AMNS wont stay lit

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by smokinberto, May 5, 2013.

  1. smokinberto

    smokinberto Fire Starter

     Okay guys a little help here. I bought an AMNS 6X8, did the mailbox mod. The AMNS burnt for a bit then went out. I added a fan (from a computer) to the rear of the mail box assuming I wasn't getting enough air flow. It stays lit longer but eventually goes out. It's been quite damp here in un-sunny SC the last week, so I'm guessing the humidity isn't helping things. I drilled 3 1/2 inch holes in the mail box lid to give it some air & I'm considering adding some holes to the bottom. any other suggestions?

     In advance Thanks,[​IMG]
  2. smokinberto

    smokinberto Fire Starter

    I figured a visual would be helpful
  3. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It is hard to tell from the picture but is the dust only burning on the top?
  4. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When you light the start of your row. Let the flame burn for 10 minutes then blow it out. Blow on the little coals and try to get a nice cherry going on the bottom of the AMNS before putting it in your box. If your dust is moist, microwave it for a minute before using.
  5. smokinberto

    smokinberto Fire Starter

    Upon inspection that doesn't seem to be an issue. I used a propane torch (my butane torch ran outta juice) so I know I got a good start the dust was glowing.
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  6. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    [​IMG]   Also, do you live at a higher elevation?  I've heard others say they have more problems keeping their amazens going in mountain areas.  It doesn't sound like an air flow problem...

    Give Todd a holler and ask the expert.  He'll figure out your problem.  Good luck, let us know if you get it figured out...

  7. smokinberto

    smokinberto Fire Starter

    I live in coastal South Carolina I think I'm about 20 ft. above sea level. The humidity has been close to 80% this week. I keep my bags of dust sealed, so it's not moist when I put it in the AMNS but thats not to say it doen't absorb some moisture after it's in the mailbox. Potato chips get soggy in short order around here when the humidity is up.
  8. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Ahh, that could do it...I have only used Todd's pellet smokers, so no direct experience with the dust, but I understand its performance is affected by humidity.  Ask Todd, I'll bet he can get you going...

  9. Try lowering the fan to the same level of the AMNS. It looks like air is only being pulled across the top of the dust. Did you nuke the dust or dry it in an oven before using it? You need much bigger holes for the intake. I'd enlarge those first to a 1" diameter and see what happens.
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  10. hello, i am thinking it is damp dust. will it keep burning if you don't put it in the mail box? if so it is air flow. if it won't you have damp dust. do a test burn outside of the box and see what happens.

    happy smoken.

  11. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    No cold smoke generator is the "end all" for every situation ,   If a smoke generator is going to be on the outside of a cooker there are much better alternatives....check out some of the sponsors for alternatives. 
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dry the dust well.... in the micro wave or in the oven @ 250 for an hour or longer....   Looks like the rows are not full of dust....  Fill the rows within 1/8" from the top..... a thin layer of dust may be the problem....  When the smoker is operating at smoking conditions, there should be a natural draft through the mailbox from the smoker... that way you wouldn't need the fan....  Your setup looks good....   Are those slots at the top of the smoker vents ??  are they open to allow a draft ??    

  13. smokinberto

    smokinberto Fire Starter

    After some experimentation I believe it was a ventilation issue. I lit the AMNS let it smoke outside the malbox, burned up half the dust. Placed in the mail box (after enlarging the holes & adding a few more on the bottom & sides) turned on the fan & Wa La the remainder of the dust burned. I got 8#s on the way so I gotta figure this out[​IMG]

    Do you pack the dust down or just spoon it in?
  14. glad you got it going. the main trick. is to get it going good. i just fill it. i don't pack it. remember we wanna see pics

    .happy smoken.

  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I believe Todd recommends lightly packing the dust....  Are there recommendations in the directions that came with it ???  
  16. smokinberto

    smokinberto Fire Starter

    There weren't any directions[​IMG]
  17. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

  18. smokinberto

    smokinberto Fire Starter

    Ok for starters thanks for all the input, most of it was useful. I ended up adding legs to the AMNS so I could get a little more airflow from underneath. Now it stays lit all the way through the cook. I'm not getting the heavier smoky flavor I was getting from the wood chips however. The AMNS just doesn't put out the volume of smoke I had with the more labor intensive adding wood chips every hour or so. I guess I could get a second AMNS & burn both at the same time. I haven't done a cost benefit analysis for wood chips vs dust. Anyone ?
  19. You can lite Both ends. Or lit both ends and lit in the middle. You can also use 2 AMNS. Don't waste your time with a cost analysis.Don't know What the out come would be. But to not have to add chips every 20 min. Makes the AMNS or AMNPS the only way to fly in my Book.

    Happy smoken.


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