Getting the stock radio out was easy.  I am not a total stranger to doing car audio installs so I figured this was a piece of cake.  As it turns out not all cake is sweet nor easy to swallow.  Think stale carob.  I used to have a girlfriend who ate that um, substance, but I digress.

The good news is that the harness behind the stereo was not all hacked to hell, in fact it was pretty much intact.  Interesting news was the stock radio that came with it was from a junkyard as it had the junkyard markings on it  Also of note the heavy orange wire that goes to the unswitched 12V line on the harness was cut and spliced right next to the connector to the radio.  Why someone would hack it there...  And there was a random red wire coming up from under the bowels of the dash that was snipped off and just sitting there.  Hmmmm.

I have a long drive and I really want tunes and I have my tunes and books on tape for this trip on a USB stick already, and the aftermarket stereo has a slot for USB sticks.  This is good.  The stereo also came with both a plug that fir the wiring on the back of it, and a plug that fit into the radio plug on the harness.  I need to mention that at this point in time I was working in the parking lot of the fleabag motel I was staying at, so this was going to be a quick splice and tape job, until I got to my much more technical friends place and I could fix it properly.

Everything lined up great, except for two little issues.  One was no power and the other was no sound.  It looked cool though, so it gets a major plus for that.  I managed to get it full time power by using that spliced into unswitched orange wire to go into the switched red wire.  Not ideal, but I figured I could live with it until I got to more civilized surroundings.  However, as is often the case in my life, nothing can ever be easy, even though I had power, I had no sound.  Great.

Not being one to give up too easily, I recalled that I had a pair of headphones in my computer bag.  Nasty cheap $1 store phones but audio transducers none the less.  As soon as I got one channel of the stereos speaker output across the 3.5mm jack on the phones (not entirely easy to do by ones self BTW) I ogt good FM hiss, and when I got the coordination down to hit the seek button while holding said jack, I was greeted with actual music.  Not my kind of music but enough to tell me that the aftermarket stereo, or at least that channel of it, was happy.

I ran out of time at that location, so I got to do the 2 hour drive to my friends place sans any audio.  It was also pouring out and I am not used to 3 lanes of traffic going near 80 mph.  Just when I thought this was really starting to suck, my phone, which was my navigation too a dump on me.  My charging set up at home is a transformer that has a permanently attached microusb cable.  I figured for the trip it might be more versatile to grab another transformer that ends in a regular usb connector and a regular usb to a micro usb.  I also grabbed a 12Vto 120V inverter that plugs into the cig lighter for my notebook and a cig lighter to usb for the phone, and of course a usb to micro usb cable.  Sadly I did not thoroughly check out the cable.  The good news is it can charge my phone.  The bad news is it needs to be in the exact correct position to do it, and barreling down the road at 75mph is apparently not in congress with being in the correct position. 

Before I left one of my friends printed me out google maps directions to here.  So I pulled over and attempted to look at them.  I could not figure out the lights with out the door open and it was pouring, and the person who printed out the "directions" skipped the text part and printed out a map about the size of a passage stamp and in black and white.  Can you say totally useless?  I...

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