It's no secret that the average age of the ham radio population is increasing, and particularly so in the elite world of Big Gun contesters. Almost all Big Guns today are members of the Baby Boomer generation. The question is often asked "Where will the next generation of contesters come from?" The answer may be cloning.
A new venture called BigGun Cloning has been launched with the express intent of offering Big Gun contesters and DXers the chance to clone themselves. The capability to generate a genetic duplicate of oneself creates the opportunity to pass on the highly honed skills, not to mention the impressive station, of top notch contest and DX operators to a new generation.
BigGun Cloning said it is focusing on Big Gun contesters and DXers as they are the most likely segment of the ham radio population to have the resources to devote to the endeavor. BigGun Cloning is working with scientists from the South Korean Institute of Cloning Sciences and Advanced Cosmetology to perfect the cloning process. A scientist from the institute explained their breakthrough.
"We have been able to clone sheep, dogs, and cats for over a decade now. But there is no market for cloned sheep, not even in New Zealand. Our breakthrough came when we were able to clone a parrot. The original parrot knew five simple phrases he could say on command. When the cloned parrot was born, we discovered he already knew the five simple phrases. My thoughts instantly went to ham radio contesters. I knew this was a market for this technology."
While the possibility of creating cloned contesters is seen as an exciting step forward in technology by some, others see problems. If a station owner and his clone enter a contest together, could they actually enter in the single operator category since they are genetically identical? The CQWW contest committee refused to rule on any hypothetical situations, but did say that genetic testing may be included in the new station inspection regime if deemed necessary.
BigGun Cloning will be offering group discounts for multi-op stations and contest clubs. No word on price or expected availability at this time.