just wanted to say thanks again for all the help.
i went with 3 separate sets of 4AA batteries in each set. i bought these batteries...http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817355039
so here is where i am at so far...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCym-rWtDnI
(its a 7 foot diameter wheel where the frame is hollowed out plastic and the leds are inside the frame)
this is 2/3rds of ONE side, which is an entire 1-meter strip of the LPD 8806s (32 leds).
so i was planning on powering each meter with i set of 4 batteries.
i tried it out when i got the batteries. it lasted barely an hour at full power, and by the next half hour was barely visible. that was with the exact light patterns you see in the youtube video.
i lightened up the power consumption in the code (more blacks, no full white brightness) and tried again. it gave me maybe another 15 to 20 minutes.
i was thoroughly disappointed then i remembered rechargeables rarely come fully recharged. so i recharged them and tried again with the lightened code.
it ran for 8 hours!!! so far
and looks the same as the batteries fresh from the charger. i had to go to work so i pulled the batteries and will finish them off tonight when i get home.
so im going to do some more tests, gonna run a pretty power intensive light pattern through it and see how long it lasts.
im really only looking for 3 hours, 4 max, and id like to minimize the batteries used,
so im going to test it to see how long it lasts if the battery pack is running a meter and a half (48 leds, which would be one whole side of the wheel). if 48 leds can handle a somewhat power intensive light pattern for at least 3 hours, and not dim very noticeably at the end of the strip, im going to go with 2 sets of 4 batteries each, but if not ill stick to the 3 sets.
just got excited so i wanted to share, and say thanks again for all the help. you guys are wonderful.