New year new projects! With so much going on I’ve been slow to update things. Last weekend I took a few days to install my new Christmas present and the ones I bought for the house.

First my present! I drive an 03 Mustang and I’ve been wanting an updated stereo which could allow hands free phone calls (which is law in MD) and would let me play audiobooks/podcasts/anything from my phone in the car (yay!). My phone has been able to do such things for years, but the car never got the upgrade. After some aggravating time on the phone with GeekSquad to schedule an install, I decided it was easier to do it myself. With the help of a few YouTube videos, and a quick stop at Advanced Auto Parts I was easily able to install it with a second set of hands to help.

The stereo: It’s a Sony MEXN5100BT, which for the highlights has NFC to turn on your phone’s Bluetooth, and you can pick your favorite RGB color for the lights. Since its a single din replacing my double din, with the adapter I get a compartment below it perfect for holding my phone, meaning I get my handbrake back (my phones previous resting space). Below are a few things I found useful in the process. Since I had to go out and search for them, I believe it’s useful to list them in one location:

How to remove the old stereo (a Youtube video showing removal of the dash and original radio).

The necessary adapter

A very important part which I didn’t realize I needed at first was an adapter from my current radio wires to the universal plug the Sony one uses. Luckily my local Advanced Auto Parts had exactly 1 in stock. This adapter converts the old radio wires from the car into the correct format for the new stereo. Attaching the adapter to the wires for my new stereo was fairly simple, connect one color with its matching color. Tools required: wire stripper, electrical tape, and patience.

And finally the hardest part of this was figuring out how to remove the pillar to run the microphone wire to the driver side visor (best decision ever).  After much searching on the internet you remove the pillar by pulling on it. It’ll come off and won’t break even if it feels like it will. There are 4 clip points, 2 on each side staggered (they aren’t parallel between the door and windshield side). I ended up having to use some of my body weight to pull it off since I was at an awkward angle. Fun fact there’s plenty of room to run some wires back there. And if you remove the floorboard driver’s panel it’s incredibly easy to run the wire back to the stereo.

And with our awesome neighborhood yard sale page, I was able to pass to old radio onto someone else who could use it!

The original stereo

Let me just say after playing with the new stereo for a week. Upgrading was the best decision. Huge thank you for the best gift I would have never bought for myself.

New Sony Stereo

The finished product!

The House’s present: While on an electrical kick I decided it was time to change out the blue ceiling fan in the spare bedroom. I loved that blue fan so much I have no pictures of it while it was up. Somehow I managed to angle all o the photos of this room such that I never caught it on screen.

The fan once removed

The fan once removed

Needless to say no one misses the blue fan and someone in the neighborhood wanted it so disposal of the fan was as easy as dissembling it. I ended up replacing it with a similar small Hunter fan from Home Depot that matches the Ikea black-brown furniture in the room. The fan was easy to install with the instructions provided in the box, but I must admit having a spare set of hands from a friend made it much easier (i.e. one person hand things up to the ladder and hold pieces instead of a constant up and down).  The only thing different from the blue fan is this one I mounted close to flush with the ceiling. Since the room is smaller this did help make it feel a bit bigger.

The new fan in place

The new fan in place

While on a roll I also ended up adding a few runners to the first floor to cover the rest of the plywood floors while I anxiously await moving forward with getting real floors. Each step is one more closer to the final product and my current weekend project kick is fulfilled!