The Atacama B-mode Search (ABS) experiment is a 145 GHz polarimeter designed to measure the B-mode polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at large angular scales. The ABS instrument will ship to the Atacama Desert of Chile fully tested and ready to observe in 2010. ABS will image large-angular-scale CMB polarization anisotropies onto a focal plane of 240 feedhorn-coupled, transition-edge sensor (TES) polarimeters, using a cryogenic crossed-Dragone design. The ABS detectors, which are fabricated at NIST, use orthomode transducers to couple orthogonal polarizations of incoming radiation onto separate TES bolometers. The incoming radiation is modulated by an ambienttemperature half-wave plate in front of the vacuum window at an aperture stop. Preliminary detector characterization indicates that the ABS detectors can achieve a sensitivity of 300 μKφ/s in the field. This paper describes the ABS optical design and detector readout scheme, including feedhorn design and performance, magnetic shielding, focal plane architecture, and cryogenic electronics.