State of KONAtion Address

Since the start of 2018, Radio Alchemy has been hard at work updating its online streaming server (aka shoutcaster). We are now back streaming 24/7 on this website and have found it to be very reliable. After several trials, we were able to get it working once again on our website.

At the same time KONA has upgraded to programmable Radio DJ software that will allow for content to be scheduled at specific times along with playlists and other useful tools to help promote community events such as the Women’s March which we broadcast from live on January 21st. These recordings were then edited and played back on air at different times throughout the past month.

The civil defense ‘drill/not-a-drill” became a front and center controversey as we received a notice on our EAS (Emergency Alert System) that authorities have issued a “Civil Defense Warning” for all of Hawaii beginning at 8:07 am on the morning of January 13, 2018. It had gone out to the public that a “Ballistic Missile Threat” was “Inbound to Hawaii”. “Seek Immediate Shelter” “This is Not a Drill”

What better time to break out an Exclamation Point! After all the frenzy subsided and the story of a wrong button being pushed, it was a reminder that our EAS unit accounting for more than 1/3 of the cost of the LPFM project was still unpaid on a credit card. This unit is required by the Federal Communications Commission as part of the LPFM licensing process.

The real news in this case however is that this public system is designed for use by the federal government. It is not being financed 1 penny by those who print our dollars. Wouldn’t it only be fair that a matching grant be provided which would allow us to divert some of this cost towards a repeater that would improve our coverage area (even for this potential emergency purpose)?

Last week, a letter was written to our Congress Woman Tulsi Gabbard expressing this concern to bring it to her attention.

Now while I recognize there is a practical use for this program to be in place, I see it very much a part of the Federal system that takes control of the airwaves thru the equipment that they require. LPFM’s have difficulty generating revenue. Especially where we are also not allowed to advertise. We can use “underwriting” as a surrogate method to acknowledge contributions from local businesses. But this runs counter to what most owners typically think of when they are seeking conventional advertisements on the radio.

It really drives home the point that whereas we are a community radio station with a lot of flexibility for broadcasting from nearly anywhere, there just are not a lot of options in terms of expansion unless we receive listener sponsorships or underwriting from participating businesses.

Some have asked why it is that a clear signal cannot be reached within ‘the dish’ where Kailua-Kona sinks down inward towards the ocean on Alii Drive. The two variables are 1) strength of signal (we’re limited to 100 watts) and 2) line-of-sight FM signal which is obstructed due to the rapid decline of our terrain to sea level plus the buildings and power lines which also create interference.

We feel that with a repeater placed strategically in Holualoa… a stronger, more direct signal can be reproduced (or replicated) and we would cover what is a partial dead zone for us. For the moment, funding for this expansion project is our main limitation.

Now that all our systems are in place, we would like to extend this offer to businesses (and individuals):

Introductory Business Special II

A Winter Wonderland for 2018

Gifting a Voice to our KONA Community in the New Year

It’s been some time since our previous newsletter was last posted. We would first like to acknowledge a few major accomplishments in 2017 that have placed KONA 100.5 LPFM in the position of adding a voice to our community and to make a difference in our lives.

In March of 2017, Three events made possible where we are today:

March 9: Our first ever connection to FM radio was established.
March 12: KONA 100.5 completed the construction of our radio station with help from a handful of businesses which appear on our Sponsors Page
March 27: Our LPFM license is officially granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

So many events have led us to this point. Few may realize that it was this 4 year process that enabled us to broadcast as an FM station. It is a unique opportunity for our community to take part in this project as we grow further. No more windows for construction of LPFM radio stations are likely to happen for years to come.

Currently, we are involved in 3 major projects that will enhance our programming and allow the entire Big Island to participate.

SOLAR PROJECT – In an effort to cut costs and apply our financial resources directly to our project, we are attempting to run our 24/7 broadcast station completely using solar power. This is important not only for environmental and budget reasons, but using this solar power will also assist in keeping us on the air even during times that our electric grid power is unavailable such as what happened last week in the Kona Palisades area when a vehicle accident knocked off power to this area.

AUTOMATED RADIO DJ SOFTWARE – Fortunately, thanks to the internet… there is exceptional open source software available (for free) that is frequently used in automated programming of radio stations world wide. The only caveat was learning how to use it. A culmination of research and testing took place since Summer of 2017 to use the best features of this Radio DJ program. Many of these will be introduced in the early part of 2018. It is being paired with remote control programs so that our content (such as contributed material from our community) can be scheduled for broadcast. All the tools are now in place to implement this program.

EXPANDING OUR BROADCAST FACILITY – No, this is not about building a huge broadcast studio (though a reasonable size one is on our wish list). One of the unique qualities of internet radio is that our shows can be broadcast from anywhere on the island. This expands our ability to engage with other communities outside of Kona. The internet radio system that was developed in the first 3 years of operation can now be placed in communities such as Hamakua, Kohala, South Kona, Kau, Hilo and Puna to connect us together which has never been attempted before on the level that we anticipate will happen this upcoming year.

Among other vision quests for 2018 is the possibility of installing a repeater somewhere (such as Holualoa) that can expand our signal to other areas that are compromised by the contour of our land with buildings and power lines which interfere with our FM signal. With financial support, this can happen fairly quickly. We are seeking private donations to help recover some of the costs of our initial installation but more importantly, to build this repeater. We recognize that without it, there are certain areas in Kona which are not properly being reached. It is our intent to change that with help from individuals and our business community. Underwriting is a term that is associated LPFM stations to promote their supporting business establishments.

Here is an Underwriting Rate Sheet which  shows how you or your business can help to support KONA 100.5 LPFM.

We also have some eco-friendly T-shirts now available for $20 each in Small, Medium, Large and XL sizes.  Below are some samples:

Please Email us: if you wish to order.

To our entire community on the Big Island we would like to wish you a very Happy New Year 2018 and invite you to participate in our station in this upcoming year!  Please contact us at that same email above or join our  Radio Alchemy Facebook Page    Mahalo!

Michael Sofranko

Radio Alchemy – Founder



Radio Alchemy is actively engaged in it’s pursuit to partner with KONA 100.5 LPFM as it proceeds with its plans to build a Low Power FM Radio station in Kailua-Kona
Upon completion of the Construction of the FM station, Radio Alchemy will assume the 7 PM to 1 AM portion of the KONA Schedule 7 days a week. Each evening will feature DJ’s from throughout the Big Island of Hawaii which will broadcast from 7 zones around the Island. These areas include North and South Kona, Hawi/Kohala, Hamakua, Hilo, Puna and Ka’u/Ocean View. Each day the 6 hours of programming will be comprised of 3 – 2 hour slots. We hope to involve enough participation that each area will be represented and will have it’s own weekly regional report whether it be current events or its community calendar. Continue reading Construction