time to eat a little crow. i broke rule #1, always test before you post...
i had tested the batteries and had a voltage of 4.59v so i felt ok. i plugged it in and everything was fine until i started using the servos. it lasted about 3 secs before they just started to freak out. i doubled checked them on a servo tester to confirm they weren't the problem. both checked good. tried again, same result.
turns out the 9g servos vs. the 5g's i had used on the DLG were drawing considerably more from the battery. the voltage was dropping the battery below 4v and the servos don't like that.
after some consultation, and possibility of considerable more work (which i don't want to do), it was decided to first change the batteries.
i installed 3 new Duracell's and retried.
life is good again! the new batteries are able to handle the load and all works fine. i don't need to fly far, i just need to fly. this solves that problem.
so, IF you attempt anything like this make sure you aren't using HF batteries.