NOTE: This page ONLY describes the process of insulating the Signal or Live wires of the Helix IMAGE cables.
  • strange as it may seem, you DO NOT have to apply this insulation guide to the Neutral wire

Links to the pages on how to build the individual cables can be found at the bottom this page

So How do you build a conductor that has Air as the dielectric?

Teflon tube has been a long time favourite in my cables (early on) so I looked back a previous versions of the cables and realized if I used the right sized tube it would allow enough air around the wire and result in a very small area of contact.

I selected a PTFE Tubing with Internal Dia = 0.106" and Outside Dia = 0.130" - from Take Five Audio

This tube can be used for either a single 14/12 gauge wire or the 2 x 18 gauge used for interconnects - so basically it is suitable for Interconnect, speaker and mains cables

Looking at the diagram below, of the cross section of a Live conductor of a mains cable and a twisted pair signal conductor of the interconnect cable it is quite clear that provided the tube does not collapse there is only ever ONE point of contact with the teflon tube, with lots of air around the actual wire

This is the value Teflon has over Cotton and Silk sleeves, because cotton and silk tend to collapse around the wire resulting in multiple points of contact, increasing the value of the Dk

00 cross section

Unfortunately, the UP-OCC copper I have been using from both Neotech and VH Audio both have insulation that must first be removed

In order to accomplish that with a minimum of effort I inserted an eye ring in the end of a piece of wood (see below) to make a simple striping jig

  • Thread the wire through the eye ring
  • hold the wire on the board at the other end of the board
  • Place the blade of a utility knife on the wire and lift the blade to about a 5 degree angle
  • and simply cut a small sliver of insulation from the wire
  • then peel the insulation from the wire

01 board

The rest of this process depicts how to fabricate the Signal conductor for the Helix interconnect
  • which uses 2 x 18 gauge wires
  • but the same process can be applied to any HELIX IMAGE (Air) Cable

Strip the insulation from the two wires (as shown above) and twist one end tightly to hold the wires together

02 twist tight

Then twist the two wires together at the rate of about one complete twist every 3-4 inches

And twist the last 1/2" or (centimetre) to prevent the wires from untwisting, as below

03 twist loose

Then insert the tightly twisted portion into a drill chuck and hold the other end with a pair of pliers

04 drill

Rotate the drill clockwise i.e. clockwise as you look down the wire from the rear of the drill

Rotate until the wire is evenly twisted - approximately 3 twists per inch - as below

05 Drill Twist

Remove the wire from the drill chuck - it will remain twisted, but tightly twist the end to match the the opposite end

Then "TIN" the wire with solder for about 1" at each end - this prevents oxidation outside the Teflon tube

06 tin ends

Insert the wire into the teflon sleeve and apply a small piece of heat shrink tubing that has the adhesive on the inside

An optional alternative is to seal the ends with hot glue

This seals the tube and prevents air flow and prevent oxidation of the bare wire

07 seal ends

Now you have the Signal conductor for a HELIX IMAGE Interconnect cable

So why prevent air flow?
  • In order to prevent the bare copper wire (or silver) from oxidizing
  • Initially some oxidation will occur and a little dullness will result
  • but based on my current speaker cables which have been in place for about 4 months, the dulling of the copper appears to have stopped

I was initially very concerned about oxidation because if it was a real issue it meant people would be faced with re-wiring their cables once they turn green.
  • But on thinking about the oxidation process further, those copper weather veins on buildings generally take about 5 - 7 years to obtain the green patina
  • they are open to the elements 24/7.
I believe sealing the wire inside a Teflon tube using the approach above will protect the wire from oxidation for a considerable period of time. i.e. many years

In recognition of the superb performance achieved by applying this technique I have decided to name this versos of the HELIX cables…


When this approach is used on all Helix cables the results are stunning !!!

This technique can be applied to any of the following HELIX IMAGE Cables…
Interconnect Cable...

USB Cable...
Speaker Cable...
Power Cable...