Will’s Console Mods is now selling pre-made versions of the open source Famicom Disk System drive emulator designed by ClusterM. This replaces the floppy disk drive, but still requires the original “RAM Module” that sits on top of the Famicom. From a “preservation” point of view, this is the perfect solution, as the only thing emulated are the disks and drive – All the chips inside the RAM module are still used, making it an authentic experience. More info below the link:
Update: JT Studio should be selling their version of this with an injection-molded case soon as well. The current sale page still mentions both plastic, so if you’re interested, maybe contact them and ask about the molded one?: https://jt-studios.com/product/fdskey-famicom-disk-system-drive-emulator/
While I’ve never personally used the FDSKey, it appears to work similar to the FDSStick, which I reviewed below. While that review is old, it’ll give you a basic idea of what to expect: Format a MicroSD card to FAT32, copy your games, select the game via the stick and boot your console. As far as your Famicom / RAM Module are concerned, it’s loading an original disk. One advantage of the FDSKey over the other, is no software is required to load roms…simply copy them to the SD! Also, the games are selected via the Key itself, not the console.
When used with an original floppy drive, the FDSKey can be used to dump FDS disks as well, without any custom cabling required. That’s a pretty big deal for anyone with rare, old software for the FDS! You can also write to writable FDS disks, which is a neat feature I’ve never tried…although I imagine that’s a bit more complicated.