I stand corrected......sort of.
Received the AMNPS along with a supply of pellets, and did a trial smoke last night, no food involved. Worked perfectly as you guys said. I loaded 1 1/2 rows and got excellent smoke for about 5 hours with the MES40 Gen 1 set on 215. Never threatened to go out, and at times I might have been getting just slightly more smoke than needed. So, I closed the top vent down to about 1/3 open, and it was just right.
Now, back to the temp issues with which I started this thread, maybe a little harshly so with respect to Masterbuilt.
Refer to the pic in my first post in this thread. I called MB customer service to relate this issue and hopefully get a replacement controller to be certain it was not the problem. I received a long lecture from the lady there covering physics, dynamic air flow, sensor placement, and the theory that if my food was being cooked OK in the MES why was I on the phone with her to begin with. No replacement controller was forthcoming. However, she did ask that I place the Maverick probe close to the MES sensor , try it again, and call her with the result.
I did exactly that in the trial smoke mentioned above. I had the Maverick probe 1" from the internal sensor, without it touching anything.
Jeepers. Now, the Maverick consistently read a temp 5-10 degrees HIGHER than the MES digital read-out. Keep in mind that the Maverick probe placement could not have been over 10" or so different in the 2 tests, with wildly differing results. This one has me stumped. For the record, on my Gen 1 MES40, the temp sensor is half way up on the LEFT side when facing the rear of the smoker with door open. I did not have the water pan in, and had the AMNPS sitting on the bottom rails, left side as well. I also noticed that many times the MES digital reading was several degrees higher than my set temp of 215. Does the AMNPS put out enough heat to raise the temp like that?
Chew on this one and let me know your thoughts, please.