If your original pill type heater is still working, there is no need for the conversion. Add liquid smoke fluid to it and it will work, with the added benefit you can always use pills. Repro pills are available just like the originals.
Well, that's the thing. I'm not sure what's going on. I tried pellets. I put one in and it disappears after a while so I'm pretty sure it's melting but there's no smoke coming out of the stack! The puffer bar (or whatever it's called) that is supposed to cause the smoke to puff does move back and forth with the turning of the wheels. Its spring seems OK.