I agree with your comments re: measurements. The only measurements I trust are Sherwoods. He's measured and writeen up a few of the SDRs, although I don't recall which ones at the moment. He came up with a measurement that fairly measures them and that the manufacturers cannot fudge (although I cannot recall that either off the top of my head - getting old, can't remember stuff anymore
. There's another guy, Adam Farson / AB4OJ, who is also very technically competent and has done SDR testing on a number of radios, producing some interesting papers on the results. He's got a page (http://www.ab4oj.com/test/main.html
) with some great links to radio testing and measurement educational and reference materials. Here's a link to his page listing the SDRs (and other radios) he's tested: http://www.ab4oj.com/test/reports.html
Re: the noise, sorry to hear about the use of the powerline devices. They were tried here in the US and, thankfully beaten into submission for various reasons. I recall that the ARRL fought hard against federal support for funding for that technology. There are times that we here in the US who are ARRL members whine and complain about our membership money being wasted. However, when something BIG comes along, like powerline, they do a great job going to bat for the amateur community to try to avoid thing that are bad for radio. When we fight the government about taking away our space, or allowing a technology that clearly causes RFI, we always fall back on the good that amateur radio does for the community, especially in times of emergency. It's the only card we have to play.
Anyway, I digress. Perhaps you can find someone who lives out in the country somewhere to host your radios, PC and an antenna? Your comment got me thinking about that. I live in a small town that's been growing very, very quickly over the past few years and even though it's still a pretty small town, the growth has definitely caused RFI growth as well. Simon Brown recently (well, within the last year or so) moved from Switzerland back to the UK, but he's still in the country. I know he's got antennas...lots of antennas. I wonder if he would consider being a host for some SDRs. I might put together a proposal to him. Something like, we pay for all the associated costs (i.e. a PC, battery backup, a receive only antenna, a percentage of his internet costs), plus a little extra each month to give him some incentive to be a host. By "we", I mean anyone I can find who might be interested in something like this. In exchange, he finds a quiet corner in his house to connect everything up. We would control and maintain everything remotely. So all he would have to do, besides the initial hookup, are things like disconnect antennas, PCs and radios during storms (which I assume he does anyway) and anything else that could not be done remotely. I've done remote PC support for people for many years, so I know it can be done and it's not terribly difficult to set up. Hmmm, gotta think some more about this...
Best regards - David