It's a transmitter! 
"I will (find diamonds) if I have to go through every inch of this big grey bastard."
Here's another couple of nuggets from the novel readers.
I think Dallas got off lightly don't you? I like all the indications of dustiness in these later pages. I wish I could say exactly when it was that I drew them though. I think it was still before I'd seen the film.
I loved this. It was also the best visual reference I'd got my hands on at that time! I nabbed this image from here >
Apart from the novel there may have been one more source used here: Cracked Magazine's parody of ALIEN. Yes, seriously, that was gold-dust when I bought it in Naas town. I thought I bought it in secondary school, but I see that it was published in 1979. It must have arrived in Ireland later. Or even laid around on the shelves for a while in the shop (not uncommon in Ireland back then). The artwork was good - and faithfully done (like Mad magazine's parodies) but it also mislead me a few times. You'll see that later on! Daft stuff altogether!
As for HEAVYMETAL's 1979 graphic novel, I don't think I'd see that until 1981 or '82. I had second go at a full-colour adaptation after seeing it but it was too much work to finish on my own. I'll scan and upload what there is of it here too - at some point ;-) Even to my 43 year old eyes, it's remarkably un-crappy.
I was saying previously that I'm finding that much-loved and much-read Alan Dean Foster novelisation hard going 30+ years later. Well-written but plodding and heavy on technical jargon. Well, after 60 pages or so, the investigation team have finally left the ship and have reached the derelict. And I must say, it's getting pretty exciting. I'm particularly enjoying Kane's descent into that mysterious shaft which seems to be part of the ship but also seems to be beneath the planet's surface! Tantalising indeed.