Chances are you probably own a FrSky radio controller (even if you don’t, this article can be used for other brands as well ;) ) and wondering how you can change the boring stock FrSky Taranis Radio Shell with a more colourful and catchy one. Or perhaps, you just want to make a custom coloured shell to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

In this tutorial, we will walk through the steps of replacing your stock radio shell with a custom one or just replacing the stock one.

 

What is a Radio Shell

So what exactly is a radio shell? Basically, the radio shell is the plastic (or metal in some cases) enclosure that basically covers the electronics in your radio; it is what you perceive as the radio controller, what you hold on to. Different radios obviously have different shells with different colours etc. An example would be the carbon fibre shell casing that FrSky produces for the Taranis X9D SE or the Taranis QX7 SE. These are what we immediately see when we look at the radio.

The above picture depicts the FrSky Taranis X9D Plus shell casing that you normally receive with the X9D Plus SE edition.

The radio shell consists of nothing else other than the plastic. All your radio switches, trims, gimbals, display etc will be part of the electronics and thus will need to be removed from your stock shell in order to be transplanted to your new shell of your choice.

If you do not plan on purchasing a new shell for your radio, but still would like a different shade of colour or custom hydro dipped patterns, you can still do it but the first step would be to disassemble the radio completely to its bare bones, ie. electronics (which include the motherboard, display, switches, trims, gimbals etc. ) and the plastic body.

 

Teardown

In order to tear down your radio to its essentials, you need to first find the screws on the back of the radio.

The above picture shows the back of the  FrSky Taranis X9D. As you can see there are 6 screws to remove in order to open up the radio.

The above image is to show the locations of the screws for the Taranis QX7. There are 4 screws in case of the QX7/S

After removing all the screws, carefully open the back shell of the transmitter (and make sure to disconnect all the ribbon cables including the battery connector)

This is how a QX7 would look like after you remove the back cover.

This is how an X9D+ SE looks like on the inside.

 

Disassembly

After opening up your radio, you need to carefully disconnect all the wires, connectors, switch, gimbals and everything else that is inside the radio.

To remove the switches, you will need to first remove the switch nut from the outside of the radio, then you can easily slide out the switch.

The motherboard is held in place by screws, so you will need to remove those screws and the connectors that are attached to the board.

Finally, you will need to remove the gimbals as well, which are held in place by screws as well.

 

New Shell replacement

Now that you have taken out all the electronics etc from the radio, it is time to replace your stock shell with the new one or to paint your stock shell with spray paint or hydro dipping, which is your choice.

Here is a picture of hydro dipped shells that you can purchase online for the FrSky Taranis X9D Plus or do it yourself ( just google hydro dipping and you will find a lot of results)

To put back the electronics into the new shell, simply reverse the steps you did for the disassembly process.

Start by installing the gimbals, switches knobs etc and then screw back the motherboard in place and finally attached all the connectors back.

Before you close up the radio, it is wise to just do a test run by turning on the radio and making sure everything works as it should, including the connection to your receivers.

If all is done well and right, you can now close up the radio by putting the back shell and front shell together and then screw it back up.

 

Conclusion

With this how-to article, you have sene what is an FrSky Taranis Radio Shell and how to replace it with a new custom painted one that you can purchase online or how you can paint your stock one yourself with some spray paint. If you have done it well, you should have yourself a new spanking looking radio that sets out from the rest while you go out to fly with your mates ;).