They are particularly fussy about grounding, so make sure the distributor has a good ground to the engine, and the engine has a good ground to the chassis/battery. Replace wiring/cables as needed. You can crank the engine to test the distributor. Look for 12+V at the coil + terminal, and a cycling 12/0/12/0/12/0V at the "-" coil terminal when cranking. Its easier to see with an analog multi-meter. You have to get the distributor up to about 200 rpm (cranking speed) to get a consistent test signal.
If it doesn't function, the module is either not grounding OR the pickup isn't working. I can diagnose the pickup by simply running it through a pulse amplifier on my Sun tester. Or you can build one using an HEI module from a Chevy distributor. There are plans online. Basically the pickup wires to the small terminals, the larger terminals get power and coil - signal. Ground goes to one of the screw holes on the end of the module that has the small terminals.