Thanks to help from many people this problem is solved. It was 100% my newbie lack of experience. These newsreaders like Pan and Knode *must* have a log-on to many sites prior to D/L the newsgroups.
There are some sites that don't require a log-on like msnews.microsoft.com [good for testing]. An excellent free site [no log-on] I was told about is :
textnews.news.cambrium.nl [Port 119]