I have managed to get scan to work after messing around for a while. I finally got Kaffine to detect and tune my stations - but only based on its included au/sydney preconfigured file. Once that was done, I went into Kaffine's config folder under the linuxmce profile and copied the file out.
I still can't do scan -o vdr > channels.conf, it just creates an empty file and errors out and if that happens to be the name of the file I got from Kaffine (it was originally) it overwrites it and you loose it - I think that is what Fibres had a problem with.
But I tried scan -o vdr channels.tmp > channels.conf where channels.tmp is what I called the file from Kaffine, and this seemed to work - certainly it scanned, and detected "running" TV stations and created an output file. Problem is, I don't know where to put this output file so that VDR sees it. I tried /etc/vdr and /vdr/vdrsettings where there were existing files which I renamed. I rebooted, but VDR still says no signal and when i hit F6 the channel list is still the European one...
What am I doing wrong? Why won't scan parse the example file so that I have to use Kaffine - certainly Kaffine outputs a scan compatible file, but I don't seem to be able to get VDR to use it.... getting confused now!