Lets see if I can help a little. This is how I use the 5x8 AMPs pellet tray.
This is where the tray normally fits for most folks.
Note I use one of the extra grates to set on top og the chip tray/heating box. Thats where I set my tray. By moving it there, its right in the draft between the suction and the discharge of air in the MES30. Also its more open to circulation.
Every once in a while with a small wire brush clean your AMPs to ensure good air flow.
Don't over-fill your tray, the fire can jump the tray if its too full. Also keep your pellets in the ziploc back that Todd ships them in. This helps reduce the moisture from effecting the pellets.
Using they proper tool, light the pellets outside the box and allow it at least 30 mins to start to smolder before putting it in the unit.
Open the discharge vent 100% ti help it draw a good draft. YOU MUST have the unit on and heating to achieve that draft.
ONLY if you are only using pellets you'll need to unlock and leave the reloader cracked open to get a good draft. IF you are using chips in the chip tray DO NOT do this. Too much air will cause the chips to combust (flash), and shoot the reloader tube out the unit.
This is the end of the reloader, those three holes are your suction to ensure the chips smolder. The AMps usually needs more thats why we leave it cracked.
Wait until you see smoke comming out the ........
Then regulate the discharge vent to achieve a very light smoke. By regulating the vent, its saves pellets, smokes longer, and hold temp better causing less cycling of the heater trying to maintain temp.
I always recommended you set up, light the AMPs and let it burn for one line of pellets to ensure that it works and you understand it. If it works outside the box, and it doesn't inside the box, it must be lack of air for one reason or another.
Always preheat your smoker to 275 before inserting your meat, that also insures that it will draw a draft. Then when the meat is added, reset the temp to what you want to cook with. Don't insert the tray in a cold box, there is no draft.
Give the tray ample time outside the box to achieve a good burn before you put it in the box.
Keep your pellets dry. I live in Louisiana and so far I have not had a moisture problem. But I keep my bags closed when I am not adding. Some times you do get pellets that just don;t light worth a flip, in which case you have to mix them with another flavor that lights hot and fast like corn cob.
Hope something here helps you.
Oh and BTW I used to live in beautiful downtown Tatum NM. A charter member of the Tatum Yacht Club. <Chuckles> If you are up in the mountains the elevation will also effect the AMPs. In which case I think they suggest sawdust vice pellets and tubes instead of trays. Just an after thought.