Elbows, yes. I have three. I've seen others with eight, but they had four intakes too. The drums where they have added the elbows to bring the intake adjustment valve up to reach height. I'm sure y'all have seen them. They look like a four legged octopus. I went with 'elbows don't make that much of a difference'. HOWEVER, I'm smoking two large butts now....8.5 & 9.75lbs. Who doesn't like big pretty butts?
Smoke report: Started smoker, screamed pasted 250f, awesome. Put on meat. In about 20 minutes temp dropped to 180f. CCCRRRRAAAAPPPP!!! I want to sleep tonight, so I added some forced air. Forced air, BTW, blows out the other intakes, so I closed them.
Now I'm running a standard forced air drum. I'll take the air off later, put it back on natural flow, and see if it's because of the cold meat. If it keeps temps, I'll blame cold meat load, and know that it just recovers too slowly. If it dies off again.....then summer is not friendly to this smoker (85f outside). It definitely won't work in the sun.
I'm thinking larger, or more intake pipes. This thing will work, dammit. It's back to the tweaking board to figure out how to improve recovery time....at least.
Maybe intakes in the bottom for summer, and piped intakes in the top for winter. Who knows it might work.