Bring the TSA Home With This DIY Handheld Body Imager

The holidays are here again, and with them all the usual trappings: joy, good cheer, and the crippling fear that someone might be harboring explosives in his or her nether regions. But don’t let the TSA bogart all the intrusive holiday fun; you can build your own handheld microwave body scanner at home, ensuring the safety of your holiday guests. All you need is a feedhorn for a satellite dish, an optical mouse, and a handful of other low-cost parts.

Using the feedhorn from a mini satellite disk, DIY genius Jeri Ellsworth has devised a clever hack that emulates the optical handheld scanners of yesteryear (that is, you won’t be able to do a full-body scan from a distance). By turning one receiver in the feedhorn into a transmitter and using an optical mouse to give the device some X-Y orientation, she turns a bunch of simple electronic components into a handheld microwave imaging wand with penetration power up to a few centimeters – plenty to figure out which of your dinner guests is slipping the good silverware into his waistband.

For the finer details, check the video below. Then give your holiday party guests the lasting gift of peace of mind.