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I am sorry to say but the Plantronics are cheap and not well made. Sounds like you might have a weak battery and because of that it wont have enough charge to turn on. I myself have gone through many and now spent a little bit more and got a better earpiece.
The 500A base station is definitely compatible with the 510 earpiece. If the earpiece is turned off or unpaired the base station's red power light will be flashing. If the earpiece is already off, try turning it on by holding down the little black button on top. The base station will automatically try to find the earpiece and the blue light on top of the base will come on. If the earpiece is already on (slow flashing blue light on the mic boom) turn it off and back on again and wait for the base to find it.
It sounds like it may be a defective unit in that the charging points on the base and the earpiece are making intermittant contact, hence the clicking noise you get when the unit goes into headset mode and the fact that the battery never reaches a fully charged status.
A couple of things to try:
Check the charging points/contacts on the base and the earpiece for damage.
If they look ok, gently clean them with some spirits and try again.
Make sure the headpiece is charged. Turn the headpiece off by pressing the little black button on top of the earpiece and holding for about 5 seconds. Turn the earpiece back on again the same way. You should have a slow flashing blue light on the mic boom. The base station will now try to find the earpiece and within about 20 seconds the red light on the base should be steady and blue light on top should be on.
If this doesn't work you may need to manually pair the earpiece to the base by pressing and holding the Listen Volume Adjust + Button and headset Call Control Button on the earpiece until the light on the mic boom flashes red and blue repeatedly. As above, the base station will now try to find the earpiece and within about 20 seconds the red light on the base should be steady and blue light on top should be on.