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Cross-Connected Belden 89259 DIY Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

Simon Au   Canadian Flag   auDIYo.com

Cross-Connected Belden 89259 DIY Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

Step-by-step instructions are provided to outline the construction the cross-connected DIY speaker cable design by Jon Risch. The full technical details and background of the cross-connected speaker cable design are noted on Jon's site (via the Wayback Machine). The cross-connected speaker cable design uses low-capacitance Belden 89259 coaxial cable. Belden 89259 is a RG-59/U plenum rated coax cable with a stranded (7x30) center conductor and bare copper braid shield. Insulating materials are FEP (Teflon) dielectric and outer jacket. The heavy copper shield, low capacitance and premium insulating materials make this a super cable for a wide range of DIY audio cable projects, it works great for speaker cables, interconnect and digital cables. The Belden 89259 cable comes highly recommended by Jon Risch. There is also the Belden 89259 DIY Hi-Fi RCA Interconnect Cables project which uses the same coaxial cable.


Required Parts and Tools

The following parts will be required to complete a 2.4 m (8 foot) pair of speaker cables. All of the noted parts are available from auDIYo.com.

Table 1: Required Parts for Cross-Connected Belden 89259 DIY Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

Description Quantity for one 2.4 m pair
Belden 89259 Coaxial Cable
Cardas GRS R Spade
3/8" diam. TechFlex
 1/2" diam. Adhesive Lined 3:1 Heat Shrink 
1/2" diam. Neoprene 2:1 Heat Shrink
3/8" diam. Heat Shrink (Black)
3/8" diam. Heat Shrink (Red)
1/4" diam. Heat Shrink (Black)
1/4" daim. Heat Shrink (Red)
HGA 4% Pure Silver Solder
 4 x (8ft long)
 8
 2 x (8ft long)
 2 x (4ft long) and 4 x (5" long)
 4 x (4" long)
 2 x (3.5" long) and 2 x (2" long) and 2 x (1" long) 
 2 x (3.5" long) and 2 x (2" long) and 2 x (1" long)
 4 x (1/4" long)
 4 x (1/2" long) and 4 x (1/4" long)
 As required

Required Parts for Belden 89259 DIY Speaker Cables

Photograph 1: Required Parts for Belden 89259 DIY Speaker Cables

Shown in the photo below are the tools and supplies that will be required to construct the cross-connect Belden 89259 speaker cables.

Required tools and supplies for Belden 89259 DIY Speaker Cables

Photograph 2: Required tools and supplies for the Belden 89259 DIY Speaker Cables

Photograph 3 below shows some optional tools that were found to be helpful with our speaker cable assembly method.

Optional tools for Belden 89259 DIY Speaker Cables

Photograph 3: Optional tools for Belden 89259 DIY Speaker Cables


Construction: Belden 89259 Cross-Connected Speaker Cables

A section of the Belden 89259 coaxial cable which identifies the cable jacket, shield, insulator and conductor is shown below in Photograph 4.

Belden 89259 Coax Cable

Photograph 4: Belden 89259 Coaxial Cable

1. Using a wire cutter, cut two 8 foot (2.4 m) lengths of Coaxial cable.
2. Measure and mark 4" (100 mm) from the end of cable to be stripped (Fig. 1).
3. Using an X-Acto knife, lightly cut the Teflon jacket along measured length (Fig. 2).
4. Pull back the slit Teflon jacket and trim away the excess (Fig. 3).
5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 for each of the ends of the speaker cables.
6. Using the two 1/4" diam. x 1/2" long red heat shrinks, color code both ends of one cable as the signal cable (hot side) (Fig.4)

Note: Color coding will help identify the cables after it has been spiraled together.

Cable stripping

Cable stripping and preparation

7. Line up both cables and spiral total length tightly around one another with a maximum of 2 to 3 spirals per foot (300 mm) (Fig. 5).

Note: The spirals tend to naturally hold the cables together nicely. However, using heat shrink will help encapsulate the cable and keep them from moving relative to one another.

8. Place 1/2" diam. x 5" long Adhesive lined heat shrink over spiraled cable approximately 2" away from stripped end ... then heat shrink in place. Do the same to the other end (Fig.6).

9. Now place the mid point of 1/2" diam. x 4 ft long adhesive lined Heat Shrink in mid point of spiraled cable and shrink in place (Fig.7).

