The current Helmchat version for Android on the Play Store does not work with Android 13 and is no longer available. Due to private matters I am not able to release a new version in 2023.
As an alternative you can download the original Jitsi Meet application (Android / iOS) and use that. You cannot combine Helmchat and Jitsi Meet, make sure your entire party uses the same application. And don't forget to turn off the camera. Group calls on Signal, Threema, Whatsapp, etc. also work, but might not restore the connection when it drops.
Motorcycle group chats
High-quality audio, noise-cancellation and absolutely free
Compatible with every headset
Just use your current headset, it's probably already connected with your mobile phone. Keep using your spoken navigation, listen to music and be able to have an open chat connection with your friends.
High Quality audio
Open-Source conference software
Our server uses the open-source videoconference software Jitsi. It's settings are changed for our needs and require little bandwidth, which keeps the required amount of megabytes per hour minimal.
Video is disabled when you enter in a chatroom, this should keep your data plan from draining when you forget to turn video off.
Use the Mobile (cell) network
Jitsi uses DTLS-SRTP encryption for all of it's communication.
1-1 chats are connected directly between phones. Group chats do use our server as central point, but the contents are never stored to any persistent storage and only live in memory while being routed to other participants in the meeting.
So, really free?
Yes. Without any limitations or conditions. I've been so happy with this solution that I'd like to share it with fellow motorcycle riders. There is no money made or information shared with 3rd parties by selling metadata, conversations, information or anything else. If you like it, buy me a coffee by making a donation (see Contact). Thanks!
Nothing special. An (older) Android or iPhone will do.
Chatting requires around 30 MB an hour. A 6 hour drive will spend roughly 200 MB. Make sure you have 3/4/5G internet coverage in the area you are driving (see our F.A.Q.).
Not required but gives without a doubt the best result. Make sure the phone is connected to the headset.
Don't worry when the connection with the server drops. This can happen with bad cell reception.
The application will automatically reconnect and you'll hear a notification sound.
The experience is best with 15 or less people at the same time. Although we support groups up to 75 people at maximum.
Ready to start a group chat?
The current Helmchat version for Android on the Play Store does not work with Android 13. An update is coming, but until it's there you can download the original Jitsi Meet application, go to settings and set https://meet.helmchat.eu as the server to make it work.
Open the 'HelmChat' application and start a chatroom
And fill in any room name you want. The name of your riding group or something funny to annoy your friends.
Give permission to microphone
The app needs permission to the microphone so that your friends can hear you too.
Share the link of the meeting
Inside the chat application there is a large button 'Invite others'. Share it with as much riders as you like, even your spouse can join in and listen to what you are saying if you REALLY want. For extra convenience: paste the link in a chat or e-mail, you can reuse the link forever!
Restart / resume the chat?
After a break you'll might want to restart the chat. Reuse the link from step 4 or open the HelmChat application and the previous chat will be in your history. Chatrooms do not have to be removed: they are automatically removed when there are no more participants and created when someone enters.
Frequently Asked Questions
With many different devices and headsets, it's possible that something doesn't work as expected or that you might have an idea to add to the software. Below are the most common issues and questions. Did you encounter something else? Send me an e-mail.
This is a non-profit private project to make group chats a better experience for everyone, but you may always buy me a coffee.
We log as little as possible: rooms that have been created for the last week in order to find out if our server keeps up with the usage and your basic internet and browser information to generate usage statistics of our two websites: helmchat.eu and meet.helmchat.eu.
We rely heavily on the open-source software of Jitsi. We don't think it does, but it could be that they record usage information as well.
Just to be sure: use this at your own risk and we are not responsible for anything regarding our software or service. Drive safe.
My group has been trying everything to communicate to each other during the many years of motorcycle trips. From walkie-talkies with push-to-talk buttons to the so-called 'compatibility' mode between a Sena and Nolan headset and even a portable WiFi router with large antenna taped under the seat with specific software on everyone's his phone. It never worked well. During the Covid-19 pandamic I was working on implementing videoconference software for large teams. I've been playing around with Jitsi on a private server when the idea came to use it with a group of friends during a motorcycle trip. We installed the conference application on our phones, connected to the same conference room and we could talk the entire trip: long distance (overtaking), good audio quality, noise-cancellation for the higher speeds and low cellular data usage. Helmchat.eu (helm is Dutch for helmet) is the tweaked version of this proof-of-concept for everyone to use.