Ok. All this digital analog discussion got me curious so I went out to the Trash Panda and took a pic of the guts of the old style thermostat
This is the epitome of an analog device. Yes the output is digital, as the whole point of the exercise is to control a switch, but the input could not be more analog. The black coil in the center is a coiled bi-metallic strip that expands and contracts with changing temperature. One end is anchored to the temp adjusting arm axle
, the other has the electrical
contact. Moving the adjusting arm (slider) rotates the whole coil, changing the distance between the coil contact and the fixed contact thereby changing the temperature (measured by coil expansion) at which the contacts close. The "sproing" mentioned earlier is caused by the magnet on the fixed contact which makes sure the contact closes and stays closed. It pulls the moving contact suddenly in whe it gets about 1/32" away, bouncing the coil with its little signature "sproing"
So to sum up, there are exactly zero electronics in this thing. The input, temperature measurement and switch control is purely mechanical, which is by any definition analog. Just my $2.50. 'Cause engineers get more than $0.02.
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