We have KENWOOD NX-P1300NUK radios that are programmed and licensed under a former member that had an FCC license through his work. Unfortunately, I have no experience or knowledge in this area. I’m purchasing more radios and I am wanting to switch it over to our own license. I know this member purchased software personally for the radios, but I’m not seeing where that is necessary. I’m also finding conflicting information whether a license is even necessary. Any help or knowledge in this area would we be much appreciated!!!
Work with your local Kenwood dealer to manage your radio program and help you stay in compliance. This is the sort of thing that’s best maintained outside of the organization unless someone on staff is just super into the whole radio scene, because it makes continuity much more straightforward.
These radios use the 451-470 Mhz frequencies and DOES require a site FCC license to operate legally. I concur with Alex Conner about working with your Kenwood dealer, that are selling you the new radios. They can help get your FCC licenses switched over to your church’s name to be compliance with FCC laws.
You should probably get an FCC business license for the frequencies you need. There are agents who can make this application on your behalf for a small fee. That way you have your own frequencies and are operating legally.
You can use a radio vendor or program them yourself assuming you have access to software. Radios aren’t difficult to program, especially if they are analog. If you aren’t familiar with the frequencies and tones, see if there is a ham radio operator in your congregation. The decision to outsource vs do it yourself depends on costs, software, and how much time and desire you have to learn and tinker. I prefer doing radios myself as I like to tinker with the setup and customize my radio to include church, GMRS, ham repeaters, and such. I also like the freedom to purchase different brands of radios. Most radio vendors sell Motorola or Kenwood, but don’t sell the more affordable brands like Anytone, Retevis, and such. I have over 100 radios so I like to save money by purchasing more economical brands.
This is also something you can apply for the DHS Non Profit Security Grant Program if you are doing a more expensive upgrade. There are also grants for schools for security communication, if that applies.
Ask around if any Church Members are Amateur Radio Operators. They would be familiar with FCC rules, and at least be a lead on where to look given the information that’s likely located on the existing radios. They’d also be able to look up the registration if they were, in fact, registered with the FCC.