The problem with the Excede modem connection finally resolved itself.
At first the connection kept dropping unless I was using the ethernet cable to connect.
I'm not exactly sure how it fixed itself. After a week of dropped connections, and days trying to talk to Applecare and then the Wildblue/Excede satellite people, it became apparent that the Airport wasn't getting the correct ISP addresses. For example, it was assigning the same address to the printer and the laptop.
The Excede staff people were wildly phobic about any router issues, and frankly were all-over-the-place about ideas and suggestions. Maybe that's a symptom of a new satellite and system, but that's been my experience of Wildblue in general. Stuck with them, though.
Anyway, one tech finally suggested that I use the ethernet to connect to my laptop for 48 hours. I actually left it on for about 30 hours and then tried using the Airport again. The Airport and modem have been connecting properly since then.
I can no longer use my printer without the USB cable, which is an inconvenience. I haven't had time to try to fix that again.
All of this being said, the connection is now almost as fast as DSL and I can watch videos and download large files and updates, where I could not before.
Share this with the Mac folks who might be interested.
Good wishes to you and Martha,