HB88RC manual online:http://www.intermatic.com/~/media/files/intermatic/products/instructions/timers/hb88rc%20-%20english.ashx
These timers are frustrating sometimes, fortunately this timer can be unplugged to set programs under good lighting.
When I have problems, I set it down for a while and then go back to it later.
Right now I own 25-30 different Intermatic, Woods, GE, Utilitec timers for testing and programming difficulties. Each one offers different points that are confusing.
Some new timers are simply defective. One guy today had 2 defective Woods timers, which made me suspect electric line needs line analysis. You might try your timer in another plug, for example indoor plug in another part of house to double check line is not interfering with timer electronics.
Reading HB88RC manual, there is not Dusk-dawn option, and programming steps are pretty straightforward compared with other timers.
This leads me to believe there is some small thing missed or line is bad, or timer is defective.
Return it if it's defective.
Here are some trip-up points, and they may not apply to you.
1) Current day has to be set. Hold clock button down while setting current time.
2) When programming, each event requires ON time and OFF time. For example event1 ON has to be set and then event1 OFF has to be set. Then set event2 ON and then event2 OFF.
3) When programming, check screen carefully to make sure 1ON appears, and then 1OFF appears in screen exactly like Fig1 and Fig3 shows.
Now I frequently e-mail Intermatic asking for manual clarification, and they e-mail back ... sometimes their manuals are a little bit off here and there. But this manual looks clean and matches what I see in other timers.
4) Each ON time requires OFF time for same choice of days. For example ON 7pm Tuesday and OFF 9pm All-days-of-week will not work correctly.
5) ON 7pm Tuesday and OFF 7pm Tuesday will not work.
6) Conflicts in programming cause some timers to skip programming: For example event1 says ON
at 7 pm Tuesday and OFF 9pm Tuesday, but event2 says opposite.
7) Since manual override works correctly, we know Load is functioning, and we know plugs on timer are working. Timer load can be lighting or pumps or heaters, but manual does not specifically say florescent. So timer MIGHT not work for compact florescent bulbs. If you have CFL bulb, try another type of Load: for example incandescent table lamp.
And that's everything I know, like Bubba Gump shrimp.