Yeah, I am kinda confused here as well. In response to your first idea, that would work great as a cold smoker but I don't think it will have enough heat to rival a UDS for actually cooking meat.
On your second set of ideas, I like the creativity but again, I think you are getting away from the simple concept of the UDS and its beauty there in. A UDS works because it is extremely efficient and simple to build and use. Sure, many people have made modifications to the basic design but sticking to the basic design is always recommended.
If this is your first UDS, I would suggest building one along the lines of the standard design. You can always build another one later once you have used a standard one and see what you want to change. I have had plenty of ideas of things I wanted to try but in the end I use two standard UDS's. I do use two of Wang's controllers which really makes my cookers a "set it and forget it" setup.
Proud owner of the PentaZero
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