When you get into electronics and programmers the first thing you learn is to be patient. Many times things don't work out the first time around for multiple reasons. Two examples, I Just picked up a AVR Programmer and WWVB NIST (Atomic Clock)Radio from SparkFun.com. I spent 4 hours trying to figure out why I couldn't program my ATMega328 with the programmer. Well, My issue wasn't that the programmer was dead but that I wasn't hooking up the programmer correctly. I was looking at the following image but flipped columns 1 and 2 on the 6 pin header.
My second frustration of the day was when I was working with the NIST Radio to pull in signals. I could never figure out why the radio wasn't working. I doubled checked the wiring and changed wires still no go. Thinking it was dead I walked away. At that point the LED I hooked up to the output signal started blinking. My hand being near the antenna and breakout board was preventing the signal from being received in.
Pocket AVR Programmer
WWVB NIST Radio