Introduction: Goal Zero ROCKOUT 2 Repair/Teardown

Picture of Goal Zero ROCKOUT 2 Repair/Teardown

So the reason for this Instructable is twofold. First, I couldn't find anything anywhere on the web about how to open up this speaker, and I needed to repair it. Second, I just got a new (to me) camera and I wanted some practice using it. As such, the photos are not the most wonderful but they should get things across.

I picked up this Goal Zero ROCKOUT 2 speaker at an R.E.I. garage sale for something like a quarter retail price, with the tag saying "Returned- Battery would not hold charge." I thought it a lovely looking and utilitarian speaker for an outdoorsman such as myself, and also a good challenge for my DIY and electronics skills. This was also a good opportunity to show my support for the Goal Zero brand while adhering to my shoestring budget. I was dismayed when I found no information at all on the internals on the web, but when I got down to it, it really wasn't too hard! What this 'ible boils down to is a good walkthrough of my teardown of the speaker, and what to look out for as you disassemble it on your own.

For this project, you'll need:

  • a thin Phillips head screwdriver
  • a 2mm Hex/Allen key
  • hands

Depending on your intentions once inside the device, you may also need:

  • super glue
  • a hobby knife
  • a soldering iron and supplies
  • wire
  • anything else imaginable

Just a standard warning: if you hurt yourself following my instructions it's not my fault. There, now that's cleared up, let's go!

Step 1: Unscrew Faceplate

Picture of Unscrew Faceplate

Step one is simple enough: go at the only exposed screws and take them all out. Remove the eight screws on the front face of the speaker with a 2mm Allen key. Be careful, they're designed to look pretty and not to be removed easily. If you strip a screw head like I did the first time, just super glue the end of the key into the head of the screw and leave it for a half hour to cure. It should screw right out, and you can remove the glued screw from the key with your hands or a gentle hammer tap. Be careful, the silver bit with the Goal Zero logo cutout will fall out easily when the faceplate and metal grille are removed. Set all that aside.

Step 2: Separate the Main Body

Picture of Separate the Main Body

Use your hands to carefully push the body of the speaker (the bit with the electronics in it) out of the case. You should do this by pushing where the faceplate was down 'into' the case. It should come away freely. At this point, you'll see there are four exposed Phillips head screws, these are recessed into thin holes so you'll probably need an especially thin screwdriver. Once these are taken out and set aside where you won't loose them, you can carefully pull apart the plastic shell into two halves. There are wires connecting them, so be careful to separate it in such a way that nothing is damaged. There should be a thin, green gasket running the length of the edge of one of the halves, don't loose it as it is an integral part of what makes the speaker waterproof. Now, you should have access to all the juicy electronic bits on the inside!

Step 3: Remove Center Resonator

Picture of Remove Center Resonator

You'll see now in the forward facing half that most of your electronics are open to you... but there's a big rectangular thingy in the way of getting to them. Unscrew the four Phillips head screws holding this resonator-thingy in there (should be the same exact kind of screw as the last four) and carefully set it aside. There should be another green gasket with this guy too, don't lose that.

Step 4: Repair! Dismantle! Solder! Loot! the World Is Yours to Plunder!

Picture of Repair! Dismantle! Solder! Loot! the World Is Yours to Plunder!

Do whatever you opened the thing bent on doing, unless you just wanted to see the inside and reassemble it, in which case, all the more power to you. I opened up mine to repair an issue with the power system, and after removing some of the glue that's everywhere in this thing, a multimeter test showed me power was not making it from one end of the USB cable to the circuit board. My task now is to desolder the cable and replace it with a fresh, new working one (much cheaper than a new battery, thank goodness). You'll find things pretty intuitive to even the amateur electrician, just note that the tacky glue all over the ports and wires can be removed easily enough with a razor blade and caution. Remember, if you hurt yourself, it's not my fault. Hopefully you found this useful, let me know if you have any questions!