Sprial Belden 89259 cables together

Heat shrink

Fig 7

10. Pull back the copper braided shield and cut away 3" of the 4" of center conductor and insulator (Fig. 8).
11. Straighten out shield ... then use a pointed tool to create opening on copper braided shield to fish out the remaining 1" center conductor (Fig. 9).
12. Strip away 1/2" of insulation using a wire stripping tool (Fig. 10).

Note: Use the 3" scrap to practice stripping off insulator from center conductor. This will help determine the correct wire gauge size on the wire stripping tool so you don't cut into center conductor.

13. Repeat steps 10-12 for all ends of the speaker cable (Fig. 10).

Fig 8

Fig 9

Fig 10

14. Take the red and black 1/4" diam. x 1/4" long HS to cover exposed shield located between Teflon jacket and insulator. Do this to both cables (Fig. 11).

Note: The exposed shield MUST be covered to prevent shorting.

15. Cross connect center conductor with the adjacent shield by bending entire center conductor 60 degrees and wrapping center conductor wire around shield (Fig. 12).
16. Solder the wrapped conductor wire to the copper shield (Fig. 13).

Fig 11

Fig 12

Fig 13

Terminated Belden 89259 Speaker Cable with TechFlex

Photograph 5: Terminated Belden 89259 Speaker Cable with TechFlex

Note: Before going any further, use a multimeter to test cable continuity. Make sure the cable is not shorted. If cable is shorted then it will be much easier to repair the cable at this stage.

17. Wrap the bare terminal leads with Teflon tape leaving approximate 3/4" free at the tip to solder connectors (Fig. 14).
18. Heat shrink the wrapped terminal leads with 3/8" diam. x 3" long black and red heat shrink at their respective sides (Fig. 15).
19. Repeat steps 17 and 18 for the other cable end.

Fig 14

Photograph 14: PhotoDescription

Fig 15

Photograph 15: PhotoDescription

20. Wrap both the exposed ends of the black and red terminal leads together and insert into the TechFlex expandable sleeving (Fig. 16).
21. Place 1/2" diam. x 3" long black neoprene heat shrink over the TechFlex end and 1/2" over the terminal lead cables (Fig. 17).

Note: Because neoprene requires a longer time to shrink, be sure to wrap the TechFlex with Teflon tape in order to protect it from melting.

22. Temporarily wrap Teflon tape at edge of neoprene and over TechFlex and shrink in place (Fig. 17).

Fig 16

Fig 17

23. Insert the 2" long and the 1" long 3/8" diam. heat shrink and the brass sleeving over terminal lead (Fig. 18).
24. Heat the exposed end of the terminal lead and apply a small amount of silver solder (Fig.18).
25. Using a soldering iron heat the spade lug and then fill barrel with silver solder (Fig. 19).

Fig 18

Fig 19

26. With the spade lug clamped in place, place the terminal lead into the spade barrel (Fig. 20).
27. Place s hot soldering iron on top of terminal lead and spade barrel until solder in barrel is in liquid form ... then pull soldering iron away to allow the soldering joint to cool (Fig. 20).
28. Once solder joint has cooled, slide brass sleeve over soldered joint (Fig. 20).
29. Slide 3/8" diam. x 1" long heat shrink over the brass sleeve and apply heat to shrink in place (Fig. 21).
30. Slide 3/8" diam. x 2" long heat shrink over 1" long heat shring and apply heat to shrink in place (Fig. 21).
31. Repeat steps 23 through 30 for all the terminal leads.

Fig 20

The instruction have been put together using Cardas GRS R Spade terminations. Of course you can use your favorite style of speaker connector to terminate the cable.

Fig 21


Belden 89259 Cross-Connected DIY Hi-Fi Speaker Cable Photographs

Photographs of other completed Belden 89259 Cross-Connected DIY Hi-Fi Speaker Cables to give you some finishing ideas. If you have finished this DIY speaker cable project, send us your photos and we will add them to the instructions page.

Belden 89259 Cross-Connected DIY Hi-Fi Speaker Cable

Photograph 6: Belden 89259 Cross-Connected DIY Hi-Fi Speaker Cable - by mrdon, USA

The Belden 89259 coaxial cable is also works great choice for interconnect cables. So if you have any left over cable, be sure to check out the Belden 89259 DIY Hi-Fi RCA Interconnect Cable project page.