It depends on the type of mixer you are using. Usually, increasing the LO by a few dB can result in a slight, few dB, improvement in the 1 dB compression. However, further increase in the LO level tends to result in increasingly unpredictable mixer behavior and the 1 dB compression will not be increased further. This trend would certainly be the case for any standard double or triple balanced mixer available on the market today…with one exception! The Marki Microwave T3 mixer family, to our knowledge, is the only mixer available in the world whose 1 dB compression point actually improves with LO drive over a huge range of LO drive. A simple rule of thumb for the T3 mixer line is that the 1 dB compression point is equal to the LO drive minus 4 dB. Therefore, a T3 mixer with a +15 dBm drive will have a +11 dBm compression point. If that same mixer has an LO drive of +22 dBm, the 1 dB compression point will improve to about +18 dBm. The combination of the T3 mixer’s ability to increase its 1 dB compression point with LO drive and its ability to suppression intermodulation distortion makes it one of the most sophisticated and versatile mixers in the world!
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