yesterday when I was smoking my bacon, I tried out this mod, I was at a temp of 135 at the highest point the sawdust di not start smoking on it's own, I could smell a good aroma of hot wood but I didn't see any TBS, when I put chips in the tray I always take my finger and kinda of twirl it around in the center of the wood tray and make a bowl like hole in the middle of the chips so there is just a thin layer right in the center, I took the tray out then I used my bernzamatic torch and heat the bottom of the chip tray until I saw smoke coming off the chips and started to see a red glow then I lit the top of the chips and let them burn for about 5 min blew them out and put the tray back in the MES I took the chip loader out the whole way and had the top vent open the whole way and waited until i saw a good bit of smoke coming out the vent, I then slid the chip loader back in until I saw the smoke slow down, probably abut and inch or so from being in the whole way,
now at only 135 degrees the MES maintained smoke until I needed to add more, it kept this going for about 5 hrs I added chips twice, I then turned the smoker down to 120 and the chips went out, I took the chip tray out and re-lit them like b4 adn left the chip loader out the whole way and used a fridge magnet to cover just enough of the hole to stop the smoke from leaving the chip loader hole, and it was still smoking 120 1 hr later when I took the bacon out.
I didn't get a chance to put in chips and turn her up and see at what temps she starts to smoke at I usually start seeing smoke around 160 to 170 I think, but this will be my next test.
I don't think I could have kept it smoking at low temps like this b4 I drilled the holes so maybe I improved that a little bit, I am thinking the holes allowed airflow through the bottom of the try directly into the ships enough to keep them smoldering
tomorrow I will try the other test at what temps she starts to smoke