Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Microwave Gun

Microwave Gun US Army HummerYes, yes, I was blankly surfing the net when I came upon a forum that was discussing the future of microwave weapons. At first I thought it was some fake news that the web is full of, but no. This really exists and it was seriously researched. Even the U.S. military have used it in action and plan on building larger versions. Now there are two different applications, one is personal use, the other is vehicle mounted organization use, I'll concentrate on the personal version.

The big problem with conventional weapons is that they rely on ammunition. In a battle, ammunition is commonly available and the weapons work fine. The problem arises when there is a full war as it was the case in World War 1 and 2 where factories were pumping out ammunition and could barely keep up with the demand. If something wipes out the factories (Global Warming disaster or Nuclear War) it wouldn't take long for everyone to run out of bullets. After this happens, it will most probably be back to the stone age. There is a popular demand for weapons that don't use any physical ammunition. These include weapons such as Tesla, EMP, and Laser guns and cannons. These weapons only need energy which is easily produced locally and they don't rely on factories to supply them. Microwave weapons fall into this same category.

What is a Microwave and Why does it Work as a Weapon?
Microwave Oven Function DiagramA microwave is a kind of radiation that is non-ionizing. This means that when you turn off the device, all the radiation ceases. No radiation is absorbed by living organisms and nothing can come radioactive from being exposed to microwaves. Microwaves operate at frequencies anywhere from 300-300,000 MHz. Though for the purpose of this weapon, I will concentrate on the household microwave frequency, 2450 MHz (2.45 GHz). Microwaves heat any water based organism living or dead by making the molecules rotate, thus producing heat. If you were to put something living in a microwave oven, it would survive long. Any metal object exposed to strong microwaves will likely spark at it conducts electricity. Therefore, microwaves are both effective at killing living organisms and electronics.

How to make a Weapon Out of it?
Microwave Oven Parts DiagramAs complicated as it may seem, microwave weapons will probably be one of the future weapons used by guerrillas and militias. They require very little understanding of the way it functions to fabricate it. A weapon can easily be made out of a household microwave. Though, a low power household microwave wouldn't give the same results as a purpose-built microwave gun, it would be effective at destroying electronics. By taking the components out of a regular microwave oven and instead expelling them in front of you, a weapon is born. I'll describe the whole process in detail farther in this post.

Why is it so Dangerous?
With our society more and more relying on electronics for our daily lives, someone who has the ability to disrupt all electronics permanently will do a lot of damage. The main use that could be made out of it would be for frying Engine Control Units (ECU) used to control everything in a car. Frying the ECU will immediately shut off the car. Any radio, phone, computer, will also cease to function. The worst part is that it is permanently broken, to fix it you need to replace all the micro-controller, screens, etc. This is a warning to any person that would try to build one, don't turn it on anywhere near (100 feet and + range) any electronics. It'll cost you thousands of dollars to replace all the electronics if this was to go off in your backyard.

How to Make One?

There are 2 different approaches to make one, you can either modify an existing microwave oven (1000W and + models) or buy all the parts seperatley and build a more powerful one. I'll discuss the first one then briefly touch one the second one. The first one is easier to do so one should start with that one. This is high voltage and could kill you, beware!

Parts Needed:
  • Power Source
  • Capacitor
  • Diode
  • High Voltage Transformer
  • Magnetron
  • Waveguide
Power Source:
If you modify a household microwave oven then you're going to need 115VAC power. Modifications can be done to change this to whatever voltage you can provide but now you're getting into dangerous stuff. The power source can be anything from household power, an alternator (on a car for example), a generator, or a battery pack. The microwave gun doesn't need to be switched on for long in order to fry electronics so little power is needed. For a portable gun, laptop batteries is the way to go, they are compact, light, and efficient.

Capacitor, Diode, and High-Voltage Transformer:
There use is to ramp up the voltage supplied by the power source to something the magnetron can use. Typically a magnetron works with 3000 volts. There is a loss of electricity in the conversion process so a power source that would provide this voltage could technically eliminate some of these parts. Warning: These parts still contain electrical current even if the microwave oven is disconnected, you have to ground them to discharge the current.

This is the device that transforms electricity into microwaves. If you decide to build the weapon from scratch you can buy magnetrons of any power online. The power of the magnetron will determine what kind of electronics it can fry and at which distance. It will also affect how dangerous the weapon will be to living organisms, but I don't recommend using it as such. It will likely only cause a sunburn and not be an effective weapon. The same warning than the capacitor goes for the magnetron.

In terms of firearms, the waveguide is the barrel. Normally the magnetron outputs the microwaves in a square hole in which the microwaves fly in every direction, bouncing on the metal surface. In a household microwave, the waveguide will look like a cone-shaped tube that distributes the microwaves evenly in the oven. To make it into a gun, you will have to fabricate a new waveguide in the shape of a cannon. Microwaves don't penetrate metal, they simply bounce off so anything from a metal pipe to aluminum foil will do. Just be careful not to leave any sharp pointy edges as the microwaves will cause sparks. The more uniform the waveguide is the straighter the microwaves will travel.

Now that you understand each part its time to build. Don't play with your life, test things by increments, just removing the door can help you better understand the effect of microwaves before attempting a full gun build. As for buying the parts separately, I recommend that you stick with modifying a household microwave oven before attempting anything else.

Remember, ignorance is danger, experience is safety. Keep reading for future posts!


  1. how do i ground microwave oven componants

  2. Depends if you are going to a grid tied device or mobile version. In a grid tied application, the ground is connected to the grid as any 3 pronged connector. In a mobile version, as is a standard for the automotive industry, the casing is used as a ground, so you would connect the ground the the chassis of the vehicle.