Step 5: Bonus: My Cable Repair

Picture of Bonus: My Cable Repair

In my particular case, the issue was exactly as I'd guessed: the USB cable wasn't getting power to the PCB. I rummaged around the house for something with a spare USB end, but the only extra cable I could find was shielded, making it thicker and stiffer than the original. To remove the faulty cable, I had to cut away the glue covering the leads and melt the solder away. After drilling out the hole in the case for the new cable to allow it to fit, I soldered it in and glued the leads down to the board. After testing to ensure that I had indeed solved the problem, I went to close the shell and discovered there is very little extra room for a thicker wire. It took me a long while and some frustration to figure out a way of routing it between the resonator and the speaker so that it didn't block the two halves from sealing. When I did finish, the rest of the body went back together simply enough- just be careful not to strip the plastic posts for any of the screws. Now my speaker works and charges, even if the cable looks a bit old fashioned.

Need advice on your own repair? Have a question? Just think I'm lousy at this? Comment below!

Comments

JosieS15 (author)2017-06-17

hey I broke my audio cord! Can anyone help? I love my speaker and hate to throw it into a land field./: I have no idea how to solder cabels but I'm going to try.

v-raze (author)JosieS152017-06-18

There's some great tutorials here on instructables about soldering wires. You can also look for guides on repairing headphone cables, as those are similar to the audio cord used in this speaker. These two are good places to start:
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Quality-DIY-headp...

You can also look for videos if you need a more detailed visual representation of the process.

DiceFestG (author)2017-06-13

I am making a similar repair to a broken unit (the USB connecor is broken) I tried to sacrifice an existing 4-wire USB cable and splice it onto the existing power cable, as only the connector is damaged ... but when I stripped the speaker's power cord, I realized it is only two, bare coper wires (one is tinted darker than the other) any advice on how I could splice this onto an existing 4-wire USB cable and get it charging again?

v-raze (author)DiceFestG2017-06-18

Most USB cables have four wires- two carry power (5v DC) and two carry data. As the speaker only uses the USB connector to charge and not to transfer any data, the cable that it's built with only has the two wires for carrying power. The darker of the two is likely the negative (ground) wire, and the other one would be your positive wire. On a regular four wire USB cable, the four wires are usually colored- the white and green wires are the data wires I mentioned, while the red and black are the power wires. You can ignore the data wires. Soldering the black wire from your four wire USB cable to the negative (darker) wire from the speaker and the red to the positive should get it working properly.

JoshuaZ27 (author)2017-02-01

Any idea how big the battery is? I would like to replace it with a
10,000 or 20,000 mAh power bank that can charge devices. How is the
solar panel and speaker hooked to the battery that is already in there?

v-raze (author)JoshuaZ272017-02-04

The battery is a small lithium pouch cell- likely no more than 500 mAh. It's glued down to the side of the case, with quite a lot of glue, so I suspect it'll be difficult to remove. There's also very little extra space in the speaker housing so I doubt you could fit even a single 18650 cell in there, much less a 10 Ah battery bank. It would be more practical to keep a smaller 2-cell battery bank inside of it in the mesh pocket.

I don't have the model with a solar panel, but you can see in my pictures that the battery connects to the main circuit board with a white two-pin connector and I believe the speakers connect through plastic connectors as well. I don't recall whether each speaker had a separate connector or not, as it's been a year and a half since I made this instructable, and I haven't needed to open the speaker up again since then.

pawilkes (author)2016-12-30

Did you look at how the audio cable attached at all? Mine has broke where the plug meets the cable and I need to replace it. I'm wondering how complicated the attachment of the cable wires are

v-raze (author)pawilkes2017-02-04

It's not particularly complex. I've labeled it in the first picture on step 4. There are four points where the wires from the audio cable are soldered to the pcb. Replacing it should be easy enough so long as you're good at soldering coated audio wire.

Mjtrinihobby (author)2016-10-09

Awesome work!

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