Somewhere around 2002-2003, I bought a Tuna Tin 2 kit and built it in a couple of evenings. It was my first transmitter kit. As my interest in Ham Radio waned, I put it on the shelf and it became a dust collector. I never gave it the "smoke test" to even see if it worked.
The poor beast has been ingored, banged around, and stuffed in whatever convenient place I could find, like my glovebox, for the last eight or nine years. The only modification from the original build that I did was to replace the 7.040 crystal with a 7.055, so I would operate in SKCC territory ( I proabably should have got a crystal set to a frequency between 7.100 and 7.125mhz to operate in the old Novice portion of the band where the slow coders hang out.). Yesterday, I went to the local candy store, (a Radio Shack that actually carries Amateur Radio stuff) and bought some BNC to PL 259 adapters, along with some other stuff, and I decided to give the rig a smoke test. My power supply was a universal wall-wart type, that I clicked over to the 12v setting. I had an old 1/8 plug that I soldered speaker wire to and then I hooked the other ends to my straight key.
Needless to say, it didn't work. A fact I don't find surprising, nor is it discouraging. This is a very simple circuit and I will do my best to troubleshoot it. This type of effort, trying to find out what went wrong, is probably the best way to learn. Not the easiest, but the best. I hope to get the little beggar pumping out its mighty 500ma, whatever it turns out to be, and I hope to learn a little about circuits as I make it happen. I suspect my power supply, and I'm going to buy the recommended battery pack this weekend when I get a chance. I'm also going to replace the used 1/8" plug with a new one. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll break out my multitester and start checking the components.
Wish me luck,