I watch a lot of YouTube videos of repairs by both Professional and Amateur engineers, some make me squirm as an amateur dives in to try and fix something they have no idea how it works, but I marvel at their ingenuity in actually carrying out a repair. One professional engineer I like to watch, is Computer repairer Graham Lord of Adamant IT. His repair of a JBL Charge 3 device gave me the inspiration to tackle a Charge 2 unit which I picked up off ebay for only £28 + shipping. Watch Graham's repair video here

When the Charge 2 unit I had bought arrived, I was pleasantly surprised that it worked right away. The battery was partially charged already. I connected it to my phone via bluetooth and played a music file. It played beautifully. Wow, was there actually a fault? or had the original seller missed a trick? However, when I tilted the unit to one way, there was a loud electrical crack from the speakers, the sound cut out but resumed. Tilting it the other way had no effect. Evidently, something was loose inside. So there was a fault, but given the lack of easily accessible screws, there appeared no simple way to get into the device. The bottom rubber plate with the device model number and manufacturer details on it, was only loosely held on by the remains of some double sided tape. Removing this revealed 4 screws which appeared to have been removed and refitted. Removing them revealed a plate covering the connection PCBs for charge, line in and USB sockets. However, nothing was loose in this area and there was no evidence of other screws to remove to get the unit apart. This is most likely where the original owner would have given up, chucked the device out or sold it for parts on ebay, luckily, he did the latter and I rescued it.

Having re-watched Graham's video, his unit, a Charge 3, was assembled slightly differently, being fabric covered all over with just one seam. Graham had prised his unit apart down this seam. Mine was all plastic with two grilles. I determined that access was possible by prising the grilles off in a similar fashion. This worked and I could remove them both, see the main speakers, the battery compartment at the back. I could then see the plastic ends could be removed by taking out 4 screws. These then revealed the 'Reflex' speakers which work on the sound pressure from the back of the normal speakers to produce a bass reflex sound. Removing another 4 screws and then the reflex speakers I could at last see the inner PCB and wiring. 

An inspection in one end of the unit revealed a loose choke on the PCB, it had become unsoldered at one end but the other was still connected - just. So to repair the unit I needed to remove the PCB and then re-solder this choke in place and check the PCB for any other issues. Removing the PCB required the removal of both front speaker, the wiring loom for them, unplugging the IO/charging board, the microphone and the ribbon cable. The board had rubber strips on each side, presumably to prevent it vibrating loose in use or in transit. It took a while but I got there in the end.

I re-soldered the choke and another on the other side as a precaution. Visually inspecting  the PCB revealed no other problems. Refitting the ribbon cable was the hardest part but once done, all connections were remade and the unit was reassembled in reverse order. I cleaned parts as I went, pushed out some dents in the grilles and glued the foot back on one of the ends and checked and tested it. I use it regularly now as it takes up minimal space on the lounge coffee table but the sound is excellent. Here's the video I made of the whole, strip down, repair and reassembly process. Enjoy.