I stumbled onto my own answer and I just wanted to put it out here in case anyone else should ever run into it. The answer lies in the JDBC setup. Externally defined database files are stored using a CCSID of 65535 rather than the default of 37. To change it, go into the JDBC Setup under the Connection pull-down menu. Select “Translate CCSID 65535″ on the Translation tab. That will display AS/400 files in the format we all know and love.
More accurately, <b>your</b> externally defined database files are stored using CCSID 65535. They shouldn’t be, but that’s the way your system is set up — to use 65535.
Change your QCCSID system value from 65535 to a more useful setting such as 37. Create your data tagged as something other than binary (65535), and CCSID conversions between systems can happen automatically without needing to tweak settings for every PC and every application.
I know you didn’t create the situation. But you have the opportunity to research it and correct it.