I have the 30" analogue MES with just the one small vent in the right upper rear. I have been struggling with keeping the AMNPS lit. Additionally, even if it stays lit, very few of the pellets turn to ash. Mostly, they just turn black but retain their shape. I suspect this is from inadequate air. I have already added an aquarium pump at the bottom pumping air in through a 1/4" pipe, but I think that drilling a few larger holes on the bottom and on the side. So, I actually have two things I'm looking for feedback on:
1. The hole for the aquarium pump is low on the right side. The AMNPS usually sits on top of the stock (unused) chip tray. The outlet vent is rear right near the top. Does anyone have any thoughts about the number/location of additional vent holes?
2. Usually, when I'm done smoking, I will take out the AMNPS and separate the burning pellets (if it's still going) from the unused pellets to save them for next time. Last night after I was done smoking game hens for dinner, I checked to see if I needed to separate the pellets, but there was no visible smoke coming from the AMNPS. I removed the birds, closed the door, and turned off the MES. 10 minutes later, the AMNPS is chugging perfectly along, producing the kind of smoke I have been after! It continued, burning the remaining pellets to ash. No water in the pan. So, I'm wondering why the AMNPS works so much better after I'm done smoking and the MES is off than it does when I'm smoking at 225. The physical ventilation system is the same in both scenarios, so I assume that the heat changes something... but what and how?