Introduction: Goal Zero ROCKOUT 2 Repair/Teardown

About: Avionics technician, home mechanic, furry, entrepreneur, and college student.

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

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

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

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!

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

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!