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Additionally, the capacitance and inductance also varies somewhat with the coupling position, so technically the Loose Coupler can be operated without additional variable condensers and, with a suitable detector and a set of 'phones, the Loose Couple will tune in signals.
More elaborate set-ups would add variable condensers to provide more accurate and easily adjustable tuning of both the Primary and Secondary Inductors.
The contact point switch roughly tunes the secondary to the frequency that is to be received by reducing the number of turns on the secondary coil and depending on how it's connected may also short out the "dead turns" to the coil return or to ground.
By sliding the Secondary into the Primary, tighter coupling is achieved resulting in stronger signals but with broader bandwidth.
The addition of a small telephone condenser, which was generally connected across the 'phones, would filter out the RF and provide better (and slightly louder) audio response.
The larger Loose Couplers were sometimes called "Arlington" types since they could tune to the very long wavelengths for time signal reception (the Time Signal station was located in Arlington, VA and operated at VLF frequencies.) Arlington-type Loose Couplers will have a greater number of turns on the primary and secondary with larger coil dimensions.
Documentation on Dodd's 1909 station is provided by that fact that Dodd entered his station (and photograph) into a Wireless Station Contest that was held each month by Modern Electrics magazine.The receiver's Loose Coupler provided the user with the ability to crudely tune in signals and to somewhat control the selectivity of his receiver.The larger coil is the Primary Inductance and the antenna and ground are connected to this coil.The slider roughly tunes the antenna to resonance for whatever frequency it is desired to receive by reducing the number of turns in the primary and, depending on the connections, may short the "dead turns" to ground.The smaller coil is the Secondary Inductance and this coil is tapped at various numbers of turns that are brought out to the contact point switch.