with the default gain table.
If my results are valid this is really good news for us, but I don't want to take it to the bank yet since we expected a different result (damage somewhere in the -7 dBm to 0 dBm range). Can you help me sanity check this?