Originally Posted by sprky
Thanks for the input guys. The heat shield suggestion has sparked a few ideas here, that I will try out and see what happens. Another thought I have is to incorporate some sort of fan to force feed air into the smoker. And it may very well be I end up with an external smoker box to place the AMNSP in. I got a few ideas on this as well.
A fan may take a bit more engineering to get it ducted and achieve a controllable flow to the AMNPS, but would be a viable option. The aquarium pump mod looked like very simple and inexpensive fix to provide the oxygen needed for a slow burn, and would have adjustable flow rates with an inline valve. With either mod, being able to direct the flow of air exactly where you need it and have the ability to provide adequate air-flow for proper burn under varied conditions should be considered, else, it may work one day, but may be insufficient or completely out of control the next time you fire it up.
I could be wrong here but the sand filled water pan should act as a heat shield, but then again the radiant heat from the sand may be the problem. Any thoughts on this? I haven't given up hope yet and will ponder and try other ideas. Keep the ideas/suggestions coming. I welcome any and all thoughts.
The info I've gotten from NWDave recently, along with a few other threads I've read, is that avoiding high heat and humidity is a must, along with being in a place where there is a good source of fresh air/oxygen. If the AMNPS is above the burner or other heat source, you will have increased temps, and reduced oxygen due to the fire beneath it. The increased temps, as you know already, translate to faster burn of the pellets if enough oxygen is present for it to smoke, so if installed directly above a thermal mass such as a sand-filled water pan, that will be a fairly substantial heat source, though not as high as being directly over the burner in a smoke box or tray, but a significant heat source, none the less. You may get 30-40 minutes of good performance from the AMNPS if it were located above or on the sand sand pan, then get a faster burn or scorching of the pellets once the mass of the sand has heated through shortly afterwards. Being it is sand instead of water, there would be no additional humidity once the sand has been heated up and is dried-out, but it will still become a source of heat, eventually, and especially at higher burner settings for higher chamber temps or to compensate for cold, wet or windy outdoor conditions. It may work for reduced temp smokes, such as CSR's @ ~190-200* in moderately warm ambient temps allowing for lower burner flame (btu output), but 225* and up may be too hot...you just never know 'til you try it.
I already told my wife I needed a different smoker in order to make the AMNSP work properly, and end the frustrations. I was hoping to get the OK to buy a GOSM BB . Her reply was you need another smoker like I need holes in my head, and if you buy one there WILL be holes in your head.
LMAO!!! Sounds about right, but how many pairs of shoes does she have? 15, or 80? LOL!!!
Does she not like smoked foods? I ask because my wife and kids are the reason for me having my Smoke Vault 24...father's day gift...they saw me oogling it online for a few months, so they knew it had my interest, and they know I don't start researching any product unless I'm considering it as an addition to my arsenal. They love smoked foods and support my efforts to create better entree's and/or spend a bit less time tending the smoker. They buy me little gadgets, tools and accessories when they find something they think I can use that I don't already have (or I have mentioned that I need, or need to replace). Maybe I'm lucky in that aspect, not having to shop around much stuff I use when I cook, but if you really want to pursue this, you may need to do a bit more prodding, in a gentle manner, or course. Just help her understand that it is something you really want to roll with. If money is an issue, look at your budget and maybe you can cut something else, temporarily.
The BB GOSM is actually a pretty decent buy for what you're getting. It would have been my first choice for an upgrade purchase if I hadn't walked out on the deck the morning of father's day and bumped into my Smoke Vault, all assembled and ready to hook up a bottle and start seasoning it...how could I refuse?
Good luck! We'll be here to help along the way whenever we can.