Troubleshooting Tips for Novices

Markus KC1PIP

Greetings, All -

Hoping this group will be able to help me troubleshoot my Cricket 40, which I have assembled; but, which I can't seem to operate.

Intro: I'm a new Ham and got into this hobby to develop some fundamental "STEM" knowledge and skills, which I never picked up in school or life up to this point.  All of this is brand new to me; and, while I tried to go beyond simply learning the answers to the test questions and actually understand some of the science and engineering - but I still have a lot more questions than I have answers.  This is also the first thing I've ever soldered.  All of which is fun, but also limiting.

Specific Questions:
  1. Can I use headphones with an integrate microphone with my Cricket 40 (e.g. iPhone earbuds); or, I do I need to dig-up / buy plain non-mic'd headphones ? ( All the headphones in my house have a microphone built-in )
  2. When my Cricket 40 is connected to the antenna, with the crystal in place, and I flip the switch to "On," what should I hear ?  Static ?  Silence ? ( I hear silence )
  3. Is it possible for me to transmit even if the circuits / components associated with the "sidetone" are compromised ?  Or am I still transmitting when I press down on the key even if I don't hear anything ?

Extra Context:
When I first assembled the radio, I plugged in headphones and flipped the switch - I heard a continuous tone.  Convinced that I had sloppily soldered somewhere and created a "short," I examined the circuitry diagram and my soldering and [somewhat crudely] scraped away the solder bridging the contacts between R8 and C16.  After doing this, when I turn it on, I hear nothing [ though I can still "hear" the headphones come to life when I flip the switch ] ... I don't hear anything even if I do press down on the key.

Gotta cut this short and run to work - "Seventy-Three"
Markus, KC1PIP

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